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By now you probably know that Facebook admitted that pages that do not advertise will lose out on visibility.  That being said, brands and businesses should not ignore Facebook as a marketing platform. It is still valid, it is still being used, and it is still possible to get organic engagement…it just takes a bit more work. We’ve put together tips to help you increase organic engagement on Facebook so that you can see an actual ROI from your posts.

How to Increase Organic Engagement on Facebook

Tag Pages

Facebook page tags increase engagement

Facebook page tagging is such a powerful tool. Basically, when you tag another Facebook business page, they get a notification. This is great, because they may get curious, click over to check out the post and then engage it.

However, be smart about this. Don’t use this as a spammy method for engagement. Make sure that your post is relevant and useful to both the pages mentioned and your audience.

If you really want to increase your organic engagement, DM the page in question. Tell them that you mentioned them and that you’d love to see some engagement on your page from their team. The people who are probably working for the other company page should be a similar demographic to your audience…so getting them to engage your page will only help you to get the Facebook algorithm to work for you.

Gorgeous, But Simple Images

Images for facebook should be simple, easy to read and clear




Text only updates don’t get as much interaction as image posts do on Facebook. It makes sense. Images take up more real estate and are eye-catching. Use your images as bait to get people to engage your post and to take an action. Make sure your images are bold & eye-catching and that you include text that gives your audience a quick view into what they should expect when they engage.

Interact

Increase your business page edgerank by responding to all comments on a page

 

It is known that the more interactions on a page, the more the Facebook algorithm is positively affected. Make sure that you reply to each interaction individually.  While you’re at it, personalize the responses. This will build a personal relationship with the commenter and possibly transform them into a brand ambassador.

Share to Facebook from Your Business Instagram Account

Facebook owns Instagram. Instagram allows you to share images and stories directly from Instagram to Facebook. Start doing that immediately. You will see that Facebook will give those posts a nudge in the right direction when it comes to engagement.

Upload Videos Directly to Facebook

Upload video directly to facebook to increase organic reach

Facebook wants to compete for your eyeballs and nothing scares it more than all the time you spend on YouTube. If you upload video directly to your Facebook business page, you will see that these posts perform the best out of any others you publish. Go ahead, give it a try and find out. Just check out the above post from Retro-Stage, they earned 18,000 views and got plenty of reactions, comments and shares.

How to Manage Your Brand’s Social Media

Socialdraft is an all-in-one social media tool. It was made with ease of use in mind and to make team collaboration easy. With Socialdraft you can:

  • Schedule posts to Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Instagram & Twitter accounts, and Pinterest boards
  • Set up people in your company with different permissions, so they can collaborate but you keep control
  • Pull reports to keep an eye on your growth
  • Engage your audience
  • And much more…

Start your risk-free trial of our social media tool today. And if you have any questions, open up a chat and ask.

Anyone who has dabbled in digital marketing would know that there are two different kinds of reach, organic reach and paid reach. Both types of reach allow business owners to make it to their intended audience using different advertisements.

9 Easy Steps on How to Get Better Organic Facebook Reach

Organic Reach: is reach achieved through ads or content that does not require payment; a good example of which would be social media posts.

Paid reach: includes advertisements that require payment of a certain fee for an entity to push ads across a user base.

Organic reach is the reach of choice for business owners working on a budget because of the affordability and the generally positive reception that audiences have on this type of content. The issue with organic reach on Facebook is that its algorithm won’t show content to fans of a business page if the previous content has not gotten engagement (likes, comments, and shares).

This can be very frustrating for business owners just getting started on social media, as well as community manager and firms that are taking over for a previous SMM.

If you want Facebook reach improvement, check out and implement these 8 simple steps.




How to Increase Organic Facebook Reach

1. Post Relevant Long-Lasting Content – When you post content, the only way you can ensure that users will interact with it is if it contains relevant and timely content that people will need for more than just a few days. This means whenever you post content on your Facebook page, you should see to it that the information you publish is something people will be interested in long after it’s been posted. This will make it possible for your publication to last for a long time and produce interaction regardless of how old it is.

