Have you noticed lately that your Facebook Business Page has been receiving fewer likes? Where did all the comments go? Feeling a bit chilly out there? You’re not alone.
Over the past months, Facebook has been slowly limiting the organic reach of brand pages. Back in 2012, Facebook claimed that organic (free) posts from Business Pages reached an average of 16% of their fans’ News Feeds. Now that number is closer to 6%, and still dropping.
This means that out of every 100 followers your brand page has, only six of them will actually see your posts in their News Feed. Soon that number may be close to zero.
Your followers have specifically chosen to “like” your pages, so why are you not able to reach them? The answer is simple: there is just too much content on Facebook. As one blogger put it, “Everyone and their mother (literally) have a Facebook account.” Almost every person, company, brand, association, team, and birthday party has a Facebook page. The News Feed aims to provide users with stories that are of interest and value to them. If every single post from every page and person they’d liked or friended appeared in a user’s News Feed, the sheer amount of content would quickly be overwhelming.
So, how does Facebook decide which fans see your business posts? And how can businesses expand their reach from only 6% of their followers?
Like Google, Facebook uses an algorithm to determine what content is shown to a particular user. Specifically, Facebook decides what brands’ stories appear in a user’s News Feed based on how much the business paid to Boost the post, but also the post’s popularity, the page’s popularity, the content type (photos are better), and if that user’s friends are actively engaging with the post.
In other words, if you want real value for your dollars, you need to post interesting, fresh, and relevant content, and spend money to promote it.
Ready to get started? Begin with great content, and add budget for one Boosted post per week. Make sure to post stories, links, and information that is of interest to your target market – don’t just post about your business. Be sure to answer customer questions and comments promptly and positively to keep users engaged with your page. Facebook is your public, published customer service hotline and businesses should ensure that their pages and appropriately monitored, staffed, and funded.
While Facebook may not be the easy and free communication platform it once was for businesses, it’s still an excellent resource to reach your customers at a personal level. Develop a strategy that includes creative and interesting content, as well as some budget to help promote your efforts, to deal with the decrease in organic reach as best as possible.