Businesses – Make 5 changes now to reduce your organic reach decline on Facebook.
You will have noticed your organic post reach has been steadily declining since 2014. The latest Facebook changes being rolled out over the coming weeks will only exacerbate this. It’s a worrying time for small businesses who rely on post interactions to get their message out and connect with their customers.
So what are the changes?
The way in which the newsfeed works is changing – big time. In 2014 it became algorithm based and started to show posts it thought you were most likely to be interested with. This meant you started to see less of posts from friends, family and pages you didn’t interact with, even if you enjoyed seeing the content. It will also be easier for users to see why they are seeing your post and chose to snooze or unfollow you.
This isn’t changing but now, the user is given 3 choices of which posts they want to see first in their newsfeed:
- Favourites First: Add up to 30 people and pages as favourites so their posts will appear at the top of the newsfeed.
- Chronological order: see the most recent posts first (as it was in 2014).
- Algorithmically Ranked: Facebook ranks posts and shows you what it thinks you will be most interested in first based on your previous interactions.
There are 5 things you can do to limit the impact of these changes but you need to start acting on them now:
- Talk to your customers.
If your engagement rate on your posts is low, your post will be ranked poorly and shown less often. Ask your customers to add your page to their favourites. Reach out personally and tell them it will really help your business and that you wouldn’t want them to miss out on content they would be interested in. Ask friends and family to interact with your posts whether it’s a comment or a share. If your engagement rate on your posts is low, your post will be ranked poorly and shown less often.
- Get Shown On Page Suggestions
Now this is exciting! Page suggestions are coming, similar to the current group suggestions you see in your feed. This is a great way to reach new audiences organically. To feature in page suggestions you must:
– Post Consistently. Whether it’s once a day, once a week or once a month – make it consistent
– Include Keywords. Use words that are relevant to your location or business in your posts. Facebook will scan posts for keywords and suggest your page to people who have interacted with other posts of a similar nature.
– Include Hashtags. Yes it’s not just Instagram anymore where hashtags are a way to reach people. Facebook is adopting this too BUT use these sparingly. Tests have shown that overuse actually reduces the chances of your post being shown in search results. The optimum number of hashtags on Facebook is just 1-2.
Anymore and you reduce your reach by up to a quarter for every 4 additional hashtags. Don’t include them mid sentence either, this makes the post difficult to read and generally annoys people – stick them at the end.
Include trending topics in your posts and use popular hashtags such as Motivation Monday or Throw Back Thursday.
Include your location as a hashtag. People often search for “in (location”) so this is a great way to be featured in search results.
- Be Original
Facebook is deprioritising posts that come from multiple sources i.e. the posts people copy and paste. It is also ranking poorly repeated posts so don’t be tempted to repost historical content.
- Stop Asking For Engagement
Pages using engagement based posts even occasionally i.e. posts that ask people to like, copy & share will lose organic reach for ALL of their posts.
There are a few other changes being rolled out alongside this change that are really positive for businesses. We’ll cover these separately.
- Choose The Best Time To Post
You can check out your Page Insights on your Facebook page to find the best time to post for optimum engagement but generally it’s Monday to Wednesday lunchtimes.
Start implementing these 5 changes TODAY and you will minimise the effect of the changes and MAXIMISE the possibility of increasing your organic reach.