2. Don’t Overdo It – With so many brands and business fighting for the top spot in the hearts and minds of their consumers, it is expected that there is a significant volume of content being created and published at any given time. That doesn’t mean however that you should bump up your posting frequency to bring your brand to higher ground. Much like any other facet of business, digital marketing works on the principle that quality is always better than quantity. When your posts are able to make better ratings in terms of interactions and user engagement, Facebook is more likely to push you up the ladder knowing that people like what they get from you. If you post a lot and fail to get significant results, don’t expect to get too much publicity.

3. Take Note of the Time – The hour you choose to post your content plays a role in its effectiveness and reach. When you post at off-peak hours, your content is less likely to compete with others on the site, giving your publication a better chance of wiggling its way into people’s feeds. There are lots of ways you can take advantage of the time when it comes to posting content – make sure you understand the hours to get the best results out of your digital marketing efforts.

4. Clean Up Your Following – Check your followers. Are they in your geo-targeted area or are they in other  parts of the world? Do your fans match your target demographic. If they don’t…then you need to clean house. Yes, this will take a long time and will drop your numbers, but what’s the point of having a large following if they don’t engage. If they don’t engage, they won’t convert. If they won’t convert, you won’t make money. Just like a store, you’re better off having a few customers who purchase than tons of people who window shop. Start by adding country and age restrictions. This will be the easiest part. Then, go in and remove anyone who does not match your target audience. This may be the most powerful thing you can do to increase your organic reach.

5. Include Personal and Intimate Content – Even if the content you’re sharing isn’t directly related to social media, details of a personal nature about the people in your business behind the scenes can have a huge impact on reach. For example, you could share the activities from a staff lunch or business trip in order to instill a sense of a personal relationship between you and your fans. Also include photos and videos that highlight your team so fans can connect with them.

6. Start a Group – Monitor the comments made by the members of your group and respond to comments and questions without promoting your service or products. But in order for your group to be successful you must invest the time necessary to encourage discussions and greet new members.

7. Target Your Posts – One way to compensate for the decline in organic reach on Facebook is to target your posts to potential customers based on demographics such as location, gender, age, and education. Be sure to enable targeting from your page settings, and choose one or more categories for targeting your post.

8. Use Links and Videos – Native Facebook videos get significantly more organic reach than any other type of post. With the introduction of videos in 2014, the real growth is in videos, and videos are far more effective at reaching audiences. And as surprising as this may sound, some research suggests that links drive more traffic that images. In fact links generate over 80% more page views than posts with photos and links in the caption.

9. Take Advantage of Facebook Live – Facebook’s latest product is getting way more organic reach than any other type of content being shared to Facebook. Facebook live videos are a surefire way to increase your organic reach (at least for now). Facebook Product Manager Vibhi Kant recently announced that the algorithm would favor Facebook live videos when they were live as opposed to once they have already occurred. So keep in mind that this means constant lives will help your brand out.

Whether you’re a start-up business looking to get a bigger client base or an established brand seeking new potential consumers, you can greatly benefit from the use of a Facebook group. What makes it easier to get clients from Facebook groups is that it allows a great deal of information sharing which prospects generally appreciate. Someone who has yet to experience or avail of your products or services would like to get a bigger picture of what exactly it is you offer.

Facebook groups are also not privy to the Facebook algorithm, so anything published on a Facebook group will reach all its members. That’s powerful. By joining (or creating) a Facebook group where your prospects are present, you can give the necessary information to guide them towards making a purchase and ensure customer retention.

10 Tips on How to Get Clients from Facebook Groups

1. Understand Your Target Market – As with any other marketing strategy, it’s important to first understand who you’re catering to. If you fail to identify the people who are likely to avail of your products or services, you might end up wasting your time interacting with individuals towards a dead end. If you want to get clients from Facebook groups, you should target your effort at prospects who will allow you the opportunity to reap positive results. Basically, make sure you join the Facebook groups your potential clients will frequent.

