Facebook claims to have over 40 million pages of small businesses on its platform. While it does offer a plethora of advertising solutions for them to fit literally any kind of budget, one can not undermine the value of organic growth and reach. Given the shoe-string budgets, SMEs and individuals like you and me cannot afford to burn a ton of cash on running ads and promotions every single day.
Here are some tips on how you can boost the organic reach of your Facebook Page:
1. Publish timeless content more often:
When you publish evergreen content on your page, as against posts targeted to specific occasions and trends, your audience engages with it for longer periods of time. Facebook algorithm ensures that the posts generating good engagement are distributed even further by placing them on the feeds of the users for longer.
Here are some examples of timeless posts that you can create depending on the type of your page:
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2. Post during off-peak hours as well:
The best time to post on Facebook is literally the most researched topic in the social media universe. There are so many theories around this, that if you try and read each one of them, you’ll end up being more confused than what you started with. My suggestion is to not follow any of these theories blindly.
In the Facebook universe, the timings between 6 PM- 8 AM are considered off-peak, indicating that these are the hours when the fewer users are online. Fewer is the key word here – because, given the scale at which Facebook operates, even fewer is a lot. I would, therefore, urge you post in these hours as well. Don’t get me wrong – I am not asking to stop posting in the peak hours. All I am saying is that you should post in non-peak hours as well. Here’s why. Since fewer people are online, very few brands choose to post fresh content in these hours. With less clutter around, the chances of your post appearing on the news-feed are much higher, giving your posts an initial push of good quality engagement.
Two main reasons why this works:
If you have international audience on your page, you reach out to their time-zone as well.
Due to less competition, your post generates higher reach, leading to higher engagement. And like I discussed before, posts with good initial reach and engagement are pushed even further by Facebook’s algorithm. Now, who would want to miss that?
3. Use native Facebook videos:
It’s not breaking news that videos are a highly engaging form of pushing content. Facebook recognized this fact as well, and announced the auto-play feature some time back. Now the video plays silently till the user clicks on it. I’ll do another post on how to use the Facebook Native video feature to the best of your abilities, because that is not the point here. My point here is to see if videos uploaded directly on Facebook work better than videos called from Youtube or any other third party site using a link.
Various researches done on this topic showed us that Facebook videos work much better. Here’s a screen-shot of a study done by Socialbakers, albeit slightly old.
This is happening for multiple reasons; most important being the fact that Facebook’s algorithm is favoring native videos over other videos. Not just by a little, studies have shown that native videos get 2x more reach than 3rd party videos. This should be enough for you to know native videos are the way to go on Facebook.
4. Partner with similar pages:
Page-to-page tie-ups are not new on Facebook. I remember doing that for of my previous work assignments, and noticed that they work well. All you need to do is find out pages that are similar to yours both in terms of the audience they cater to and the size of their follower-base. Once you have identified a list of such pages, draft a quick message saying that you’ll be interested in a “I’ll share your post, you share mine” type of deal. My experience says about 1 in 15 pages will respond to you positively. Some may ask for some money as well. You can take a call in such cases. None-the-less, this strategy works for both of you and allows you to engage in a healthy audience exchange.
5. Seed your content smartly:
Facebook may seem confusing with so many things that it offers. But the primary goal of the platform really is community building. Facebook is a home to millions and millions of communities and groups, and it really takes no monetary effort to make full use of them. ‘Seeding’ is the process of distributing your content to the relevant audience on Facebook by sharing it extensively with these communities and groups.
There are two ways of going about the seeding process:
A. Creating your own group of highly engaged users: This group can be a nice little addition to your Facebook marketing armory. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing this perfectly:
Create a group and clearly lay down the posting rules to be followed. Also, add the USP and the value proposition of the group in the description box. As a good practice, pin your rules post on the top. This way, it will always be the first thing any new member would see.
Invite your engaged audience to become a part of the group.
Start interesting discussions and encourage the members to participate in them actively. Boost engagement by posting good quality content regularly, usually the ones carried from your page. Don’t use the group for pure hard-sell.
The problem with step 1 is that the group-creation is a time-taking and slow process. You may need to carefully engage users, weed out spammers and welcome new members actively. For those of you who do not have such bandwidth, you can always follow step 2.
B. Using the already existing groups: Like I said, Facebook is a home to millions of groups. No matter what your exact audience type is, you will invariably find multiple groups on Facebook where they’re present. Become a member of such groups and notice the activities closely. Try and engage with some of the active members as well. Once you understand the group better, which isn’t a very long process, start sharing relevant posts from your page to these groups. You will see that your posts will automatically perform better than ever, now that you have unleashed a whole new set of audience who are more likely to engage with it due to shared interests.
Following these simple steps will go a long way in increasing your organic reach. Try them and let me know if they worked for you.