You fire your next Facebook post into the universe, you start to quiver, this has to be the one that will answer all my traffic prayers.
A day later…
Nothing, not even from your mom! Mega face plant! What did you do wrong?
You created an epic piece of social goodness.
This is a familiar story for most people sharing content on Facebook. The organic reach of most Facebook posts is just not what it used to be. Does that mean you should pack your bags and head for Twitter?
Nope, the truth is that everyone is in the same boat. Facebook released their Edgerank algorithm back in 2010 and this has been killing organic reach for most. 52% of statuses posted from Facebook Pages have taken a massive hit according to Marketing Land.
That is quite a hit, but that also means that 48% of people posting on Facebook are nailing it!
This is good news.
You are in luck because I have put this question to the social media experts…
“What is the best way to increase your organic Facebook reach?”
The truth is you really can take control of your organic results. With these tips, you can stop waiting and get your content the exposure it deserves….
1. Andrea Beltrami, The Branded Solopreneur
The best way I’ve found to increase organic reach on Facebook is to drive people from other channels (or areas of Facebook) to posts on your page.
For example, post a question (i.e. about a current struggle you’re having) with an image on your page, then grab the link to that thread and share it with your Facebook group and/or with your email list. Expand on the post a bit and then ask your peeps to pop over to your page and join in the convo.
This same strategy can work if you want feedback on a new course name (or any other poll) if you’re looking for someone to hire, or even if you just have a fun prompt like a photo challenge to share.
I’ve had great success doing a post like this once or twice a month. It not only has increased the reach of the posts I share with my peeps, but it has also increased the reach of my page in general because I’m constantly growing my following at the same time.
2. Neil Patel, NeilPatel.com
Freshness isn’t just Google’s ranking factor. The life of a post in the Facebook News Feed is also dependent on recency. If you publish timeless content, then it will be useful for your audience for longer periods. They’ll keep liking and commenting on your post.
Due to this increased engagement, the Facebook algorithm will ensure that your post gets distributed further and that it appears in feeds for longer periods. Boost post durability with evergreen content.
But, what if you, the business owner, don’t want to do the legwork of finding your evergreen posts? Then, use a social media scheduling tool like Edgar. Here are some great examples of evergreen content by HubSpot. Although they are talking about blog posts, you can model the ideas for Facebook posts as well.
3. Brian Carter, Brian Carter Group
I would recommend no one go completely organic – ads are essential. But if they do, our data across thousands of pages and ad accounts says likes are more essential to visibility than shares. It seems Facebook’s algorithm releases more views when people like your posts. Facebook Live gets you more views for now.
Check what kind of posts your audience prefers – some like images, some videos, some even prefer shared videos specifically! After that, the secret is to discover what your particular audience loves, through Facebook audience insights and through testing post ideas, then repeatedly analyzing your post engagement rates. We use an optimization cycle: Analyze-Create-Test (ACT) to get more ACTION from customers, in this case: likes.
If the thing you sell is kind of boring, then tie it into other things your audience loves. Every audience is different. For example, PayPal fans love The Walking Dead, so their most organically viewed video was a zombie-focused one. In our Carl’s Jr campaign we found that their customers love bacon. Our staffing client’s customers love animals and vacation photos.
Keep looking at the idea, thinking up new ideas and testing. And try BuzzSumo’s Facebook search if you run out of ideas.
4. Syed Balkhi, WP Beginner
The best way to grow your organic reach on Facebook is to use a mix of content (links, images, and video).
I also spend money boosting at least 1 or 2 posts a week to my targeted audience which helps increase the organic reach because the boost will get some engagement.
This pleases the Facebook algorithm and our organic reach increases.
5. Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media
My best tip for optimizing content for social media, works on Facebook or any social network: It’s collaboration.
- Find people who create content themselves (possible future SEO benefit) and people who have a relevant active social network (immediate social benefit)
- Invite them to contribute a quote. The post doesn’t have to be a round-up like this one for the tactic to work. You can add quotes from contributors to any post, just as a journalist adds sources to an article. It makes the article stronger and more likely to get shared. And those first few shares will increase organic reach.
- Add the quote in the article along with as much love as you can: a face, title, business name, link, etc.
- Once it’s live, let them know with a short email and link to the post on Facebook. In the post, add a thank you and mention for everyone who contributed. They’ll likely share it almost immediately.
Content optimized for social includes people! Collaboration is key to organic reach…
6. Brooke B. Sellas, B Squared Media
The focus of our organic tactics on Facebook surrounds:
- Publishing posts using links, text-only content, photos and/or videos (with no advertising behind them)
- Sharing the posts of others
- Engaging; liking, commenting and thinking conversation (our fave!)
