How to increase your Facebook reach

How to increase your Facebook reach

Why are your Facebook likes getting less and less

Have you noticed your reach on Facebook is getting less and less?

You are coming up with what you think are fabulously creative posts and yet still there the comments and likes are so intermittent as to be non-existent?

Well, here is the reason why.

Firstly, one of the simplest reasons may be the huge increase in the number of people using the platform.  This means that you are now trying to gain attention from a far larger pot than you were a couple of years ago.  More and pages are being created on a daily basis so you really need to make sure that you know who your ideal client is and post things that are going to captivate your audience.

But the other reason that has cropped up relatively recently is that Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of people and the overwhelming response was that they didn’t want to see so much promotional content.  They wanted to see interesting posts.

Facebook is rewarding quality, not quantity

Therefore, Facebook decided to reward those that created quality content that their audience really wanted to hear about rather than the constant promotions and gimmicks that are so frequently posted.

Facebook is less and less likely to show overly promotional posts that use calls to action and push for sales, to enter competitions etc.

Facebook will seek out those posts that gain interactions such as likes, shares and comments which show they are quality, relevant posts and they will help these posts to reach a wider audience.

Overall, the Facebook algorithm is rewarding those pages who post less and focus on quality rather than those which post numerous times each day that is not of much interest to the audience.

Too many people trying to widen their reach when it drops by posting more often (up to 10 times per day), but this is simply going to work against you.

To increase your reach, you need to make sure you write your posts for what your target audience wants to hear and read.  Stop trying to sell so much and concentrate more on giving value and starting to build trust and relationships.

You can still promote your business of course but use your language carefully.

Rather than saying ‘click the link to buy’ try something along the lines of ‘there is something amazing awaiting you on the other side – go check it out’.  Do you see the difference?

A few other tips include:

Schedule posts from Facebook rather than a third party software

Some people believe that third party apps, such as scheduling posts from HootSuite, Buffer or similar, will affect reach.

I have tried to get conclusive answers to this but there is so much conflicting information out there.  If your reach is significantly dropping and you use third party apps, it may be worth trialing using Facebook’s own scheduler for a while and seeing if it makes any difference.  (Do let me know the results in the comments box).

Upload videos directly to Facebook, not via YouTube links

There is numerous research that Facebook favour videos that are uploaded directly to its site rather than via links from YouTube.  According to a study by Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal, they discovered that on average, native videos reach 2.04 times more people, receive 2.38 times more likes, 2.67 times more shares, and 7.43 times more comments.

Quite simply, Facebook does not like anything that drives traffic away from its site to an external source.  Therefore, any post taking the audience away will simply get less reach.

Don’t overuse links to your website.

Leading on from the point above, Facebook wants to keep people on its site, not to take people away to other platforms.  I have seen a few people using a new trick to try and get over this were rather than putting the external link in their main post, they create the post and tell people to look in the comments below for where to go for further information.  They then simply put the link as a comment below.

Aim to gain interaction.

Facebook will increase reach to those posts that get likes, comments and even the amount of time someone spends viewing the post.

So how you can encourage this?

People like to feel good, laugh, know the latest gossip and news and be shocked!  Think how you can use this in your posts.  Use motivational posts, let them in on something funny that has happened in your day, give them the latest hot off the press news.  These can be the type of posts that will gain likes, comments, and shares.  Ask simple but fun questions!

 

Now for a disclaimer.  At the time of writing, I believe my research and findings to be correct.  But good old Facebook can change its rules and algorithms at any moment so test what works for you best and keep an eye what others are doing that are getting the interaction you so desperately want.

Happy posting.

P.S.  Want a little help getting a post like?  Pop the link in the comments below and I will pop over and take a look and if it’s a good one, may just leave you a like and a comment😊

The pitfalls of social media automation – Part 2

The pitfalls of social media automation – Part 2

As with any marketing, it needs to constantly reviewed, tried and tested and I tried to do that with my newsletter.  And what a mistake I made!  I tried to set up an RSS feed so that blog posts went out automatically to my subscribers and it failed miserably.  It was a mess.

