Over the past year, Facebook has been rolling out algorithm updates that have resulted in decreased visibility for business’s organic page posts – in March, it looked like organic reach on Facebook was rapidly approaching zero.
So how do you beat the odds? In my article today, I'll cover 12 tactics to beat the Facebook algorithm and help you get your fan engagement back!
1. Share Great Content
The old adage remains true - (quality) content is king. (Sorry about the cliché, Elisa.) If you post awesome content, your chances of being liked and shared increases, boosting your presence in Facebook news feeds. Many of Facebook’s algorithm tweaks are aimed at weeding out what Facebook deems “low quality content,” like memes. For greater reach, opt instead for quality content from news sites. It’s a bit bourgeois for Facebook to assume CNN articles are always classy and memes are always pond scum, but we don’t get much choice in how Facebook adjusts its algorithm. My suggestion? Ramp up on your own original high-quality content with e-books, blog posts, white papers, etc.
2. Use Facebook Ads
With organic reach down, now is the perfect time to experiment with Facebook advertising. Facebook has revamped their ad system to be easier than ever to use. Paid Facebook ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed, seamlessly blending with organic posts while boasting better reach. They've also introduced a new ad relevance score (basically Quality Score for Facebook.) Give them a shot and see how they perform. Facebook ads are perfect for companies operating in competitive creative industries like craft marketing.
3. Extend to Other Social Networks
Integrate your Facebook marketing with other social networks – post pins, tweet, etc. Facebook has become crowded, with organic space steadily shrinking. There’s tons of competition and it’s easy for your content to get buried in users’ news feeds. Explore greener pastures by delving into newer social media hubs like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google+. Don’t let Facebook be your crutch.
4. Time to Get Personal
Personal account posts tend to show up more in news feeds than business page posts, so why not take advantage of your staff members? Most of them probably use Facebook, so get them liking and sharing your company content. All is fair in the Facebook wars.
5. Import Your Contacts
If you have a big email list, you can import your contacts (up to 5k names at a time) and invite them to join your Facebook page. A higher number of Facebook friends means that your content will reach more people, despite lower organic visibility percentages. The more the merrier.
6. Post More Often
Increase your chances of appearing in news feeds simply by posting more. Get the odds in your favor! Posting 4-6 times a day increases the likelihood that one of those posts will get a bite.
7. Share Exclusive Content
Make your Facebook posts count by sharing exclusive content users won’t find anywhere else. Publicize flash sales, special discounts, contests, etc.
8. Pay Attention to Analytics
Since organic Facebook marketing has become significantly more difficult, it’s time to start paying careful attention to your analytics. You don’t need anything too fancy – Facebook’s own analytics can show you which posts perform better than others. See what kind of content drives the most engagement with your followers. Do they respond to videos? Which articles do they click on? What topics get them excited? Look for trends and then replicate for success.
9. Go Multimedia
Don’t rely solely on text posts. Image and video posts perform exceedingly better than text posts. Share YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, and Instagram pics on Facebook.
With Facebook’s buyout of Instagram, it wouldn't be ridiculous to think that maybe Facebook is giving preference to Instagram pics over other pieces of content. Nothing official on this of course, but it doesn’t hurt to amp up the Insta-posts just in case.
10. Leverage User Generated Content
If you’re not making much of a splash on Facebook these days, at least make the attention you do get worthwhile. Take advantage of Facebook as a source of user generated content by hosting photo contests, video contests, etc. You may not get as many entries as you would have in Facebook’s glory days, but the user generated content you do get is golden. User generated content can be repurposed and used elsewhere in blog posts, testimonials, and other marketing materials.
Some very cool UGC from Starbucks
11. Engage with FB Fans
Drive fan engagement by asking questions and encouraging fan response. Try caption contests, fill in the banks, and other posts that drive user interaction. In return, it’s your job to follow suit by responding to their questions and comments and interacting with fans whenever possible.
Visa responds to even the most mundane comments from Facebook users
12. Give Your Page a Makeover
Make the most of the fans that interact with your Facebook page by using a powerful cover image. Try using the Facebook cover photo as a call to action.
13. Reach Out to Other Community Managers
Firstly, a disclaimer – this last workaround might be considered "gray hat," but it can work very well if handled correctly. To boost exposure for your business pages, reach out to and forge relationships with one or two other community managers in similar industries and agree to like each other's content. Alternatively, if you're not comfortable doing that, ask your employees to like one update per week – the increased post engagement will improve post visibility.