You’re probably using Facebook to market your business already. And you should be – it’s the world’s largest social media site with more than a 1.7 billion active monthly users.
With numbers like that, you might think it’d be easy to reach your audience on Facebook…
But the opposite is actually true. Facebook’s ever-evolving algorithms are making it harder than ever before to increase your organic reach, and that poses a serious challenge for local businesses who want to get the biggest possible ROI for their Facebook activity.
Does that mean you should give up?
Absolutely not! What it does mean, though, is that you’ve got to know some tricks to help you maximize your Facebook reach so your content doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle.
Create Shareable Content
This first tip might seem completely obvious, but a surprising number of local businesses miss it. Dry, boring content that offers no value to your users isn’t going to get shared.
By contrast, when you post interesting, fun, entertaining, and informative content that offers real value, it will get shared. In fact, it might get shared a lot.
To understand what qualifies as shareable content, let’s first talk about what doesn’t qualify. Hard sales pitches? Not shareable. Dry facts and statistics? Boring, and likely to die on the vine.
What does get shared?
- Engaging blog posts that offer significant value and entertainment rolled into one.
- Striking images – pictures are the most-shared content on Facebook.
- Videos – they’re the second most popular form of content. And don’t forget Facebook Live as an option!
- Infographics that make digesting large amounts of data interesting and fun.
You get the idea. Create content that’s worth sharing, and it will be shared. It’s just that simple.
Remember that Engagement is a Two-Way Street
So your followers are engaging with your content… but are you engaging back?
Social media engagement is a two-way street. That’s why they call it social. As a business owner, your job is to make sure that the people who engage with your content – whether they like, share, or comment – know that you appreciate it.
How can you do that? Well, you can start by replying to comments in a timely manner. The people who follow businesses on Facebook want to know that their patronage is appreciated. A quick “Thank you” or a reply can go a long way when it comes to communicating your gratitude.
Likewise, when people share your content, navigate to their page and click “Like” or leave a comment thanking them. It’s polite – and it’s also smart, because it shows the person posting (and all of their followers) that you take a personal interest in your fans.
An added benefit to this kind of engagement is that it boosts your post’s visibility. The more activity there is on a post, the more likely it is that it will stay visible in your followers’ feeds for hours after you post it.
Build Organic Reach Prior to Boosting
Boosting a post on Facebook is an effective way of broadening your reach – but you have to do it the right way. Content that’s already popular is more likely to deliver the ROI you want.
Instead of boosting a post as soon as you share it, wait a while. See if people engage with it – and then make a decision about boosting it. That way, you won’t waste money boosting something that’s dead in the water…
And you’ll also benefit from the Bandwagon Effect because people who see your post once it’s boosted will know that it’s already popular.
If a post doesn’t get the engagement you want, you might want to try reposting it before giving up on it entirely. And don’t forget that you can drive traffic to your posts using other means, such as emailing your list, linking to it on your blog, or even sending a text message to your mobile customers.
Boost Your Most Popular Content
Even professional marketers miss the boat with their content sometimes, and you probably will too. That’s okay – because you’re going to make the most of the content that does connect by boosting it.
Boosting Facebook posts can help you reach a new audience. You have the option of sharing a post with your followers and their contacts, or you can use Facebook’s demographic and psychographic targeting to reach a new audience of people who are likely to be in the market for what you’re selling.
The key to boosting is to verify the popularity of a piece of content first – as we just mentioned – and then put your money behind it by boosting it. Think of the initial post as a form of market testing that you use to determine whether a post is worth boosting.
After you boost a post, keep an eye on its reach and you can use that information to determine whether to extend the boost. If a post is getting a ton of engagement in the form of comments and shares, then it’s probably a good use of your money to keep it going.
Track Your Stats
Tracking your stats on Facebook is essential if you want to maximize your reach. Your stats can tell you:
- Which forms of content are most likely to grab your followers’ attention
- What times of day are best to post
- Which content gets the most shares
- Which content generates the most traffic to your website
All of this information represents data you can use to reevaluate your Facebook strategy going forward. Instead of throwing good money after bad, you can make more of the content that your followers want to see.
Facebook reach can be a slippery thing…
But if you take the time to create great content, engage your followers, and be strategic about boosting posts, you can maximize your reach without blowing through your social advertising budget. Organic reach isn’t as easy as it used to be, but you do have some control over how and when your followers see your content.