2. Identify Where Your Market Is – Facebook is a big place – make sure you locate the right groups that your market can be found in. If you’re trying to sell products that are aimed at stay-at-home mothers, would you join groups that are predominantly made up of young professionals? Find out where your target market typically dwells and make sure you join only the groups significant to your cause. There are tons of different Facebook groups..want a few examples? Check out the list below:

3. Be Consistent – What’s the point of joining a Facebook group only to sit in the background and watch all the interaction go down without you? The entire purpose of being part of a group is to share information and join in on conversation. Make sure you respond to pertinent posts with relevant details and engage in meaningful conversations with those you have identified as prospects. If the group is your own, make sure that you post at least once daily and that you are prepared to engage that amazing community you’re building.

4. Give Out Free Calls and Incentives – Who doesn’t love a freebie? When you offer your prospects free calls or incentives, you don’t only give them the chance to understand your brand, you also improve your reliability and trustworthiness. Something as simple as communicating with your client and discussing their current problems can give you the opportunity to establish a sturdy relationship and learn more about how you can improve what you offer.

5. Provide a Good Offer – Once you’ve got a few potential clients, it would be a smart idea for you to provide them an offer. Facebook exclusives for example are a great idea for those who want to urge their Facebook contacts towards making a purchase. You can even choose to bundle some products and services together to make your offer even more appealing. This works great on groups you own. If you want to offer perks in someone else’s group – make sure to contact the admins first and ask for permission. It is always good to have an admin’s blessings before you post something of this sort.

6. Customer Service – If it’s your group, providing customer service within the Facebook Group is a great incentive for acquiring potential customers, since more often than not, a great number of customers are more inclined to ask product or service related question in Facebook Group. When questions are rapidly answered, the word gets around.

7. Don’t Aggressively Promote – Don’t promote your content with other members. Focus on building relationships by being helpful, and by asking and answering questions. Provide free advice to other members.

8. Urge Those on Email List to Join Group – If you’ve created a group, encourage people on your email list to join your Facebook Group which can be a potential source for new customers.

9. Heightened Website or Blog Traffic – Sharing content with the members of your Facebook Group can direct more traffic to your website or blog, increasing the chance of a future sale.

10. Be on the Lookout – If you’re a member of another group, keep your eyes open for people interested in a product or service your company provides, write a comment and then leave your web address and email.

****A HUGE NOTE: Groups have rules. Make sure that you read group rules prior to creating content and engaging. The last thing you want to do is to slight the admins and get kicked out of the group…so keep these in mind at all times.

We’ve just recently started a Socialdraft group. Our goal there is to help you (and to help one another) with our social media marketing goals. Wanna join? Drop by. 

It’s no longer practical for businesses to overlook the importance of being present online. The vast majority of the world’s population uses the internet to find products and services that suit their needs and preferences. If you fail to be available to your market when they look for you, you’re practically giving up to your competitors. Among the most popular online platforms that consumers use is Facebook. There are loads of different functions and features that Facebook offers businesses to help better interact with their target market and among the best options are Facebook groups.

Yet, there are many hurdles when you’re using the more traditional pages for Facebook Marketing. Facebook’s algorithm comes to mind. It makes it so that pages that don’t get a lot of likes and comments don’t get as many views as pages that do. This means that if you are taking over from another community manager, or that if you’ve neglected your page for a while, you’ll have a hard time getting your content in front of your fans.

Facebook pages also make it harder for businesses to engage with their customer base. You can’t just message a user on Facebook (as your business) if you think they could use your services. This user needs to reach out to you first with a comment on your page, or by DMing your page.

This is why Facebook groups are great for business.  Facebook groups are a great way to get around the pesky little problems of marketing on a Facebook page.

The Benefits of a Facebook Group For Your Business

No More Confusing Algorithms – A lot of business owners will agree that while using Facebook Pages is a practical and obvious choice for those seeking to improve their brand’s online presence, the algorithm that Facebook developers use makes the benefits of using Pages very limited. This is why brands have shifted to using groups instead where they can cultivate strong relationships and develop a better reputation for absolutely free.

