According to a 2011 comScore report, brands that post an average of five to seven times per week only reach about 16% of the fan base they have worked so hard to establish. While Facebook has never officially divulged exactly how to gain greater reach — though it did release an ad product, Reach Generator — there are several tactics known to work.
EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine the most screen-worthy content. Three factors, multiplied together, determine your content’s value: affinity, weight and time. The affinity score is based on how often a fan has engaged with your brand content in the past, including page visits. Weight, or popularity, is determined by the type and quantity of engagement your post receives (e.g. Likes, comments). Lastly, time and the decay of your post matters; as your content ages and engagement wanes, it becomes less relevant and therefore less likely to appear in a user’s news feed.
1. Know your audience
Study your fans to know what content they want, when they want it and the form in which they want it. Dive into Facebook Insights as much as possible,” says Wittman. “Are your fans consuming content at work, on a mobile device or only responding to video? Do they prefer one or two posts per day?”
2. Don’t play hard to get
Studies show that lengthy Facebook content goes unread and discourages action on the part of the user. Brief, easily digestible posts make it easier for users to consume and interact. Don’t be coy with your call-to-action. Be clear and blatantly tell your fans to “like,” comment or share your post. You’ll be surprised what can you get if you just ask. These actions generate reach, since they’ll end up in their friends’ news feeds.
3. Create quality content
It’s still true that no matter what you try, quality content is the most important factor to expand Facebook reach. Provide your fans with valuable content to properly enable your posts to go further. When it comes to format, photos are the most engaging form of content that brands can post. Eye-catching and easy-to-consume photos are also weighed more heavily by Facebook when determining EdgeRank.
4. Engage with your fans
Fans love to know their favorite brands are listening, and many social media managers often overlook this. Answer questions asked in the comments section or simply say, “Thanks!” Be sure to tag the fan in your response so he’s notified of the special attention. The fan will often “like” your comment, thus continuing the conversation and further boosting your visibility.
5. Turn your fans’ friends into fans
Facebook Insights provides administrators with the “Friends of Fans” metric, telling admins just how many people they can potentially reach organically. Friends of fans are extremely important — they are more likely to visit a brand’s Facebook Page or website, purchase a brand’s products and become fans themselves. Organically, these Facebook fans can easily be reached through the Facebook Ticker, which tracks all user activity. Keep your fans interacting with your brand, and their friends will see all “liking” activity, comments and posts in the top right of their news feed.
Despite the various theories, studies and tactics, the bottom line is that Facebook wants people consuming content, so its algorithm rewards the brands that create the coolest content.
Credits: Google Photos
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