April 9, 2015

The laws of Facebook state that within hours of writing this post, at least two of these tips will be outdated  Here’s the thing, I never write posts dedicated to boosting Facebook organic reach, because, quite frankly, the “rules” change so often. And, I stubbornly refute the practices of “gaming” the Facebook algorithm. That being said, I have been asked so many times how businesses can boost their organic reach on Facebook. So, I’m giving you my ten best tips for increasing reach.

I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful and find creative ways to incorporate them into your Facebook strategy. But please understand that these are not secrets. These are not some quick fix tools that will catapult your reach overnight. And some of these may not even work for you or help your organic reach.

But, if you try, experiment, and follow through with consistent actions, you can see an increase in your organic reach.

And, because all too often people preach tips and tricks but don’t actually have any proof to validate what they’re saying, I want to show you my latest Facebook stats. Now, these aren’t my best, and they obviously aren’t my worst. But as you can see, I do get decent organic reach on a regular basis. Not just a one week phenomenon. Not because I had one really good, juicy post. But because I consistently to many of the things I’m going to list here.

Achieving consistent organic reach takes more than just one “trick” and more than just consistent posting. It takes a well-crafted strategy centered around your audience.

With that in mind, here are my ten tips to increase your Facebook organic reach.

Post Directly to Facebook

Facebook likes Facebook. They don’t like Twitter. They don’t like WordPress. They don’t like anyone, really. Except themselves. So if you share something from another platform into your Facebook page post, Facebook will “punish” you with a reduced reach.

If you see something you like on another platform, save the link or the image or the content and create a brand new post in Facebook. Craft your own post message and share the information directly. If you want to be really nice, you can h/t (hat tip) to the original source, giving due credit even without the direct share.

Schedule Directly to Facebook

This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip. If you like to schedule your content to your Facebook page, do not use a third party scheduling tool (Hootsuite, Buffer, WordPress, etc.). These scheduled posts get significantly less reach than posts scheduled within Facebook.

Instead, use the native scheduling tool built into the Facebook page posts. There’s a little arrow next to the “Post” button which allows you to choose to schedule your posts.

Use this. All the time.

I know, it takes more time and effort on your behalf, but it’s honestly worth the extra effort.

For all of my blog posts, rather than pushing out the post directly from WordPress, I manually schedule the post announcements in Facebook. And it pays off! I used to see an average reach of about 30-60 people when using the WP scheduler, but this post had an organic reach of 305 people. I also included a tag of another page in the post (see that tip below) which may have helped to further boost the reach.

Use Native Facebook Videos

Chances are you’ve heard that video is kinda a big thing these days. It’s what everyone is talking about. And if you haven’t noticed, go look at your personal Facebook feed. How many videos do you see?

I was actually really annoyed the other day when I logged onto Facebook and ALL of the first 8 posts were videos! Seriously. And I don’t like videos (I know, I said it!). And I don’t engage with videos. But Facebook is busy shoving them down my Facebook throat.

So, yes, you should use videos if you want to increase your reach.

But not just any videos. No, videos that you upload directly to Facebook. Sharing a YouTube or Vimeo or Vine or other link will not increase your reach. In fact, it’ll probably reduce the reach.

As I’ve mentioned in the last two points, Facebook wants to promote their own content. So take your videos and upload them directly into the Facebook post for maximum results.

Know What Your Audience Engages With

Some audiences love photos. Some love videos. Some love text. Knowing what your audience likes and engages with will allow you to craft more content that they will enjoy.

Go into your Facebook page Insights to view your old posts and see which types of posts generate the most reach (and engagement – cuz it’s not always just about reach  ). If a certain type of post is performing significantly more favorably for you, then include more of this content in your posting strategy.

BUT, don’t get too caught up on one type of content! Make sure you continue to mix in other varieties to cater to all of your audience. And, Facebook still likes to see variety of posts in determining your quality of content.

Post Shareable Content

You know how you get the most reach? You get your content shared. Over and over and over. While it’s not “easy” to get your average content shared multiple times, the more it does get shared, the more Facebook deems it quality content.

So make sure that you are posting content that your audience cares enough about to want to share with their friends and fans.

This can be anything of value: breaking news, tips, resources, free benefits, educational content, and so many other things. Know what your audience likes to share, and include that in your posting content strategy.