Easy for Introvert Entrepreneurs – Not all entrepreneurs have the charisma and social skills of public speakers. That said, introverted business owners can greatly benefit from the use of Facebook groups because it allows them to connect, interact, and develop deep relationships with their consumers without the need for face-to-face meet-ups.

Keeping it Social – People go on social media for the very reason that they want social interaction. Facebook groups provide people the feeling of belongingness and exclusivity which the vast majority of individuals crave and appreciate. This is particularly true for groups that require acceptance before granting membership, further enhancing the feeling of being part of an exclusive community.

More Freedom – A Facebook Page is a lot like a Facebook Profile – you own it so you get to decide what content gets posted. The same isn’t true for Facebook groups however, where members are all capable of sharing information, making posts, and starting conversations. It’s a free place for people to interact and there really is no one in charge, offering a much more comfortable space for sharing and contribution. That being said, you can set up any rules you want, so for example, you can set up a “no solicitation group” to prevent competitors from creeping into your community.

Strong Reliable Presence – When you place yourself as the administrator of a Facebook group, you automatically assume the responsibility of overseeing the interactions and events that occur in your sphere. This gives the users in your group the sense that you are reliable and ever-present, giving you an image of trustworthiness that comes along with the strong presence.

If you want a little more information on groups, how to create them, and how to market them – click here. 

Since organic reach on Facebook has declined to ridiculously low levels, many businesses have abandoned any serious attempt at marketing on the platform. But Facebook still has hundreds of millions of users, and last year Facebook reported having over 1 billion active users in a single day. Considering this, it may be worth getting more involved in Facebook, but from a slightly different angle.

With Facebook Groups you can connect with special sets or groups of people where you can share updates, photos or documents and message other group members. Of particular interest here is that Facebook pages and personal posts rely on the Newsfeed algorithm for exposure, but traffic is driven to Facebook Groups because users are sent a notification whenever someone posts to the Group.

Another notable difference between Facebook pages and Facebook Groups is time. With Facebook Groups, content is supplied and sustained by group members, but there is a huge amount of time and effort involved in creating content for Facebook pages.

The success of a newly formed Group is contingent on spam-free subject matter that is going to benefit and enrich its members. So for example, if your brand is food related, create a Group with a focus on food preparation, various recipes, and health or nutritional advice. Your Group can also offer solutions for problems related to your brand.

The idea is maintain engagement within the Group and avoid directing focus away from the group with outside links. And you should discourage new Group members from posting promotional links to keep the Group spam-free. Create clear rules and when someone violates them, make it clear why you deleted their post. This will keep your group in check.

Promote Your Facebook Group

There are various ways to promote your Facebook Group:

  • add a link to your Facebook Group on your website or blog.
  • Use guest posts to promote your Group
  • Cross-promotion with other Groups by reaching out to other Group admins for collaboration.
  • Take advantage of Facebook Ads by creating a post on your Facebook Page with a link to your Group. Create a new Ad, select “Boost your posts” and select the post with a link to your Facebook Group.
  • Cross-promote on other social media channels

How do I create a Facebook group?

To create a group:

1. From your home page, go to the Groups section on the left side menu and click Create Group.

2. Click + Create New Group at the top of the page. A window will appear, where you’ll be able to add a group name, add members and select the privacy settings for your group.

3. Click Create when you’re done.

Once the group is created, you’ll be taken to the group. To get started, click at the top right of the group and select Edit Group Settings. From here you can add a group description, tags, set a group email address and add a group picture.

Approving Who Joins Your Group

If you’re a group admin, you can choose to approve who joins your group.

To turn on membership approval:

1. Click in the top-right corner of your group and select Edit Group Settings.

2. Next to Membership Approval, select Any member can add members, but an admin must approve them.

3. Click Save at the bottom.

To remove or block a member:

1. Click Members at the top of your group

2. Find the member you want to remove

3. Click * next to the member’s name and select Remove from Group

4. Click to check the box next to Block Permanently to block a member you’re removing

5. Click Confirm

Note: Only admins will see * appear next to group members’ names. Keep in mind only admins can remove or block group members.

