Chances are you know how I feel about Facebook reach. In fact, you probably have the same feelings. There’s been endless talk lately about algorithms and a pay-to-play structure. Hypotheses abound about what works each week and we’ve all driven ourselves crazy trying to get our posts in front of more people. So, when my Facebook post reached over 10,000 people last week, I about fell out of my chair.
Let me give you some quick background. I have a fairly active Facebook page with great fans. Just prior to this magical post, I surpassed the 1000 fan milestone. My average reach on any given post ranges from 50 – 300 people. But most of the time it seems to hover around 100 or so.
So, as I mentioned, I hit the 1000 fan milestone on Facebook and I wanted to reward my fans. I decided to give away free downloads to my new ebook, “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Instagram,” for one day. I did some minor promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the day leading up to the promo day.
On the morning of the promo day I shared this post:
This post was shared to my business page only. I pinned it to the top of my page. I did not boost the post nor use a promoted post. I literally left and went to work and didn’t check in again until a couple hours after the post went live.
By the afternoon, the post had reached 7000 people and had surpassed 10,000 people by dinner. The post was shared over 50 times.
This is WAY more than any other post I’ve seen shared from my page. Here is a screen shot of the actual analytics from the night the post was shared on Facebook.
Having never had a post on my page reach anywhere near this many people, I had to dig in and find out why this one did.
Disclaimer: This post is not going to talk about the ratio of clicks, likes, comments, and shares to the overall reach. I am only talking about the aspect of overall reach. I talk plenty about these other aspects in other posts.
Here’s my conclusion as to how I reached over 10,000 people on one Facebook post:
Give Something Away for Free
It sounds stupid, even to me, but it works. People like getting things for free. In all reality, the full price of the book is $3.49 – not exactly a bank-breaking cost. But the word “Free” gets people motivated like nothing else.
I understand, you can’t constantly give things away for free just to get more views. I’ve never offered something for free prior to this post. It’s not practical. But the strategy seems to work. So find things you can give away for free. Convert a few of your blog posts into a whitepaper or short ebook. Offer a free consultation. Find things you can give away for free but that don’t actually cost you anything – and may bring big rewards in the long run!
Make It Exclusive
I made sure that it was obvious that this book was only free on this one day. This motivated people to act. It encouraged people to share it on their pages and with their friends.
Had I just said, “hey, I’ve got a free ebook,” the reach likely wouldn’t have been as high. Give people a reason to act immediately to your posts. Whether it’s a limited time offer, a one-time promotion, a clearance item, or other time-sensitive situation, include this information in your posts.
Make It Valuable
Instagram is obviously a hot topic right now. People are starting out on the platform or at least considering it. A free book that tells them everything they need to get started is therefore valuable to them. And they knew other people would find it valuable so they shared it to their pages too.