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How to Get Value From Organic Facebook Activity

Written by Cat | 05-May-2016 14:55:00

Our clients frequently ask us how make the most of their posts on Social Media. You might have asked yourself a similar question over the last year or two having observed a decline in engagement on your own community or business Facebook page. Symptoms may include:

  • A drop in likes, comments and shares from current followers
  • A drop in referral traffic from Facebook to your site
  • An overall drop in new page likes

What’s happened?

Facebook now show less for free. They
first announced the change in June 2014, explaining that the number of people you could reach by simply posting to your page would soon decrease –understandably many of you were unhappy about it.

Facebook said that there were two reasons for the change – firstly with an increase of users and pages the competition to appear on someone’s News Feed has increased. As a result there is now also a greater need to make content more relevant.

In April last year they followed up with an
algorithm change which aimed to balance content from friends and pages. Facebook found that people prefer to see updates from their friends, over brands. In order to increase engagement, the new algorithm ensured that only the most relevant and high quality stories appear in a user’s News Feed.

Now there are also moves to suggest that you could also experience a drop in referral traffic from Facebook to your site. Facebook is trying to keep users in its ecosystem so will push Instant Articles over traditional links, prioritising content that keeps the user in-app.

Overall, there are now more challenges to overcome to benefit from Organic reach and for brands without a Paid budget behind them this can be a daunting prospect.

We’ve put together these helpful tips to help you reach your followers in an increasingly competitive environment.

1. Quality, not quantity

Facebook have experienced an increase in users (domestic and business) which means that the importance of the content of each post has increased. Quality and valuable content is
key.

Think more carefully about producing high quality content. Not every update you post on Facebook should sell; Facebook is designed around interest not intent. You should look to produce content that either makes people think or produces an emotional response. Focus your content to entertain, inspire or educate.

For more tailored relevancy you could also try organic post targeting. It’s been around since 2012 and allows you to serve posts to relevant customers based on factors such as gender, age and location.

Also remember that you can’t win everyone with images. Whilst visual content remains popular on Facebook, the unnecessary use of photos leads to zero engagement.

2. Links

Whilst Facebook is trying to keep users within its ecosystem, there is still a way to utilise this useful referral channel, but it’s worth knowing how Facebook treat links.

When including a link within a post, ask yourself how relevant the link is to the post or the picture. What is the URL and is it relevant to the text in the post, and the text on the landing page?

Facebook measure the quality of your links. They’ll look at how frequently people who have visited a link choose to like the original post – did people enjoy the link enough to come back and like it?

And don’t resort to clickbait. We’ve seen brands try to skirt this issue, by simply inserting the link into the comments section and including chevrons in the main post to click below. Chevrons look like spam; Facebook are quick to spot when they’re being manipulated, and will punish you for it.

3. Turn on notifications

To re-engage your existing following you can request your existing audience turn on notifications for new posts. Within your community or business page, users can access the dropdown options and select ‘See First’. This will ensure your posts always land in their News Feed. Engage them with a simple call-to-action like this –
‘Make sure you see exciting updates from equimedia first by following these simple steps…’

4. Testing

We always recommend that our clients test different methods to see what works best for their followers. Testing should be repeated at least every 3 months, to stay ahead of any new changes.

Test your posting frequency. Our clients often ask us if there are a optimum number of posts per week. The answer is no, there isn’t one. The perfect number differs from industry to industry, but really you should learn from your followers. And, failing that, less is often more. Data shows that you are more likely to reach more fans with one post a day than 10. Remember the friends vs businesses rule; try posting 2-3 times a day for a week or two and see how it goes.

Timing is important. Some brands find that posting at non peak hours works best because there is less noise to cut through. Have you tried posting when your competitors are asleep (not literally because your users will be too)? Track the timing of your posts and measure what receives the most engagement.

Test posting-formats. If you want to maintain a high frequency of posts you are more likely to succeed if you maintain a greater variety of post formats. Vary the content of your posts to stop them looking repetitious and you should be able to engage different people with different formats. Try mixing in new types of posts and make sure your messages aren’t always focusing on selling; you could comment on industry issues and share fun content that reflect your brand values too.

We hope these tips can help resolve your social media problems. There is no easy fix and you should also never consider the problem solved – it’s always important to refresh your approach to stay ahead. Following these simple steps should see you heading in the right direction – good luck!