Removed members will have to request to join the group again if they wish to rejoin. Blocked members won’t be able to find the group in search or see any of its content, and they can’t be added to the group again by members.

To remove a block you’ve put on someone:

1. Click Members at the top of your group

2. Click Blocked at the top

3. Click Remove Block next to the person’s name

Where to place your Website Link on Your Facebook Groups

There are multiple places you can place your link to encourage click through to your website. These are a few places to start:

  1. Description Area: Include a link to your website in the description.
  2. Pinned Post: Use a pinned post to welcome new members. Make sure to include your link there
  3. Posts: While you don’t want all your posts to be promotional, make sure that from time to time you post content that links back to your website

 

Based on information gleaned from News Feed optimization service Edgerank, the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed, of 50,000 posts by 1,000 Pages, organic reach per fan has steadily declined as shown below:

Feb 2012 = 16%
Sept 2013 = 12.60%
Nov 2013 = 10.15%
Dec 2013 = 7.83%
Mar 2014 = 6.51%

According to WordStream founder Larry Kim, Ogilvy, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan, cites anonymous “Facebook sources” as telling community managers they can expect Facebook organic reach to plunge to absolutely nothing in the foreseeable future.

Early this year, Ogilvy found Facebook’s organic reach is just 6% for the more than 100 brand pages they evaluated, with large pages over 500,000 followers seeing just a 2% reach. These numbers are rapidly in decline. Content marketer Miranda Miller suggests the bigger your brand, the more you’re being pressured toward paid content.

In order to level the proverbial playing field, Larry Kim provides 13 tactics to beat the Facebook algorithm and help you get your fan engagement back.

18 Maneuvers to Help You Beat Facebook’s Algorithm

13 ways to beat facebook's algorithm.

1. Share Great Content

The old adage remains true – (quality) content is king. (Sorry about the cliché, Elisa.) If you post awesome content, your chances of being liked and shared increases, boosting your presence in Facebook news feeds. Many of Facebook’s algorithm tweaks are aimed at weeding out what Facebook deems “low quality content,” like memes. For greater reach, opt instead for quality content from news sites. It’s a bit bourgeois for Facebook to assume CNN articles are always classy and memes are always pond scum, but we don’t get much choice in how Facebook adjusts its algorithm. My suggestion? Ramp up on your own original high-quality content with e-books, blog posts, white papers, etc.

2. Use Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

With organic reach down, now is the perfect time to experiment with Facebook advertising. Facebook has revamped their ad system to be easier than ever to use. Paid Facebook ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed, seamlessly blending with organic posts while boasting better reach. Give them a shot and see how they perform.

3. Extend To Other Social Networks

social networks

Integrate your Facebook marketing with other social networks – post pins, tweet, etc. Facebook has become crowded, with organic space steadily shrinking. There’s tons of competition and it’s easy for your content to get buried in users’ news feeds. Explore greener pastures by delving into newer social media hubs like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google+. Don’t let Facebook be your crutch.

4. Time To Get Personal

Personal account posts tend to show up more in news feeds than business page posts, so why not take advantage of your staff members? Most of them probably use Facebook, so get them liking and sharing your company content. All is fair in the Facebook wars.

5. Import Your Contacts

Import Contacts from Facebook

If you have a big email list, you can import your contacts (up to 5k names at a time) and invite them to join your Facebook page. A higher number of Facebook friends means that your content will reach more people, despite lower organic visibility percentages. The more the merrier.

6. Post More Often

Post more often to your facebook page

Increase your chances of appearing in news feeds simply by posting more. Get the odds in your favor! Posting 4-6 times a day increases the likelihood that one of those posts will get a bite.

7. Share Exclusive Content

Make your Facebook posts count by sharing exclusive content users won’t find anywhere else. Publicize flash sales, special discounts, contests, etc.

