Let’s get the bad news out the way first: it’s getting more and more difficult for small businesses to appear in their target customers’ Facebook feeds purely through organic reach. The competition is just too great and quality content is everywhere. So what’s the good news? The good news is that there are a few simple tricks you can use to make it onto your target market timeline. Social media expert Ruth Schöllhammer explains …
Content posted and shared daily on Facebook is on the increase. But with endless posts competing for users’ attention, Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm is getting increasingly radical in its content selection, picking out only a few hundred of the most interesting and relevant stories to display. The result for small businesses: the probability of reaching your target market purely through organic reach has never been so low.
The key to greater visibility on social media remains to produce content that the audience is genuinely interested in – content is king, and you can only catch a fish if it likes the bait! It’s a mantra which cannot be repeated often enough. Listen to your readers, find out what they’re interested in, what they like, what they need and give your fans and followers what they want. Inform, entertain and interact.
Tip 1 – Use Facebook insights for relevant content
You can find out a great deal about your target audience and the content they like by using Facebook Insights. And if you’ve not used this analysis tool before, then it’s high time you got started! Facebook Insights provides all sorts of information about likes, reach, visits, posts, users and much more. Whenever one of your fans likes, shares or comments, the Facebook algorithm “learns” that your content is “likeable and easy to share” – which has a direct positive effect on your organic reach. The Facebook share button has a similar effect so you should make sure it’s well placed above, below or near website content
Tip 2 – Use live streams!
When it comes to video search, Facebook Live is second only to YouTube. Indeed, Facebook Live was one of the few social media live streaming platforms to experience growth in recent months – in contrast to YouTube, Snapchat & co. So if you haven’t yet integrated live streaming into your online marketing strategy, start giving some thought to how you could present your content in a live video format. Facebook Live has the particular advantage of boosting your organic reach since fans and followers receive a notification when you go live.
Tip 3 – Recycle classic content
Every business has its content classics – popular blog posts, how-to articles, live hacks, FAQs, recommendation lists, customer reviews or practical tips. Try updating this content from time to time, adding a new intro or framing content differently. This allows you to re-use content as much as you like and also gives users a chance to see posts which they may have missed the first time around! Use your top crowd-pleasers to reach new audiences while simultaneously boosting traffic and interaction. By providing your fan and followers with regular, valuable content, you build a reputation as an expert in the field. Ideally, you want your Facebook page to be the primary port of call for users looking for information on your particular subject.
Tip 4 – Use Facebook targeting
You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that it’s possible to actively target precise target groups on Facebook. But you’ll find that, by tailoring your content carefully to specific user needs, interaction rates will increase significantly. Facebook provides a range of parameters to tailor your content according age, gender, location, level of education, language, interest and line of work. This increases the chances that users who see your content will also like, share or comment, because they are likely to be genuinely interested in it. Facebook explains how to get started: https://www.facebook.com/help/352402648173466
Tip 5 – Perfect timing
There are all sorts of theories surrounding the optimal time to post on Facebook. Some believe it’s best to post at peak times when the most users are online whereas others insist that the opposite is more effective, posting at quieter times when there’s less competition. As is often case, it’s best to let facts rather gut feelings do the talking. Facebook Insights can tell you exactly when the most effective time is for your posts. A recommended strategy is to find out the times when most of your fans and followers are online, and then find out when your competitors’ followers are less active. Use this analysis tool to help you: http://www.fanpagekarma.com/.
Tip 6 – Don’t just use social media – live it!
Social media = community and interaction. It’s not just a motto; it’s a philosophy. Your audience are not just numbers; they are real people. And people speak to each other, not to brands. Make sure that your business has a human face. What does this mean exactly? When someone leaves a comment, respond! And respond personally! Formulate your responses in a genuine way so that your fans and followers can tell that they’re dealing with real people behind the brand. You can emphasize this by sharing short clips or pieces of content from behind the scenes – everyday life in the office, the story of the company’s foundation, the development of products, or even introducing colleagues! The options are endless – just avoid pure, soulless marketing. On social media, this makes your business more accessible, more engaging and more interesting for potential customers. When users feel like their comments are read and responded to quickly, then they’ll be much more likely to comments, share and like your posts, which in turn will boost your organic reach.