Social media automation that can do more harm than good

And it taught me a valuable lesson in trying to automate too much.  This lesson reminded me of the article I wrote on ‘The pitfalls of social media automation’ and the damaging effect it can have on your audience.

thumbs downWhich brings me on to another area of automation that many small businesses do.  The setting up of automated responses when you follow someone on Twitter.  Do you hate these?  I most certainly do.  It is so obvious that they are automated and are so impersonal and sometimes can border on being offensive.  Take the instance of a restaurant that I visit on a regular basis.  I followed them and was chatting with the owner on Twitter when suddenly I received a direct message asking me if I ever visited North Devon and if I had ever visited the restaurant!

 
This had such a negative impact.  For a start, just a simple bit of investigation would reveal I was from North Devon.  But for a regular client who spends a lot of money with that business, if I wasn’t online with the owner and could tell him what had just happened, I would have been insulted to be messaged in such a way that made my custom feel wholly insignificant.

This is also the danger when outsourcing your social media to companies who don’t know your clientèle and don’t bother to do a few checks and balances before posting.  So beware of too much social media automation or using a marketing company to do everything for you.  There are some organisations who do get it right and do a great job for their clients.  But there are also those that send out a bog standard message on behalf of all their clients and therefore if you follow more than one of their clients you get the same mundane message over and over again.

Thumbs up!A refreshing moment in marketing

So it was very refreshing today that after I had tweeted about a certain subject, I received an email. The business who had read my tweet had taken the time to look at my bio, get my email address and then send me some really good and useful information. They didn’t try to sell to me but just started to build a relationship.

I replied and said thank you and then we got chatting. Yes, this personal approach takes far more time but I can guarantee you it will be far more effective in getting you loyal clients in the long term.

So beware before you think about social media automation for your business.  Make sure you know what you are doing and still retain the personal touch.

Anyway, back to the drawing board for me and more manual labour!!

What are your thoughts on social media automation?  Leave your comments in the box below.

The pitfalls of social media automation

The pitfalls of social media automation

Social media automation

There are so many tools out there today that can save us time and make scheduling social media posts so much easier.  But are they always effective?

I have always used Buffer on the free programme that only allowed me to schedule up to 10 posts at any one time.  Last week I decided to try Hootsuite as with this software you can schedule as many posts as you like.  I sat and scheduled a variety of posts for the next week.  I then sat back and gave myself a pat on the back and felt more relaxed that I didn’t need to blog into Buffer every day to keep it topped up.

But what happened?

The reach on my posts dropped from 500+ to less than 50.  The interactions on my posts dried up.  But why?

I stopped and thought about this as it couldn’t possibly be the fault of Hootsuite.  I must have done something differently.

And then it hit me.

With scheduling just a few posts at a time, I was taking more time with each and injecting a bit more of my personality into each.  Scheduling up to 50 at a time made me lose my enthusiasm and I just posted the bare bones, facts and links.  Quite frankly, they were boring!

So whilst using social media automation and having the ability to post weeks in advance can save a daily check, be careful that you don’t fall into the trap that I did and they all start to become over automated and somewhat mundane.

People buy people first and without your own comments and injection of personality you are in danger of turning into just another faceless site.

So be careful folks.  If you are going to schedule lots of posts at once, do it when your energy levels are high and you have enough interesting comments to make.  And remember that any industry news you schedule may well be out of date by the time your post appears.

I will most certainly use Hootsuite again when I am going to be away for a few days or on holiday for a week or so, but personally I am going to stick to Buffer for day to day posts where I can give something fresh to my posts each day.

Finally, please make sure that if you do automate for periods in advance that you still check in each day to your social media channels to respond to any interaction on your page.  There is nothing worse than putting in all the hard work for someone to ask you a question and they then get ignored.  This has happened to me when I asked a question of a business and I never got a response.  I ended up unfollowing the business in question as I felt they couldn’t be bothered to get back to me and so didn’t want my custom.  What a waste of their effort and time.

What works for you?  What social media automation do you use?  Let me know over on the Facebook page.