8. Pay Attention To Analytics

Facebook Analytics

Since organic Facebook marketing has become significantly more difficult, it’s time to start paying careful attention to your analytics. You don’t need anything too fancy – Facebook’s own analytics can show you which posts perform better than others. See what kind of content drives the most engagement with your followers. Do they respond to videos? Which articles do they click on? What topics get them excited? Look for trends and then replicate for success.

9. Go Multimedia

Don’t rely solely on text posts. Image and video posts perform exceedingly better than text posts. Share YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, and Instagram pics on Facebook. With Facebook’s buyout of Instagram, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to think that maybe Facebook is giving preference to Instagram pics over other pieces of content. Nothing official on this of course, but it doesn’t hurt to amp up the Insta-posts just in case.

10. Leverage User Generated Content

If you’re not making much of a splash on Facebook these days, at least make the attention you do get worthwhile. Take advantage of Facebook as a source of user generated content by hosting photo contests, video contests, etc. You may not get as many entries as you would have in Facebook’s glory days, but the user generated content you do get is golden. User generated content can be repurposed and used elsewhere in blog posts, testimonials, and other marketing materials.

11. Engage With FB Fans

Drive fan engagement by asking questions and encouraging fan response. Try caption contests, fill in the banks, and other posts that drive user interaction. In return, it’s your job to follow suit by responding to their questions and comments and interacting with fans whenever possible.

12. Give Your Page A Makeover

35c05f2

Make the most of the fans that interact with your Facebook page by using a powerful cover image. Try using the Facebook cover photo as a call to action.

13. Reach Out To Other Community Managers

Firstly, a disclaimer – this last workaround might be considered “gray hat,” but it can work very well if handled correctly. To boost exposure for your business pages, reach out to and forge relationships with one or two other community managers in similar industries and agree to like each other’s content. Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable doing that, ask your employees to like one update per week – the increased post engagement will improve post visibility.

14. Establish a Posting Balance

Don’t post too often, but often enough to make sure your content is fresh and original. The idea is not to overpower your audience, while also making sure they remember you. In other words, find the right balance.

15.) Include hashtags on Facebook

Your post can be found under a specific hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and also on Facebook. Just don’t include more than two hashtags, otherwise your post may appear spammy and decrease your reach.

16. Avoid The Hard Sell

Avoid over zealous attempts at promoting your brand, otherwise your posts will have a smaller reach. Limit your posts to relevant topics, trends, and tips.

17. Compel Engagement

Create questions that compel your fans to engage. For example, prompt fans to click “like’ if they are stimulated about a post, or have them “Fill-in-the-blank”. Likes and comments increase the Affinity Score between each fan and your page, boosting how many fans see your status updates.

18. Include Trending Topics

The Facebook Algorithm responds to posts that include trending subjects. That’s why it is important to keep current on trending developments, and not schedule your posts too far in advance.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Ultimately, you need to stay active on Facebook and post great content. Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
Monitor your online reputation
Have multiple people create and post content
Pull Reports
Engage
and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.

As experienced Facebook users know, the more “Likes” a company’s Facebook page has, the more exposure and reach a company gets. If your business page has 1,000 fans — people who have liked your Facebook page — your updates will be published on 1,000 news feeds where fans can like your content, and share it with their friends.

A brand’s reach increases for posts that garner numerous likes, comments, and shares, and since the natural trend is for reach to shrink as competition grows, Pages have to work harder and harder to stay visible. Facebook’s organic reach has declined dramatically, and many brands, local merchants, and public figures are frustrated about the drop in reach.

Facebook Now Bans Incentivizing Users to Like Pages

Now Facebook has announced two important changes to its Platform Policies under games and proper use. Developers have 90 days (until November 5, 2014) to comply with the new rules.

Facebook Algorithm for Games and Apps

Regarding the platform policy change with games, Facebook notes games which include mandatory or optional in-app charges must now disclose this in their app’s description, either on Facebook or other platforms it supports. This is to give people a clear indication that your game may charge people during gameplay.

