10 tips to increase your organic reach on Facebook

First, let's start with the difference between ORGANIC and PAID reach on your social media posts ... 

ORGANIC is any social media activity WITHOUT a paid promotion, using free social media tools to build and engage with an online following. It's a harder slog, but if you put the effort in, you can reap the rewards! 

PAID social refers to anything on social media that is paid for. Ads, boosted or sponsored posts that brands pay a social network to display to audiences beyond (and including) their followers.

Cost-per-click (CPC) is one of the most common methods of charging for this type of promotion.

Paid ads allow you to target people who have not liked your page but have similar interests and/or demographics.

An overview of the pros and cons of organic Facebook marketing vs paid Facebook marketing is in the tables below. Each has its merits, but in the graphic below the tables, is something for you to ponder ...
organic reach vs paid ads on social media

if you pay to get people to like your page, and then you pay to get them to like your posts, are they really your ideal audience?
It's always astounded me how many people book a discovery call or a 1:1 session with me and their first question is "can you help me with my paid ads, I'm not getting any results and I'm throwing a lot of money at my facebook (or google) ads and getting no results" ... hmmmm. My answer is always the same; "Let's see what you're doing with your ORGANIC posts, where your brand message is at, what's happening with your website, and once you are all over that, THEN we can talk about throwing money at paid ads!" And so often, we don't end up spending any money on ads, because when they're consistently nailing their organic posts, and they've nailed their SEO on their website, their engagement and search ranking is rocking it and they're getting great results!!!

BUT paid and organic social strategies can simultaneously engage with and nurture your existing followers while extending the reach of your brand to a broader audience, so for many businesses, a mix of both organic and paid search is a great option. However, I would NEVER suggest JUST paid ads ...

Organic ranking gives a business credibility and evergreen search results.

Paid search provides immediate top-of-the-page listings and greater click-through rates, i.e., sales when consumers are ready to purchase.

It’s time to stop thinking about paid vs. organic search as a battle, not one or the other. I believe that paid campaigns can only work when organic posts are working even harder. Understanding how your customers are looking for solutions online and helping them find your content. 

One of the latest FB algorithm updates was all about prioritising posts that generate "more meaningful interactions”, and more interactions means more organic reach!

Without further ado, here are our 10 tips to increase your facebook ORGANIC reach (so you only need to spend those advertising dollars when it's something BIG and important!)

  1. Mix up your posts with a variety of different post types; video, still images, a few images in the one post, text without images ... at the moment linking to your website (link posts) should be in the comments BUT this could change, as everything does, so be wary of linking elsewhere in your posts.
  2. Sharing content on FB, is usually via link posts. FB doesn't want you to leave their platform, so they check out the quality of your links and move your link posts higher or lower in users' Newsfeeds based on that quality. One of the main signals of link quality is how long users spend on the linked page before returning to Facebook—the longer the better - but they do want you to return!!!! What they want you to do is have your audience click on the link and then engage with the post afterwards. If more people engage after seeing the linked content, that’s a signal they liked it or at least found it interesting. Crikey - this bit's hard!
  3. LIVE LIVE LIVE. FB is loving the live content because it's unique, unplanned, off-the-cuff, organic, and it can be watched later on! When people start watching your live, more often than not, they stay there until the end. Ask people to comment, and ask questions, get people interacting.
  4. Great looking graphics is a must! It's essential to stand out in an ever-increasingly NOISY newsfeed! Making your posts visually appealing, on-brand, and with a clear message or call to action is vital. Don't just preach to people. Ask them to engage with you!
  5. Avoid "engagement bait" because it's spammy and it's nasty! FB defines "engagement bait" as “spammy posts on Facebook that goad users into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions.” Avoid these kinds of posts for easy engagement and reach, because your whole page will have its reach limited as a punishment once the FB algorithm realises this is the game you're playing.
  6. It's all about engagement! Last year’s FB algorithm change means that engagement now has more impact on reach than reach has on engagement, which means that FB will show your posts to more people if they inspire and encourage users to interact with each other. In particular, content that gets people talking in the comments section will see a major boost to organic reach. How do you do this? Ask questions! Ask for opinions! Of course WHO your audience is and HOW they interact is paramount here, but when you ask your followers how they feel about something and when you invite them to share their feelings or opinions on a topic, you're encouraging engagement, facilitating shared conversations, and not only is this cool in real-life, it's cool on social too.
  7. Appeal to your followers’ feelings and emotions because the more strongly people feel about your content, the more likely they are to react, share, or comment on it. This little youtube clip which was made in a morning, cost $150 (approx) and has almost 2000 comments on Youtube, another 2000 on FB, and went absolutely viral (and still is!) at 17k shares on FB alone! It's a brilliant example of making viewers feel something .... Mashable wrote, "the most moving Christmas advert we've seen all year has been released and it has the most lovely message behind it: BUY LOCAL." 

    8. Create content with captions and headlines that inspire curiosity and pique your follower's interest. In the body of the content, add some cool stuff like twists, fascinating facts, and surprises to keep people’s attention.
    9. Study your FB analytics to know when your followers are online - look at your peak days and times:
    • Go to Page Insights
    • Go to Posts section
    Post when your followers are hanging out on FB to increase the chance of your content showing up first in their newsfeed. BUT keep in mind that posting at peak times also means you’ve got stiffer competition because more people will be posting at those times! My recommendation is (and I do this with Instagram too) is publish your engaging content just before your peak traffic time so that you’re the first to have your content out when people check out their FB feed. 

    best times to post on facebook business page insights
    9. Get your followers going crazy with a contest or giveaway! Follow the FB rules, team up with other businesses to make it an even bigger prize pack and reach even more people, make sure the prize is relevant to your brand because you only want to be attracting new followers and entrants who are interested in your offerings! Facebook states that Business Pages may run contests, BUT you can’t require users to share the contest on their Timeline or their friends’ Timelines in order to participate. Pages also can’t ask users to tag their friends in the contest post or ask for a specific reaction as a condition for entry. Look up the latest rules before you go ahead and make a contest or giveaway, and have fun with it!
    10. Ask your friends, family and staff/colleagues to get busy sharing and commenting on your posts, as soon as they've gone live, preferably. This is a tricky one - but it's super important! This graphic I made is shareable - right click and save it so you can re-post it. It's a goodie, and it helps your friends THINK in ways they perhaps hadn't before!
    get your friends to engage with your social media posts to increase reach

    Unless you TELL your friends, family members, new employees what it is you need and want from them with regards to your social media presence, and unless you encourage them to follow and interact with your social accounts, they don't know that's what you need! Be open with them, ask them for help. They're not mind readers!

    I have so much more to say on the topic of organic engagement, but I'll leave that for another blog post, or a webinar, or some more social posts ... and I'll leave you with this one fact; FB posts with images get 2.3 times MORE ENGAGEMENT as those without images, and posts that get more engagement get them more reach! Great graphics and engaging content is so important, so get creative and get posting!

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