- Using and encouraging the use of emoji (since they rank higher on FB than a “like”)
Though we put a huge emphasis on these things, they often don’t provide a return on investment (ROI) or even produce qualified leads. Being that the average organic reach for businesses on Facebook is a mere 2%, we really think it’s best to combine organic and PAID efforts.
Can you have organic Facebook tactics without paid advertising or paid ads on Facebook without organic posts? Sure. But the best outcomes usually appear when you apply both. Not to say that organic efforts aren’t needed; they show off your personality and style and help your would-be consumers get to know you. However, paid advertising helps bring those would-be customers to your Facebook Page or website.
The truth: They (organic and paid efforts) work best in tandem.
7. Patrick Coombe, Elite Strategies
This is a huge question, and something I get asked almost on a daily basis. Here is my best tip: tag people. But don’t be reckless about it. Don’t just tag random people that pop up when the @ symbol comes up, tag people that you know will get amped up about the post/comment. If you can get someone excited, angry, or passionate about a subject it will create conversation, and if you can create conversation you’ll naturally trigger Facebook’s internal algorithm to make it show up in more news feeds.
Tagging people in comments is also helpful. Make a comment within the original post and tag someone in it. Ask them a question and tag them in it, it’ll almost demand their attention.
Sadly, without having a budget to “boost” a post on Facebook, it is getting harder and harder to promote a post. With the right initiative and tools, you can get some great reach on Facebook without having to spend the $$.
8. Talia Wolf, GetUpLift
My biggest tip (which works every time) would be creating a private Facebook group with your biggest advocates in it. Each time you post something you can reach out to them and ask for their comments. The idea here goes beyond just getting Facebook likes or comments but continuously engaging with the people who already believe in you, who’ve purchased with you or converted in some way and turning them into ambassadors for your brand. The private group is also a great way to get feedback from your customers, offer exclusive deals, post surveys, get profound quotes, reviews, and testimonials.
In addition, I encourage my clients to post in relevant Facebook groups that care about their type of content. To start discussions, engage with the community and comment on other people’s content too (not for the sake of commenting but for truly growing your community).
One other way to get more engagement on your posts is by tagging relevant people and inviting them to share their opinion.
9. Jenna Soard, You Can Brand
To increase your organic Facebook reach I would create a separate account for your business. When you do that your personal feed will be more business-centric. These people are more likely to engage which will push your post further.
Just be cautious not to over promote, think value!
Keep family and friends news for your personal account.
Next, reach out to groups that you can join. You want to make sure they are interested in your product or service. Start posting content that is educational and valuable. Ask them questions or create surveys, these are your target audience… get to know them!
Lastly, try and get these people onto your Beta testers list so that you are not cannibalizing sales by beta testing on your customer list!
10. Zac Johnson, ZacJohnson.com
When it comes to increasing organic reach on Facebook, you need to give your audience something they are interested in, so it actually starts going viral with the minimal organic reach that Facebook provides. We all know that FB continues to push back the “free” organic reach that FB posts, pages, and groups provide, but there are a few things we can do to help increase these numbers, such as:
- Create custom images that match the size of Facebook updates, so everything is viewable to the end user and also grabs their attention. This is something that should also be done with all social media image sizes.
- Write your own unique titles and descriptions. Don’t just let FB pre-populate these fields for you.
- Segment your audiences into different pages/groups based on their interests, location, and sites.
- Ask a question to your audience? This is a great way to immediately increase engagement, while also getting others to respond as well.
It will take some time, work and effort, but if you want to increase your organic reach, it’s definitely worth the investment. Once you’ve mastered all of these elements, you can then start messing around with Facebook Ads and “Boosting” your posts.
Since you’ve already done the best hands-on optimization for your FB updates, paid advertising on top of this should result in even more traffic, engagement and clicks back to your site.
11. Sue Anne Dunlevie, Successful Blogging
The best way to get organic reach on Facebook is to engage. That means not just blasting your blog posts and images of your posts every day. (Hint: If you want to share your posts, create 3 images and 3 different titles for each new blog post for Facebook so people don’t get tired of seeing the same image/post over and over)
Engagement – share other’s blog posts as you read them and like and comment on others Facebook posts. Your fans will enjoy your newsfeed and you will actually get people who want to buy what you are selling!
12. Mike Allton, The Social Media Hat
One of the keys that I’ve found to being successful on Facebook (if we’re defining success as being able to dramatically improve and increase our organic reach) is the use of Rich Media in every post.
