“Facebook Sucks”-Stop It Already
I have seen an increase in the number of complaints regarding the drop in reach of posts made on Facebook pages. I have even noticed other inbound marketing companies joining the chorus of complaints. For this post I am going to address those complaints and their legitimacy, and offer some ideas on how to increase your reach.
Yes Facebook is trying to make money. Facebook went public and now answers to shareholders who want to make money. It’s simple economics, make money or die. Yes your page has less reach than before, partially because that’s what Facebook users wanted. Facebook recently ran a few studies and one of the findings was that users on Facebook would like to see less from businesses and more from their friends. They also said they want to see content that engages them. Let me say that again..content that engages them.
The simple truth, some pages just spew sales pitch after sales pitch and the Facebook population has grown tired of it. Other pages use like baiting and other less than scrupulous methods to get people to engage. Facebook heard the users loud and clear, they don’t want this type of content to be seen in their news feed.
If you want to complain, moan and groan about your page reach being down then blame your followers and your peers. In fact blame yourself because you did not prepare your inbound marketing business for inevitable changes. You did not keep up with the market. When Google changes their algorithm do you just sit back and take it, or do you adjust?
Now grow up, put on your big boy pants and make a few changes.
Get Your Facebook Reach Back
I keep up with the Facebook and the planned changes. I wrote a blog post not too long ago about the page overhaul that is coming, a change that will undoubtedly lead to many complaints. Most have not seen the new page first hand yet but I am ready for it. Are you?
Because I keep up with these planned changes I knew that Facebook was planning to change their algorithm, and I knew what it would take to keep my reach up. Now I am not suggesting that everything I post has an amazing reach. I don’t always attain the reach I want, but if there is a particular post I want to do very well I know what I have to do. Here is a list of things that will help you improve your reach:
- Experiment-Probably the most important thing I can tell you is to experiment. Most inbound marketers (including myself for a while) will tell you to post at a specific time of day to maximize reach. The fact is you have to experiment. For a lot of businesses it is best to post early morning, post lunch and late afternoon but that may not work for you. There are some businesses that have their best reach posting late night or early morning, possibly because there is less noise on Facebook at those times. Some pages do well on weekends, and others do not. Experiment, find your best time to post, and your best content type.
- Use Images and/or Video-Facebook wants pages to use less text or more media. Their research has shown that users prefer to see less in the way of words and more in images and video. On my page video and photos do very well. Incidentally the Facebook research also shows that users prefer more text from other users. Food for thought.
- Use Hashtags-Hashtags are relevant on Facebook now. People use them to search for content. But don’t over do it. Hashtags should flow naturally within the context of your post. For example, when I share this on Facebook it would look something like Stop Complaining About Facebook #Reach. Using irrelevant hashtags or hashtags that are a mile long will not help at all. Keep them simple, make sure they fit your content and make them relevant.
- Be Relevant-Posting content that is not timely and appropriate will surely impact your reach. What’s the point of posting content that makes no sense? Even if it works initially you will not get any conversions out of it, so why bother.
- Share Using Your Personal Profile-Whenever I have a post that I am looking to reach as many people as possible with I share it to my personal profile. This works extremely well for a couple of reasons. First of all I don’t share every post this way. Sharing every post will turn people off and accomplish the opposite of what you hoped for. Second you increase your reach exponentially by sharing it to your personal profile (assuming you have friends). Remember it’s not only your friends who see your post, but potentially their friends as well.
- Recycle Evergreen Content-Evergreen content is content you shared a while ago but is still relevant. For my page I sometimes recycle content that I shared in my pages infancy because it will reach people it didn’t when I first launched the page. For you it could be content that performed well months or even years ago, and is still relevant. If it worked before it will likely work again.
- Don’t share the same content repeatedly-Sharing the same post repeatedly with a short span of time will turn people off. Just don’t do it, it looks spammy and you will probably lose followers because of it.
- Don’t Close-The 80/20 rule-This isn’t the sales floor of an electronics super warehouse. The ABC rule (Always Be Closing) does not work on Facebook, or social media in general. As a general rule I may post a sales pitch 1 out of 5 times. Facebook should really be an extension of your website, and should ultimately get people back to your website.
- Use the Power Editor-The Power Editor has many additional features for posting to Facebook pages including Call To Action Buttons, Extra Content, Custom Display URLs and Ad Targeting. I use the Power Editor almost exclusively at this point. I am a Hootsuite Partner but don’t use it to post to my page anymore. Why wouldn’t I use extra features that are free?
Stop Complaining and Start Winning at Facebook
Facebook should be an extension of your site. We all know you are not likely to seal the deal with a lead on the first visit. It is estimated that a potential client needs to interact with you 7 times before making the decision to work with you. Using Facebook to target and re-target leads just makes sense. If you simply use Facebook as a platform to sell, sell, sell you will lose, lose, lose. Frustrated page owners need to take a look in the mirror and decide who is really to blame for their decreased page reach.
When I posted this to Facebook I used 2 of the steps above. Here is a video showing you the results.