Organic reach and engagement on Facebook has always been a hot topic of discussion amongst marketers – how do you get more reach and engagement for your business? This can be a major pain point, even for the biggest brands on Facebook – with the average reach of an organic post on Facebook hitting an all-time low of 1.2% in 2018, how do you master the Facebook algorithm and create content that reaches a larger audience?
Many now believe that the only way is to put some money behind it, via ad campaigns and boosting posts. But, there are things you can do to increase your engagement WITHOUT putting money in for ads.
Here are some of my tried-and-tested tips to improve your business’s organic reach on Facebook:
1. Facebook Groups
The best way to build a community around your service/product.
Facebook changed it’s algorithm in recent times to encourage more meaningful social interactions on the platform. To further this, Facebook is putting focus on the Facebook Groups feature. If you are part of some groups, you may have noticed a shift in what you see on your feed – more posts from groups, less from pages.
Now is the time to start a Facebook Group and build a community around your service or product*. If you’re not sure of starting your own group, you should at least be a part of preexisting Facebook Groups where your potential clients are likely to be hanging out, especially now that you are able to join Facebook Groups as a Business Page. Facebook groups naturally have a lot of engagement – people tend to ask questions, seek help, have like-minded conversations and so on. If your brand can become a part of these conversations, you will raise the profile of your business and make it known to this audience. All for free, pretty cool right?
* As of May 2019, Facebook is bringing even more changes to make groups front and centre. Soon you will be able to target your Facebook Group in paid ad campaigns – this is a game changer for those who have groups with high numbers of very engaged audiences.
2. Facebook Live
The most engaging form of video on Facebook.
Another channel that has a high engagement rate is Facebook Live. Not a lot of brands or small businesses out there are using Facebook Live effectively, so you have a chance to jump on it and make it work for you. The key is to use engaging, thought-provoking Facebook Lives that kick start real-time conversation with your audience. You can make them adhoc or even schedule them ahead of time.
With such an easy, engaging way to interact with your audience, for free, why are you not already using Facebook Live?
3. Switch up your Post Types
Don’t let your content or your type of content go stale.
Be open to testing all the different format options to evoke Facebook engagement and improve organic reach. Image vs text only vs video vs offers etc, there’s many to choose from. A good rule of thumb is to make sure its eye-catching and calls user attention.
If there’s a new format introduced by Facebook, jump on it quick. These new formats are often prioritised by Facebook in terms of reach. For most brands, videos are a great choice of post format and are promoted in terms of reach by Facebook vs a static post. If you don’t fancy yourself much of a video editor, you can always turn static graphics into gifs, for example using new features from Canva.
4. Quality of content and the best time to post
We all know that good content has wings and takes off all on its own, but you’ll need to also keep a strong watch on the time of scheduling your post. Facebook Insights is a great starting point to determine the best days and time to target your content to reach a wider audience. It’s important to post at peak times when most of your followers are available online!
Feel free to test these different times, you never know what might work for you. For some businesses, very early morning (to catch people scrolling in bed) or the ‘slump’ hours at work (3-5pm) work really well!
5. A giveaway contest always works!
The single best way to improve reach on Facebook and increase Facebook engagement is to start a contest or sweepstakes. Everyone loves free stuff! If you can, put a bit of money behind it in an ad, its not necessary but will give it a huge boost.
Giveaways are a great way of narrowing your audience and generating leads – the only people who are going to take the time to like/share your post and submit their information will be people interested in your service or product, right? Don’t think of what you’re giving away… think of all the people you’re going to be able to follow up with with OTO (one-time-only) offers and draw into your business!
To summarise, the best thing you can do is; create good content, be consistent, use all relevant post formats, be experimentative, plan and schedule posts.
Do you have more ideas to share? Let me know your tried and tested ideas to increase Facebook engagement in the comments below. We’d love to hear it!
David is the Co-Founder of DM Media Solutions. He is an experienced Social Media Marketer & Web Designer with a demonstrated history of working with small businesses, franchises and nonprofits. He specialises in Performance Based Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Management.
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