Facebook recognizes that most Facebook users prefer to engage with video or images. They look at the various types of shares across the board and see engagement levels drop precipitously for text and link posts. And for good reason. Plain text updates tend to be boring (which is why Facebook is testing coloured backgrounds to try and spice things up), and link shares take people off the Facebook platform entirely (which both Facebook and the users tend to dislike).
But images and video are nice, appealing, and right there on the platform. It’s easy to like or share an image or video. You don’t have to click off Facebook and read some long article before you can determine whether you’d want to share it or not.
Say, for example, you decide to share a link to your latest blog post in the morning. That afternoon, you share a funny meme. We already know that the meme image will get more Reach than the link share, but how much more? When you shared that link, it probably reached 4% of your Facebook Page fan base. Out of that 4%, how many actually engaged with the share? Let’s assume for the sake of argument it was 10% – or .4% of your total fans who liked, commented, shared or clicked on that post.
The other fans who saw it but weren’t interested enough to engage with that post? Facebook noted that and the next time you share a post – that image meme – Facebook may choose not to put it in the feeds of that 3.6 % of fans who weren’t interested earlier.
If you make sure that every share you create is an image or a video, not only will their individual post reach improve, but your Page’s overall reach will as well.
I tested and documented this Facebook Hack extensively and can tell you that, when applied consistently, you can improve your Facebook Reach by as much as 10x! My own Facebook Page averages just 2.2% Reach for link posts, yet consistently achieves 24% Reach for images!
13. Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith
From a tactical standpoint, I think video is the (current) secret for expanding organic reach on Facebook. It’s still somewhat of a novelty, and not every brand has the budget or foresight to create content on this medium (even though low-budget production is just fine!). Those that use video easily stand out and Facebook users take notice.
From a marketing standpoint, the easiest way to expand organic reach on Facebook is to make sure there’s a call to action at the end of your post. For example,
- “LIKE” this post if you agree!
- Tag a friend who’d love this.
- Comment with your vote
You get the idea. As with any type of marketing, if a person is not sure what their next step is supposed to be, they likely won’t take it. It’s our job as content creators to guide them.
14. Ravi Chahar, Blogging Love
From the past couple of years, Facebook has evolved more as a business platform, and marketers and bloggers are really into getting more exposure. Most of the people are using ads but to increase the organic reach, you should always focus on consistency,
You may have seen a few Facebook business pages which get updated every single hour. It’s because they know the importance of showing their regular presence.
“Success kisses those who know the value of consistency.”
Interacting with your readers is the master key. The more you engage, the more are the chances to build strong bonds. Human bonds lead to regular inputs which directly increases the organic reach.
If you don’t have enough time to keep the harmony, hire a social media manager who can understand the concept of human relationships and readers’ values.
NOTE: Facebook isn’t like Twitter where you can post every minute. From my experience, one an hour is the best duration for sharing your content.
15. Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Next to search engines, Facebook is my Number 1 referrer of traffic.
However, I do not believe in spending money to boost your post or pay for advertisements.
Why not? I had a friend in the humor niche write to tell me she increased her exposure which resulted in her getting new followers by paying to boost her post.
I tried it. Coincidentally, I received many new subscribers that week. However, when I asked how they found me, no one said Facebook. Maybe certain niches do better by paying to boost posts. I’ve tried twice with little results.
So, how did Facebook become such a large referrer of traffic to my blog?
Facebook groups. The support of the groups on Facebook to my blog has been overwhelmingly favorable. By posting my links and a short blurb about my posts in Facebook groups, I’ve received exposure, traffic, and new subscribers. Many have even become my friends.
When people comment or share your post on Facebook, they click “like.” Often, they write praise of your post in the group as well. The Bandwagon Effect takes over. People coming into the group after that will see all the likes on your post and the compliments and wonder what your post is about. That’s why it’s important to post in the group early, as soon as the thread begins for that day or week.
I write for bloggers without a budget. I would tell them to save their money. Type your niche + group in the Facebook search bar. Find groups with sharing threads that way.
As you can see there is still a lot of hope out there for organic reach on Facebook. You just have to think of things a little bit differently.
The biggest takeaway in my eyes is to use images and a link instead of the default Facebook link post. From doing this myself I have seen a huge difference in my reach.
If you are not afraid to get in front of the camera, talk about things that are going on in your post and then add a link. Facebook is really pushing video, so there has never been a better time to get it in your strategy.
Before I go I would like to give a big thank you to all the experts featured. You all nailed it with your responses.
Guest Author: Joe Elliott is the founder of One Man Wiki, his blog that shares tips to help you kickstart your blog. If you are a new or struggling blogger his tips will show you how to get traction in no time at all. Take his exclusive free course that will show you how to leverage the power of influencers so you can skyrocket your traffic and subscribers.