It’s no secret. Facebook has been under fire for the past few months. And while most people are focused on the advertising platform (and Zuck’s five-hour face-off with Congress), there has been a massive decline in organic (non-paid) reach.
The truth is, it’s not fun posting to your business page’s newsfeed in hopes of reaching your 1,000 fans and only receiving a reach of 50 in return. But are the days of organic (non-paid) reach officially dead? The answer depends upon whom you ask. Savvy marketers are taking steps to counter this drop in unpaid reach while everyone else is left scratching their heads. It comes down to knowing what type of content Facebook wants. If you give Facebook what it’s looking for, it will reward you. Here are just a few tips …
Keep Content on Facebook
If you’re only posting third-party articles or auto-links from your website to your Facebook feed, you’re losing organic reach. While we’re fans of doing this occasionally, it’s not what Facebook wants. Facebook wants you to keep content on Facebook. If you’re objective is to drive traffic to your website, be ready to open your wallet.
Avoid Banned Words
What do the words “Free,” “giveaway,” “comment” and “share” all have in common? They are all words that tend to decrease your reach. There are other ways to communicate to your audience.
Don’t Promote the Competition
Want to really make Facebook mad? Post a link to your LinkedIn publisher post or ask people to follow you on Twitter. Now you’re on Facebook’s bad side.
Be More Personal
Facebook is a great place to humanize your brand, and personal images will almost always outperform business posts. Why? It’s the culture of the network. A great way to rein your audience back in is to get personal.
Limit Text on Images
Facebook has made it clear that posts with more than 20 percent text will see a reduction in reach. So use text that’s clear, concise and most importantly—minimal. Want to test out your image to see if it passes the Facebook sniff test? There’s a link for that.
Stop Using Hashtags
Facebook has the ability to do hashtags, so you should use it right? After all, it will “increase” your reach. Wrong! Your friends don’t communicate with hashtags on Facebook and you shouldn’t either. Facebook sees the use of hashtags as business communication and is likely to reduce your reach because they want businesses that pay.
Embrace Live Video and Stories
Facebook wants you to use live video. They’ve made it super clear that they plan to prioritize live video in their newsfeed. If you have the ability to do so, do it! Also, Facebook stories (the infamous Snapchat rip-off) is a great place to reach more people with little competition. Stories for business pages is still in beta so when you do have it, go for it!
Don’t feel like constantly keeping up with the latest changes to Facebook? Let us run your social media accounts—we’re pretty good at it. Check out our Social Media Automation program for more information.
@StephenBoswell is president of The Oechsli Institute and co-author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the chief operating officer for The Oechsli Institute and co-author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.