When I saw this announcement that there were stock photos based on the new Vince Vaughn movie, I died. It was awesome. As I said in the post, not just because of the photos but because of the marketing strategy behind promoting the movie this way. But anyways, this was highly shareable content that my audience shared numerous times, leading to an organic reach on this post of 1522 people.

Share Other Pages’ Posts

To be honest, this practice can totally work or have very little effect. It really seems to be arbitrary in its results. But it can be beneficial.

When you see content from another page that you think is valuable to your audience, SHARE it directly from the other page to your page. Understand that this (currently) can’t be scheduled so it’ll post immediately to your page.

But, in theory, when you share another page’s post, you’re indicating to Facebook that this is valuable content and it should be shown to your audience. Which “should” boost your reach for that post.

Here’s an example of a post I shared from Social Media Examiner (now, granted, it’s a video…) but it garnered a reach of 356 people on my page – at least double to triple my “normal” reach.

Tag Other Pages

If you share an article from another source or want to reference someone (or a company) in your post update, don’t just write out their name. Instead, use the @ mention feature to tag their business page in the post. This makes their name a clickable link to their Facebook business page.

Again, Facebook likes Facebook. And if you’re mentioning other Facebook pages or otherwise promoting Facebook, you will likely see better reach in your post.

In this post, I mention Mari Smith and link to her Facebook business page in doing so. Now, this is also an update about Facebook, so that may have helped with the reach  But this post reached 517 people on my page.

Post More

I know this sounds crazy. And if you’re already posting 5 or 6 times a day, you can probably skip this tip. But in all reality, there is so much noise out there and there are so many other pages and people competing for your audience’s attention.

Posting once a day, once a week, or randomly when it’s convenient, just isn’t going to get you the reach you want. The more you post, the more chances you have of more of your audience seeing your content. The more they see it, the more they like it, the more they engage…. and in the world of Facebook (and the circular trap that it is), the more reach you continue to get.

Posting “more” for you may mean upping your strategy to once a day, or twice a day, or 3 or 4 or 5 times a day. It’ll depend on what you’re doing now. You obviously don’t need to go from once a week to 4 times a day starting next week. But work on consistently increasing your posts and see how it impacts your reach.

Know Your Ideal Posting Times

If you’re going to share “more” make sure you’re hitting the best times. If your audience has multiple peak times for Facebook activity (you can find this in your Facebook Insights), then ensure that some of your posts are scheduled at or before this time frame.

Yes, most of your audience won’t see your content when it actually posts. They’ll see it hours later. So if your ideal post time is 9:00 am, try posting around 7:00 or 8:00 am to increase exposure and be more likely to reach the bulk of your audience when they’re on Facebook at 9:00.

But… just because you have one or two or three ideal posting times, don’t think that those are the only times to post. If everyone else is posting around those same time frames and your content is competing for exposure, your posts may not receive as much reach. This is why it can be beneficial to post at off-peak times. In all honesty, I occasionally schedule posts at 2:00 am – and they often see really good reach!

So, play around and experiment with your posting times to find out what works best for you.

Invite Engagement

The more people engage with your post, the more Facebook will show it to more people. It’s their theory of the quality of the content. So, if you can invite people to engage, you can increase that post reach.

But inviting people to engage isn’t as easy as saying “like this”. In fact, saying anything along the lines of “like this post”, “share this post”, “comment below”, or other instructional type comments can drop your reach since Facebook thinks you’re being spammy. So you have to get creative!

Ask questions. Ask for advice. Share a story or anecdote. Find fun ways to actually engage and interact with your audience. And, no, this doesn’t mean asking random questions like “what are your weekend plans?” Most of your audience may not want to share this information with you and all your other fans. So don’t get too personal – for them. But don’t be afraid to get a little more personal for yourself. The more you share of you, the more people connect with you, the more they will interact and engage with your posts.

 

Each of these tips on their own can definitely help to boost your Facebook organic reach. But, if you really want to see additional success, try combining a couple of these tips into one.

As you saw from a couple of my examples, I actually incorporated two or three tips into one post – and reach went up significantly. So get creative. Not to game the system. But to ensure that your quality content can reach as many people as possible!

And I have to end on a note of authenticity. You can read countless posts that will talk about tricky ways to get more reach (yes, I’ve read them too) but these don’t really work. Yes, they may work today. But Facebook will get smart to the tricks and change the game tomorrow. And then you have to redo your entire spammy strategy to try to stay competitive.

In all honesty, yes, I use the tactics I mentioned above.

But what I really do is quite simple:

I post. Consistently. Content that I know my audience wants to see. And I stay true to who I am as a brand and a person.

