Everybody loves Facebook right? And everyone who runs a fan page gets beyond frustrated with Facebook right? Thought so. I know that increasing Facebook reach is definitely on my list of blog goals for 2014 and I’m sure everyone would like to do what they can to get their updates to as many followers as possible. Unfortunately Facebook’s constant changes in what fans get to see make it very hard to get your messages across to more than just a few followers at a time. What I’ve done is put together a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me to increase my Facebook reach a bit, so hopefully they will help you as well. Let me start by saying these tips are not just for bloggers. Yes they are important tips for bloggers, but anyone who has a Facebook fan page, for a blog, a company, to sell products, a charity, whatever it is, you can benefit from using these tips to increase your Facebook reach when you post updates or information for your followers on your Facebook fan page. Some of these are relatively common knowledge and just reminders on best practices or etiquette, and some are my own “theories” that I’ve developed just through trial and error in using the system.
Facebook Scheduler – Use it. I love Hoot Suite, and I’m not giving it up but I’ve noticed that when using Facebook Scheduler, the posts reach quite a few more fans than when using other auto post programs. Possibly a Facebook penalty or way to force you to rely on Facebook, but the fact is, if you’re relying on Facebook for your brand, you want to reach as many people as possible. If Facebook Scheduler accomplishes that, then it may be worth checking out. Give it a test run and let me know if you notice any difference with your fan reach. Is it the ultimate solution? Not by a long shot, but every little bit helps right?
Ask Questions – This is a big one for increasing reader engagement and engagement determines reach as far as Facebook is concerned. The more fans that are engaged with your page and updates, the more fans Facebook will allow to see your awesome content. It’s a popularity contest. No, not all of your fans will answer all of the time, but some will answer some of the time and that is better than no responses ever as far as Facebook is concerned. Promoting your latest giveaway? Ask what your fans would buy with that gift card or who they would give that latest greatest new toy to. I’ll bet some of them will let you know.
Respond to Comments – This is a biggie for blog post engagement, and the same holds true for Facebook page interaction. Reply to fan comments. A simple “thank you” or follow up remark in response to fan comments lets them know you’re actually listening (or reading) what they have said, and will increase the likelihood that they’ll continue actively participating on your page. More participation = greater reach.
Limit Use of Images – I know how boring is that right? But for some reason Facebook doesn’t like to share your photos with all of your fans so if you can describe what you’re talking about with words, you’ll get the message to more people. But what about all my beautifully edited images that I worked so hard on you ask? Well, I generally post them once and then later in the day post something with text only about the same topic so I can be sure that as many people as Facebook will allow have been updated.
Advertising vs. Selling – Do you just post links to your giveaways or do you tell people a story about why the giveaway is awesome, how it applies to them, and why they need to go enter right now! I too am learning as I go and have been guilty of just posting links, but I mean heck, it’s a giveaway, who doesn’t want free stuff right? Wrong! If I don’t know how it applies to me then I don’t waste my time clicking through to enter, why would I expect someone else to? Makes sense right? So now I’m going to work on being better at telling people why they should enter my giveaway and why winning this prize would be super exciting and taking a few minutes to enter is totally worth their time. Same principal for other original content and sponsored posts. Tell them why it’s worth a read. Sell it sister!
Likes & Shares – Don’t be shy, ask for a “like” if your fans like the post or a particular giveaway – sometimes asking is all it takes. (Ex. “Like this status if you could use…”). I tend not to ask for “shares” because it’s really more work for the fans – I think they’re less likely to engage when it’s a share being requested, but that’s just my own personal opinion. I know that’s how I feel when seeing updates from the pages I follow. I leave it to my fans to share the content they find the most interesting and if they’re liking and commenting, they’re engaging and that’s good enough for me – however, asking for shares would be totally up to you.
