5 Ways to Maximize your Facebook Reach
Facebook has the potential to transform how almost any company markets its products and services. Yet, “reach” is the operative word when marketing on Facebook. Even if a business has 1,000 Likes on its Facebook page, any single post made to it will likely not reach more than 20 percent of that group. This article isn’t focused on growing Liker-ship on Facebook. Instead it’s about maximizing each Facebook post such that it reaches as many of your Facebook fans as possible.
To define more clearly, Facebook reach is the number of people who see any one of your Facebook posts. Each Facebook user has a news feed, and businesses want their messaging to show up in it. But what shows up and what does not is based upon an algorithm Facebook uses called EdgeRank.
The details of how EdgeRank works are largely proprietary. However, at a basic level, the algorithm is based on affinity, content weight, and timeliness. Affinity is engagement, meaning how often your fans Like or share a post or comment or click on it. Content weight is a system by which affinity is given priority such that comments on a post are more valuable than Likes or shares. Timeliness is all about the “here and now” such that the likelihood of a post showing up in a person’s news feed decreases as time goes by.
Here are five ways to improve your chances with this algorithm and make your posts be seen much more often than they already are.
1. Content Is King
Too many businesses go for the hard sell, posting only about products or services. The goal on Facebook should be to write posts and share content that people want to read or watch. It’s really as simple as that.
But it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be selling.
Write articles online positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert in your field that are also useful to your audience. Link to those. Create videos for YouTube, and link to those. Find viral, even off-topic content and share it. The more any one of these types of posts get seen, the better your EdgeRank becomes, and the higher your odds of being seen on Facebook.
2. Facebook Is an Art, Not a Science
While content is king, creating and phrasing messages on Facebook is art. Ask questions. Do “fill in the blank” posts encouraging your Likers to respond with a comment. Anything that encourages positive interaction will help your EdgeRank.
However, consider this: Less is more. Keep your posts under two sentences, and don’t fret over proper sentence structure. For example, a link to a video with a post that reads, “This. Is. Incredible.” might be more likely to get watched.
Remember, causing the end-user to click on your Facebook content is as valuable as a comment and even more so than a like or a share. Their action increases the likelihood of your post being seen by others and future posts being seen by all.
3. Measure What you Manage
Develop a weekly schedule for posting, and plan your posts in advance when you can, leaving some wiggle room for hyper-timely posts on current events or viral topics. As an administrator of a Facebook page, you will be able to see just how many people saw that post.
After a few weeks, analyze each post according to content — status update, photo, link to article or video. Analyze each post by time of day posted, and according to phrasing — plain status update versus a question. Also, document each post for the number of likes, shares and comments — or lack thereof.
Figure out which posts are most successful for your page and then emulate them over and over.
4. Master Facebook Insights
For any time period you so choose, Facebook allows you to measure reach through its Insights dashboard. First, you can get a breakdown of reach by gender, age, and even location. Insights shows you how different types of posts — organic versus viral — perform and even categorizes that data by frequency. Facebook Insights offers a report on Facebook page views and referrers back to your page, such as from Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Facebook’s Insights dashboard should be a daily visit for web marketers. Frequent analysis of this data will help you to spot trends, and those trends will help you create better content and capitalize on improving your EdgeRank. This data is very powerful.
In much the same way that web marketers are expected to encourage engagement with posts on Facebook, they should also engage themselves. Comment on your own posts and encourage your friends to do so. In addition, use Facebook not as yourself — your personal account— but as your business and then comment, Like and share other content across Facebook pertinent to your field of expertise.
The lesson here is to become a Facebook user, as your business, too. At a very basic level, doing so allows your Facebook page’s name to be seen on other Facebook pages, increasing the chance for new likes, reciprocal activity on your Facebook page and better reach for future posts overall.