In all reality, this is always the best advice I can give. When you try to sound like someone else, or copy what another page is doing, or try tricks and games, it just doesn’t work because it’s not YOU. And your audience wants YOU. When you give them what they want, they engage. When they engage, you get more reach. When you get more reach, you get more opportunity to connect with your audience to reach your goals with social media – whether this be opt-ins, conversions, sales, or brand awareness, or something else.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Excellent advice, Jenn, and very in line with a post I wrote last week that was aimed at authors on the verge of giving up their FB pages because of the latest algorithm changes. Gaining and maintaining organic reach really isn’t — and doesn’t need to be — difficult or even time consuming. It just takes a bit of thought and creativity…which is what authors are supposed to be good at in the first place. 😉 Just so your other readers know, by using the strategies you’ve outlined above, I’m consistently hitting 35-45 percent organic reach on my page…so yes, it’s definitely worth the effort!

    1. Thanks Linda! And that’s awesome that you’re achieving such great reach on a regular basis – proof that it can be done 🙂

  2. Jenn, my Facebook page is still pretty new, so most of my Likes are people I know but very few of them are seeing my posts. If I share my post to my personal page I get a lot more reach. Is that okay to do?

    Also, when you say not to post from outside sources, does that include Instagram, since Facebook now owns Instagram? I seem to get as much and sometimes more reach when I share from Instagram than when I post the photo directly to Facebook.

    Thanks! I will be bookmarking this article!

    1. Hi Sandie! Congrats on your new Facebook page. I know it can be hard to start fresh and get much traction with a business page and I sympathize with you.
      As for your question about sharing it to your personal profile, in general, I don’t advise sharing to your personal profile regularly. Two reasons – one, if most of the people are on both, you don’t want to bombard them, but also, most of your “Friends” on your profile are looking for your personal posts, not so much your page or business posts. And if they get annoyed, they may start hiding your posts to avoid seeing them – which is not going to help you at all in the long run. Secondly, and I preach this for multiple platforms too, if you’re sharing the same things to more than one place all the time, you’re not giving people any reason to follow you or engage on one page. For example, if they’re always seeing your content on your profile, they aren’t going to look for it or engage with it on your page, which in the cyclical trap of the FB algorithm means your page content will be displayed even less. You can share to your profile on occasion and encourage people to come see what you’re doing on your page, but try to get them over to your page.
      And yes, in general, your personal posts (or those shared to your personal profile) will get more reach. But, it’s a catch-22 of a strategy. And as your page audience grows, you want the attention and presence to be there, not somewhere else.
      If you ever want more help with this or help strategizing for Facebook, email me at [email protected] and we can discuss this further.
      And, yes, Instagram is probably the ONE exception regarding sharing from other sites, because FB owns them. These posts will generally get more reach when shared from IG rather than posting the image directly.

      1. Thank you, Jenn, for your thoughtful reply. Very good advice. I think I have only done it when the post was a bit more personal in nature that I thought they would like to see even if they’re not interested in my business, but I will use caution. I did want to make sure I wasn’t doing anything against any rules. And that is good news about Instagram! Nobody seems to talk about that but it does make sense.

        1. My pleasure, Sandie. And, yes, the occasional cross-promotion to your personal profile when the context is more personal in nature is totally ok! You’re not violating anything and it sounds like you’re doing it in a good strategic way 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for all these tips, Jenn. Your blog and advice is what I keep coming back to, time and time again. Most of the advice and tactics I see in the “grow your email list by X%!!!” style just really rubs me (and others I’ve talked to) the wrong way and it *does* come off as fake. I appreciate your down-to-earth style. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Dakota! I’m glad that my posts resonate with you and, most importantly, help you 🙂

  4. Excellent and dead on! 😉

    You can still boost your reach organically for sure and Facebook LOVES Facebook. I find that videos get the best reach for my clients these days as well as inspiration posts (depending on the business).

    You REALLY have to know your audience that is first and foremost!!!

    Thanks Jenn for letting us know you still have a little love for FB. LOL!

    Hugs,
    Amanda

    1. Thanks Amanda 🙂 It is hard to love FB all the time, or most of the time, but we really do need to commit time and effort to our audiences there. And, as you said, KNOW them and what they want in order to see results.

    1. lol – I get that sometimes, Kass! 😉 I think it’s something we all struggle with so it’s always on our minds but I’m so glad it came at the right time for you!

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