On any given day, an average Facebook user could see around 1,500 posts in his or her newsfeed. That’s some heavy competition, especially considering that most of the prime newsfeed real estate is purchased rather than earned. In a social media environment dominated by big budget brands, how can brands with a smaller budget reach their audience organically? While we think it’s necessary to “pay to play” on Facebook if you want to be successful, organic reach is the metric money can’t buy and there’s no truer measure of your ability to successfully connect with your Facebook audience. Here are our tips to inspire engagement and land in people’s newsfeeds even on the days you aren’t paying to boost your posts:
Share visual content.
Visual content is much easier to process than plain text—60,000x easier, in fact. Photos, link previews and videos entice engagement, which helps boost your rank in News Feeds. Need a custom graphic on the fly? Canva is a free online tool that makes whipping up images to share on social a snap. There are tons of templates to choose from, so you can turn your favorite stat or quote into a stunning visual in minutes. If you have the resources to experiment with videos on Facebook, dive in—the water’s warm! Facebook video has become hugely popular in the last year—last fall, Facebook users collectively averaged 1 billion video views on the platform per day.
Link to popular online sources.
Stay relevant in newsfeeds by leveraging the power of a recognizable name and share trending content from sources like BuzzFeed and other popular editorial sites. Take a look at your Audience Insights within Facebook’s Ads Manager to find out what content resonates well with your Facebook audience, and investigate which sources they’re visiting to find that content. Consider setting up a Google Alert or RSS feed for those topics or keywords so you can be among the first to share it on Facebook.
Speak their language.
When Organic Reach is weak at best, you may be inclined to believe you have a content problem. But it’s also a possibility that your audience just doesn’t identify with your writing style. This is when it’s important to remember that overly-promotional posts won’t survive the algorithm. Don’t be afraid to loosen up a bit and be a little more playful with your commentary. Inserting timeless references and relevant pop-culture buzzwords may be just the thing your posts need to gain a little traction with your Facebook community, especially one comprised of Millennials and Gen Z-ers.
Asking a question is a very easy way to spark some conversation within your Facebook community and encourage engagement. We suggest you keep the questions short and sweet—anything too involved will just be ignored. Simple “this or that” questions work really well and prompt quick responses. Bonus: you’ll learn a little more about your audience in the process.
Post at the right time.
A typical user spends about 20 minutes on Facebook each day. That’s a pretty small window of opportunity. The best post time with vary from audience to audience, so your post insights are a good starting off point. Looking at Facebook insights, isolate the time when most of your fans are online and plan to post a little bit in advance of that time. Given that the newsfeed algorithm screens your posts first and delivers ones that rank high in engagement, you’ll want your post to have a little traction by the time most of your audience is online to see it. That means posting before that peak time so you can amass some likes, comments and shares to please the algorithm.
In a nutshell—if you’re not inspiring, you’re expiring.