What’s your best Facebook tip or biggest Facebook frustration? Is there something that I didn’t include that everyone should know? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
Natasha saysDecember 30, 2013 at 11:49 am
These are great tips!! I have over 2000 fans, and around 1900 of these are active users on facebook. but my status are only seen about around 200 fans and images only are 10!!! can you believe that? 10 out of over 2000
Natasha @ Serenity You
Alison saysDecember 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm
I believe it and I think it’s ridiculous too! That’s why I created this post – in researching and trying to find ways to increase who sees my posts I thought hopefully it’ll give others a couple ideas at least that they could try too. Probably not the ultimate, end all solution, but every little bit helps.
Chelle @ oh just stop already saysDecember 31, 2013 at 8:08 am
Great tips! Wish they would stop messing with their algorithm it’s annoying.
Alison saysDecember 31, 2013 at 10:22 am
I know right! It’s like once everyone gets used to the changes and starts figuring out how to “work the system” just change it up again. Unfortunately, FB is sort of a necessary evil for a blogger.
Dana@chocolateandsunshine saysDecember 31, 2013 at 8:31 am
Hi — stopping in via Pincentive Blog Hop. Happy to have found you. My blog is relatively new and is growing steadily but wondering how others can get thousands of followers -my thought is that it can take a few years to get there. Appreciate all of your great suggestions!
Alison saysDecember 31, 2013 at 10:23 am
Yes I’m sure time is the key but sometimes being patient can be hard right?!
Britni saysDecember 31, 2013 at 9:42 am
What great tips! Pinning and tweeting.
Alison saysDecember 31, 2013 at 10:24 am
Yes, I’ve got to work on my pinning! I try but I need to get better and more consistent with that!
Meg Kra saysJanuary 1, 2014 at 8:51 am
Thanks for the tips. Facebook can be so frustrating. I know that having only about 10% of my fans see a post is pretty normal but I am still pretty new to this and only have about 120 fans. This means only about 12 people see my posts. So frustrating!
Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas saysJanuary 1, 2014 at 9:39 am
Thank you for this. Facebook makes me totally crazy! I don’t get why they are making it harder to use. I flat out told my ‘fans’ they needed to interact or they wouldn’t see the posts. That has helped. I’m getting more comments and likes now. Having said that, I feel I am also a better fan to other pages as well.
Alison saysJanuary 1, 2014 at 11:25 pm
Now you know, that just telling fans they need to interact or else is an idea…maybe I’ll try that approach! I do agree that in my own struggle to get FB to work as an asset for me I have also become a better fan to the pages I follow — knowing the struggles they’re going through makes a big difference.
Elisebet F saysJanuary 1, 2014 at 9:56 am
I didn’t know that about Facebook scheduler! I’m definitely going to try that out and see if I get more views. I currently use Hoot Suite, as well.
Alison saysJanuary 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm
I have definitely noticed a difference on the reach of my posts using the FB scheduler. It’s not life changing by any means, but it seems that there is definitely a difference and I think even if it’s just 5% more fans getting the memo, then it’s a win.
Lisa Trudell saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 8:11 am
Facebook is really frustrating in getting the reach of your audience. If you like a page, that should mean that you want to see it’s content. I just saw a page that did a test with their fans (probably mostly for their own review) and the results were amazing.
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm
Great tips! Facebook is my social media of choice (and it’s how I found this post!), but it is getting frustrating. I currently have just over 500 followers. I am beginning to wonder how much effort I should put into getting more because I’m not sure they will see what I’m posting anyway!
Alison saysJanuary 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm
I’ve wondered the same thing myself Lisa – how hard should I try to get more follower because of the FB algorithms and my refusal to pay but I decided that it is worth it because the more fans I have the more people will engage. It’s just probability and ratios at that point. While I will probably never get my updates out to the majority of my fans because FB wouldn’t allow it, 10% of 5,000 is more than 10% of 500 so the odds are more people will see it the more followers you have. That’s just my take on it though.
jenny at dapperhouse saysJanuary 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm
Thanks for the important tips! I am definitely going to learn how to use facebook scheduler because I am using hootsuite too and I would like more views 🙂