One of the funniest things about businesses is that they get upset and surprised when Facebook changes how it works so your posts show up to fewer people when you publish them. You call this “organic reach.” And the reason it’s silly to be surprised that Facebook does this is because it’s a publicly traded company. On its IPO, it traded at $38.23. Then, its price plummeted all the way to $18.06 shortly thereafter.
It sits at $123.30 with a market cap of $351 billion. Don’t ever forget that Facebook is the most targeted advertising platform on the web, and that they need to keep making more money to drive their stock price up. Plus, while a disgruntled segment doesn’t care for it, most Americans do. So it’s hard to see people leaving Facebook in droves anytime soon.
That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised when they make it harder to access your own audience without paying.
But even though it’s harder, it’s not impossible. Start with some tips for maximizing your organic reach in 2016:
When Should You Post?
Facebook marketing expert Jon Loomer did a test to figure this out. Facebook gets used the most from 6 AM – 3 PM, and it gets the least attention from 10 PM – 3 AM.
When do you think he got more engagement?
It turns out he reached more of his audience when posting from 10 PM – 3 AM.
Neil Patel suggests this may be because less stuff clutters users’ feeds. So, the posts were sitting right there in their feed in the morning when they first checked Facebook.
Make sure you test your own posts before deciding on a best time.
Ask Your Audience Questions
The mark of a successful Facebook page is how much active engagement you get with your audience.
What customer doesn’t want to be heard? So…just ask them a question. Make sure the question you ask somehow relates their lives to your company and what you do.
The more responses you get, the more often your post shows up in other users’ news feeds.
Paid Boosting Makes Sense for Posts that Perform Well Organically
In Facebook, you can do what’s called “boosting” a specific post. For an inexpensive, one-time cost, you can pay to show your post to:
- People who already like your page or
- Those people and their friends or
- A targeted audience you choose (which could be as precise as an audience in certain zip codes)
And this is where the power of Facebook really comes in. You can more tightly target the audience than any other paid online advertising method. That means you get better ROI for your money.
Boosting posts is affordable for nearly every SMB too. And the nice thing is that if your post performs well organically, then you know it’s going to do well when you boost it too. Think of it as free market research that used to take years and lots of money to get.
Can You Win at the Facebook Game, Even If You’re a Local SMB?
Yes, you can. It’s getting harder. But, it’s certainly possible. You simply need to make sure you have a sharp SEO on your side.