Organic reach—the number of followers who see your posts if you don’t pay to promote them—is becoming more and more limited on Facebook. The more likes your page has, the worse it gets.
- Under 1,000 likes: 8 percent of followers see your posts, and 11.83 percent of the people who see with them engage with them.
- Over 1,000,000 likes: Just 2.27 percent of followers see your posts, and only 11.74 percent engage with them.
On average, according to research from Locowise, the organic reach of posts for all Facebook pages is a sad 2.6 percent. Yet Facebook delivers between 22 and 25 percent of all social traffic referrals online. Its closest competitor is Pinterest, which only accounts for 5 percent of referrals.
There’s no avoiding the truth: Organic reach is getting harder to come by, and you need Facebook if you want social referrals. Even so, there are proven ways to give those numbers a boost. These strategies—and realistic goals for social media marketing—will help you create a winning Facebook organic reach strategy.
Use Interest Targeting
The number of people who see your Facebook posts isn’t as important as the number of people who engage with them. Even more important is the number of followers who convert after seeing your posts. It makes sense to target your posts to people more likely to convert. Facebook’s targeting tools aren’t just limited to promoted posts and ads. Here’s how to use them:
- Research your audience. Visit your Audience Insights to figure out common characteristics of those who engage with your page. Note interests, including other pages they like.
- Enable targeting. On your Facebook page, click Settings at the top right of your page. On the next page, under General, click News Feed Audience and Visibility for Posts. Check the box to enable News Feed audience selection and post visibility options.
- Write your post and choose your target audience. After composing your post, click the targeting icon and add the list of follower interests you’ve decided to target. Click Target Interests, and then publish your post.
Ask Followers to Enable Notifications From Your Page
Send an email marketing message or publish a post asking followers to enable notifications. All they have to do is navigate to your page, hover their cursor over the Like button, and wait for the drop-down menu. From the menu, they select Get Notifications.
Form a Facebook Group
Creating a group of your most engaged followers can get dedicated followers in front of your content. It will also require a time commitment from you in terms of interacting with your audience and moderating comments.
- Add your group. Navigate to https://www.facebook.com/addgroup and click Create New Group.
- Name your group and invite members. Create a memorable name for your Facebook group and invite members. Focus on your most engaged followers and potential brand enthusiasts.
- Select your privacy settings. Open means anyone can search for the group, see the list of group members, and view the group’s posts. Closed shows the names of group members, and people can find your group, but only members see posts. Secret reveals no group member identities or posts, and the group can’t be found via search. You can easily change privacy settings up the point where you have 250 members. Once you push past 250, you can change Open to Closed or Secret, and you can Closed to Secret—that’s all.
- Click Create.
Share Evergreen Content
You might get big spikes in engagement from immediately newsworthy traffic, but you get long, steady increases in engagement when you share content people find useful over the long term. Evergreen content—how-to posts, tutorials, FAQ posts, glossaries, “history of” articles, and more—is content you can share again and again on Facebook.
Facebook is a great place to share videos and images, so include those as part of your evergreen sharing strategy. Also, when you post videos, upload them to Facebook instead of sharing from your YouTube channel. You’ll get better organic reach with native videos than with videos shared from YouTube or Vimeo.
The Secret Is to Keep Experimenting
There’s no universal formula for boosting organic Facebook reach. Facebook’s algorithm is too sophisticated. Keep experimenting with different content types, interest targeting, and posting times. You’ll unlock your page’s perfect formula for gaining maximum reach.
Facebook flower image by mkhmarketing from Flickr Creative Commons
Screenshots by Jacqueline Lee (public domain)