Extend Your Reach

You’ve worked to craft the perfect message with clear language and just the right tone to best communicate with your audience. You include a strong image and helpful links. Now you’re ready to send your message out into the world.

But how do you make sure your message is reaching as many people as possible?

Improving organic — or non-paid — reach is a constant challenge for digital marketers. The effort can be especially difficult on Facebook, where changing algorithms and an expanding number of competing messages can make it difficult for any individual message to stand out.

As a result, organic reach fell by 52% in 2016 and has continued to drop. The average organic reach dipped from 5.4% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2018. Another study of 43 million Facebook business pages found Facebook page engagements dropped by 50%.

Part of the reason for the decline is Facebook’s changing algorithms for determining who sees which messages. When announcing a change in January 2018, Facebook officials said the social media channel prioritizes content shared over Facebook Messenger, content that is liked or commented on, content that receives multiple replies, and “meaningful interactions” between users.

Following are 10 recommendations that can help increase your organic reach on Facebook.

Ask your followers to turn on notifications. Your followers won’t see all of your messages unless they adjust their settings. Show them how to set up their news feed to ensure they see all you have to say.

Include a call to action that encourages people to engage with your posts. The call to action could be a question designed to encourage comments or a request for readers to share experiences that relate to your topic. Another option is to share a group of useful links about a topic and ask your followers to share their own tips or experiences.

Create a community. You could make your Facebook page a hub for broader discussions. To help with this effort, try chats, blogs, Q&A’s and other points of interaction to encourage prospects to visit your Facebook page. The goal here is to create a page where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and reading content both from you and from your other fans.

Hold a contest. Caption contests, giveaways and other competitions can generate additional interest to your Facebook page and posts.

Direct people to your Facebook page from other channels. Adding a Facebook “like” button to your homepage, blog posts and other messages can help direct traffic to your Facebook page and posts.

Work with influencers. According to one study, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a social media influencer than an ad or celebrity endorsement. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to find non-celebrity influencers in your industry. You also can look at who’s viewing and commenting on your posts and pages. Reach out to the people who have large numbers of followers and already are interested in your brand. Encourage them to share or comment or otherwise interact with your messages.

Be consistent. Produce reliable, quality content at a regular day and time. If your fans know when you are likely to post your next update, your biggest supporters likely will begin watching for your messages, coming to you if the information doesn’t show up on their news feed.

Vary your posts. This recommendation may seem like a contradiction to the previous suggestion, but it’s not. While you want to post at a consistent date and time, your messages shouldn’t all have the same look and feel. Mix images and video. Change up the kinds of messages you send. It is believed that Facebook prioritizes posts in new formats in the news feed.

Be visual. In one study, more than 60% of marketers reported that visual content is crucial for social media strategy. Facebook posts with images have 2.3 times more engagement than those without images.

Be emotional. Posts that draw emotional reactions tend to receive more attention and traffic. Positive emotions are most common in viral posts, but posts with negative emotions also can go viral, especially when they create a feeling of anticipation or surprise. The top five emotions mostly likely to produce viral content are curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment and uncertainty.