Facebook is the 3rd most visited site in the world. It dwarfs Twitter and LinkedIn as far as social media, and the average time on site is almost 5 minutes more per session than Google. This is from .
Every modern marketer and small business owner wants to leverage this situation for a positive impact on their bottom line. However, anyone that has been paying attention over the last few years has seen Facebook’s organic exposure algorithm swing out of favor with publishers and businesses.
Here’s the deal:
As time goes on, Facebook is making it so less of your content gets seen by your own fans unless an ad budget is involved. As a result, the results are dropping and dropping fast for some.
Here’s some good news:
There are a handful of expert strategies agencies have started using to get their content seen by the maximum amount of people with little to no budget. Avoid the cost of promoting or boosting every post and continue to get engagement to supplement your Facebook ads.
Will these strategies bring back the 2010 version of Facebook’s exposure algorithm? They won’t, but anyone taking Facebook seriously should incorporate these tips today.
Stop buying Facebook Fans for Traffic Purposes
Before covering the more actionable of tips here, let it be known that buying Likes on your page is not a good use of your budget anymore. Hasn’t been for some time.
The biggest “pro” for buying Facebook fans was that you were building an audience and if you were consistently posting, it was worth investing in those people.
This aspect of investing in fans is becoming more and more obsolete. It’s not entirely dead, but what side of history do you want to be on? Those days are over.
Now, is there any value in buying fans?
There is still one reason to buy some fans.
If you’re just starting out, it can really hinder your online presence to have next to no fans on your business page just from a public perception standpoint.
In the interest of not being a total extremist, getting your page to a respectable level of fans is still valuable for the sake of looking like a legitimate business. In fact, if you’re a new business or don’t have much of an online presence in your market, this article by Young Upstarts has several tips on and look established on a budget.
So if you’re going to buy fans, don’t buy too many. The best way to know how many fans to buy is to find 3 competitors in the same or a similar sized market, and take the average. Most local businesses are only going to be in the low 1000’s so we’re not talking about a major investment to “join the club” so to speak.
Lastly, this includes the option you have on your Facebook ads to include the Like button to anyone seeing your ad that hasn’t become a fan. Don’t waste clicks on this, you want that attention going towards engagement or clicks straight to your site.
This goes hand in hand with the next strategy.
Understand the Top Ad and Post Formats for Exposure
Think about what Facebook wants. They want to connect people and spread the most relevant or interesting content so that people want to keep coming back to Facebook to get updates.
Not only is that staggering, but a solid sign that Facebook wants users to login early and often to get that relevant content. The social network giant knows what kind of posts generate the most interest, and what is the most worthy of user’s newsfeeds.
Here are the top performing formats in terms of exposure, both paid and unpaid:
- Live Stream (which is video)
Facebook and Instagram have both been campaigning on TV and streaming services like Sling during 2017 promoting Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. They are all in on video.
What’s the takeaway?
Your posts need to include video as much as possible. Some brands have begun putting their still image content into videos that just don’t have any animation so that the format is technically be a video and their content reaches the most people as possible.
Strategic use of posting format will increase your exposure, but ultimately it comes down to the content.
Utilize Contests to “Trick” Facebook’s Perception of You
Facebook will show videos to more of your audience organically because it knows that videos drive more engagement. Another, more obvious point here, Facebook will show a post to more people organically if it already has high engagement. Shocker.
Yet most marketers and small business owners are crushing their own chance to be seen organically.
When you post 5 times in a week, and your business is getting an average of 2 likes per post with no comments or shares, you are telling Facebook that no one cares about your content. Well, if you’re a small business or you’re trying to get people interested in life insurance from your page, this can be a difficult problem to solve if you just keep posting about life insurance. This goes for any industry.
Here’s the solution:
Mix in one post per week that is designed solely for engagement. Not website traffic, not email opt-ins, just comments, likes, and shares.
You need to tell Facebook that what you have is valuable so that later when you do post, it shows it to more people organically.
The best way to do this is with a contest. If you’re marketing your brand then it’s ok to offer tickets to an event and have people comment with who they will bring and the post doesn’t have to do much of anything with business. It’s about getting the comment box filled up and having Facebook want to put it in everyone’s feed related to the post and your business page.
Boosting one post a week to keep Facebook thinking you have great content will only naturally increase your brand awareness, but even from the “fun” posts you will still generate interest in your website from sheer volume.
This strategy only works if your “business” posts are also engaging, or else you’re better off just running regular Facebook ads 100% of the time. If you feel as though you’re constantly looking for fresh content to repurpose or make your next video to drive traffic to the site, you can always with a tool like Unvendor.
Now your future (hopefully video) posts are being shown organically to more of your audience and on a regular basis.
About the Author: Unvendor is on a mission to make marketers and small business owners successful without overpriced vendors. The Unvendor dashboard is perfect for help with listings, social media, and online reputation.