Let’s say your business Facebook page has 600 likes. You worked hard for those likes, and every follower is genuine and loyal to your brand. They’re all interested in what you have to say. Preferably, your Facebook post reach should naturally get up to 600.
But you update your status, and only sixteen people see it.
Facebook has become a much more difficult place to advertise for small businesses. General post reach plummeted in the summer of 2014 when Facebook changed its algorithm, and the new rules can be difficult to understand and cater to.
Many business owners complain that this update is just a greedy attempt by Facebook to make more money, seeing as paying to “boost” your post is a surefire way to get it seen by all your followers. Facebook, on the other hand, would argue that it is all in the name of providing a more relevant and customized news feed for each unique user. The platform no longer provides a cut-and-dry, real-time feed of posts; stories must be prioritized and ordered to best suit every reader. As much as it hurts, Facebook may not consider your small business post to be much of a priority for your individual customers.
So what can you do? You can always throw money at every post, but it’s important to understand why your “organic reach” (the reach that hasn’t been paid for) is so low. Here are some of the top factors that may be affecting your Facebook post reach.
Your Posts Aren’t Original Content
A Facebook content strategy can (and should) involve a wide array of content types – pretty much any and all materials that could be interesting to your audience demographics. This will often include content that has been curated and “re-posted” from other sites. While this content can be important to your strategy, you may notice that these posts generally have a lower reach than others.
Make it a priority to produce original content as a part of your strategy. Your onsite blog will be your most handy tool for this effort. Facebook has been proven to like posts that share original content, so any and all articles/guides/content of interest that you publish on your website should absolutely be shared via your Facebook page. Over time, consistently sharing original content will build up your page’s reputation and slowly increase your organic reach.
You’re Posting Too Many Photos
This is where the rules can get confusing. Photos most definitely fit under the “original content” category, especially if you’re sharing photos of products, people, and recent events that are relevant to your business and your audience. But, for some reason, Facebook doesn’t want you to share them too often.
This could be because they view photos as “less valuable,” or certainly less useful than an in-depth blog article would be. It also could be because of the spammy nature of many other photo-sharing pages. This post explores the issue a little bit further, but whatever the reason keep in mind that your photo posts may not see as much success as you’d like, and should therefore be limited.
You’re Posting Too Much in General
With so much competition from all the other pages your customer follows, it makes sense that posting more often would cut through the content deluge and reach your intended audience. But in this situation, even Facebook believes in quality over quantity of information. Though it’s been drilled in your head to utilize your business social media profiles to the brink of exhaustion, there actually is a limit to how much you should post.
The standard is two times per day for seven days a week, but every business is different. Website Rocket can help you determine your best posting frequency, and keep you on track with daily reminders. No matter how often you’re posting, make sure you’re not bombarding your followers with useless content. Even two posts a day can seem like too much if they aren’t offering real substance to users.
Your Posts Aren’t Seeing Consistent Engagement
Perhaps the most important factor to determine how your posts are doing is looking at the cold hard facts: how are they being received? Are the sixteen people that are seeing your post liking it? Sharing it? Are they even clicking on the post? Facebook will show you all these metrics on your business page, and will take them into account when controlling your outreach.
While it might not be a completely perfect measurement, a post with higher engagement usually indicates that it’s more useful than others. Make sure you pay special attention to your posts that happen to get more likes, shares, comments, and click-throughs. This will help you better understand what your audience enjoys, and what you should replicate in the future to slowly build up your Facebook post reach.
You’re Getting Too Much Negative Feedback
Along with those more positive metrics, Facebook also keeps in track of some more negative data. Your users have a few options available to them if they view your post and dislike what they see: they can hide the post from their newsfeed, hide all of your future posts from their newsfeed, report your post as “spam,” and/or unlike your page.
Every time a user takes one of these actions against one of your posts, it counts against you. The more negative feedback you get, the more your post reach will plummet down to a point that can be hard to recover from. It may be impossible to avoid completely, but you can help by refraining from using any inappropriate or offensive images, be careful to avoid spammy language and images, and to keep your posts valuable and useful. This will keep from driving anyone to the extreme of taking these measures against you.
You’re Posting at Inopportune Times
If you’re posting at the same time every day and seeing low reach, it may have a large part to do with your timing. Some businesses believe that posting first thing in the morning is a universal best practice, but this is certainly not always the case. Your audience may have a tendency towards night-owlism, and content posted closer to midnight may have a significantly higher reach.
You can use guides like this to help you determine an ideal time of day to post. Ultimately, though, experimentation will be your best friend in figuring out when your audience is logged on and most engaged. Out of all the hurdles standing in the way of your ideal Facebook post reach, this one could perhaps be the easiest and most worthwhile to overcome.
It’s important to address all these factors to see the most success with your Facebook posts, but it will still take some time to build up your reputation. In the meantime, you will probably want to spend money from your “advertising budget” to get your posts seen. As bitter as it may taste, Facebook remains an important (and quite arguably “necessary”) tool to promote your brand to the public. Just keep the Facebook beast happy, and the sailing will eventually smooth out.