Have you seen your Facebook and Instagram organic reach drop? Here’s what you should do.
Facebook (and Instagram) have recently rolled out updates to their content algorithm which prioritises family and friends content over promotional content. This means that if you run a Facebook business page, your organic reach will likely drop down to roughly 1-2% of your followers but this doesn’t have to mean the end of free organic reach.
What you should avoid posting
Your organic reach could potentially drop to 0% if you continue posting promotional content, so how can you avoid this?
Call to actions
If most of your posts include a call to action such as Buy Now or Download Here and links to an external site this will mark your post as promotional. Facebook will look for action words, too many of these will have a negative impact on your post reach. So, what should you do instead? Advertise your products and services but use natural language, if a potential client wants more information they will be able to find it, you don’t need strong call to actions in every post.
You’ve probably seen a lot of these all over Facebook, a business will ask people to like and share a post to potentially win a free prize. Not only is this against Facebook's terms of service, but it is now also logged as spam. Facebook will pick up on the language used in your post and the comments that people will usually post saying ” Liked and Shared”. If you get caught posting these types of posts, your organic reach could drop which will have the opposite effect of what you want.
Posting too many external links (links that take users away from Facebook) will also be logged as too promotional. Of course, you want to drive users to your website but the best way to do that is to create natural content that makes users want to find out more if they want to find out more they will find your website themselves.
What you should do
So what can you do to achieve maximum organic reach? Facebook wants to show users relevant and natural content so you need to write posts that users want to see.
You should try and encourage natural interaction by asking questions, asking for opinions and reviews. A good way of doing this is by user polls, give two options where users can vote by reacting. There are a couple of services available for this such as http://poll-app.com and https://livereactionspoll.com.
You could also ask for reviews of a product, start a conversation and ask for feedback. This encourages people to leave comments and this will help increase your organic reach.
Post video or Image content
In order of priority the types of post that generate the most engagement are:
- Facebook Live
Video content has huge potential and almost always generates engagement such as likes and reactions, the more likes and reactions you get, the higher your organic reach will be. It’s best to post the video directly to Facebook too, don’t post to Youtube and embed.
Use images that create emotion, such as pictures of happy or sad children, pictures of stress or anger in adults. Pictures like this will grab people's attention and create an emotion in them that will leave them wanting to know more.
Colour coordinate your posts
Facebook is primarily white and blue, so stand out with the colours of your posts. High contrast colours include red, orange and yellow. These posts will stand out against the calm blue background of Facebook and grab any users attention.
What about boosting posts?
Facebook offers the options to “boost” a post, this means paying a fee to get your post in front of more of your followers. This used to give results but not anymore. The targeting is too broad and your ad will be shown to anyone, including people who have no interest in your business. Most businesses spend between £1 - £10 a day boosting their posts, it seems like a good option but really you won’t get much of a return on your money spent.
Facebook ad and behavioural targeting
Instead, you should consider posting an ad. When you post an ad you can set up specific user targeting, even targeting people based on their online behaviour. This is called behavioural targeting. With an ad, you can target people who are specifically interested in your business and the services you provide. By targeting people who are interested, you are more likely to get engagements and a return on your investment.
Behaviour targeting options
If you try and target your ad by behavioural targeting your options are:
- Operation System Used
- Canvas Gaming
- Console Gamers
- Event Creators
- FB Payments
- Facebook Page Admins
- Internet Browser Used
- Operating System Used
- Photo Uploaders
- Primary email domain
- Small business owners
- Technology early adopters
- Technology late adopters
Some of these can be extremely powerful, such as Facebook Page Admins. Facebook users who are Facebook page admins are likely to be people who own small businesses, groups, events and communities. If you are marketing to business owners, this is perfect for targeting your ad.
If you are marketing a brand new technology product, target people who are grouped as Technology early adopters. Or maybe you're trying to target other marketers, these people are like to be categorised as FB Payments. Think about it, these people have already spent money online promoting their services on Facebook, they are more likely to spend more money online when they see something they like. Promoting an iPhone app? Don’t waste money advertising to Android users, target people by the technology they use to browse Facebook.
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Facebooks latest algorithm updates don’t have to mean the end of free Facebook marketing. Create natural and engaging content that users will want to comment on, like and share and your organic reach could grow beyond the standard 1-2%. Post too much promotional content and your reach could drop to 0%, don’t risk it. Facebook is a great marketing tool and although it is now Pay to Play, you can still get great results organically.