So if you’re a game developer, you must add the appropriate warning to your app. If you don’t charge for anything in your game, you don’t have to do anything.

Regarding Likes, Facebook states you must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.

“It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

In other words, as Emil Protalinski points out, Facebook is making it more difficult to game its algorithms, meaning that you should concentrate on growing your Facebook Page organically with high quality Likes, not artificially.

High Quality Likes Facebook

High Quality Likes

High quality likes come from the segment of the Facebook population that have the highest potential of becoming your customer. If your company offers female lingerie, interested females would be characterized as higher quality Likes.

Please see: 8 Essential Tips On Getting High Quality Facebook Likes.

Edge Rank on Facebook

 

Understanding Facebook’s Algorithm

Facebook filters its feed with a News Feed sorting algorithm, unofficially known as EdgeRank, that analyzes every signal possible to determine the relevance of each post to each person. Roughly 100,000 different indicators of importance are factored in.

The most powerful determinants of whether a post is shown in the feed are the following:

* How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, clicked) are the post creator’s past posts with everyone.

* How popular is this post with everyone who has already seen it.

* How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with the viewer. Does the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what types have been popular with the viewer in the past?

* How recently was the post published.

So the more successful a post is, and the more popular its creator, the more likely a viewer will see the post. The fact that someone Liked a Page makes little difference because it’s whether the Page continues to be interesting to a potential viewer of their posts.

Facebook rewards Pages with engaging content and penalizes the use of click-bait headlines and shallow image macro memes. With dynamic content that fits targeted audiences, Pages can still get a high volume of free traffic out of Facebook.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
Monitor your online reputation
Have multiple people create and post content
Pull Reports
Engage
and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.

Near the beginning of this year, Facebook’s organic reach declined 49 percent from peak levels in October 2013. And for large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent. According to News Feed optimization service Edgerank Checker of 50,000 posts by 1,000 Pages shows organic reach per fan (median) has steadily declined:

Feb 2012 = 16%
Sep 2013 = 12.60%
Nov 2013 = 10.15%
Dec 2013 = 7.83%
Mar 2014 = 6.51%

TechCrunch writer Josh Constine notes that the roughly 50% decline in reach over the past year matches the 50% increase in Page Likes per typical Facebook user over the same time period. As people Like more Pages, the organic reach of each drops.

How Facebook News Feed Algorithm Works

Facebook Organic Reach

As a result, competition for Facebook news feed and sidebar space is increasing, driving up the price of advertising. According to AdWeek, ad prices are trending up, in part because Facebook has not increased the frequency of ads. Facebook claimed it would keep the ad inventory level at about 5 percent of all posts in the News Feed.

Facebook’s goal to ensure only the most engaging posts and interesting content is displayed has resulted in some Pages and people not being treated equally. And as Constine points out, many brands, local merchants, and public figures that have worked hard to entice people to Like their Page are frustrated about the drop in reach.

“They paid Facebook for ads to get people to Like their Page, because Facebook told them it was a good long-term investment. They built businesses around the reach they got on Facebook, devoting resources to fill Facebook with content that pulls in the attention it monetizes.”

How Facebook Filters The Feed

Facebook filters its feed with a News Feed sorting algorithm, unofficially known as EdgeRank, that analyzes every signal possible to determine the relevance of each post to each person. Roughly 100,000 different indicators of importance are factored in.

Facebook News Feed Director of Product Management, Will Cathcart, told Constine the most powerful determinants of whether a post is shown in the feed are the following:

How Facebook Filters News Feed

* How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, clicked) are the post creator’s past posts with everyone.

* How popular is this post with everyone who has already seen it.

* How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with the viewer. Does the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what types have been popular with the viewer in the past?

* How recently was the post published.

Cathcart says that for each user, Facebook assigns a score to each post they could see. It injects some ads, but “for the most part we put them in rank order” he says. It doesn’t matter if a post is from a friend or a Page, Facebook just tries to show people what they want.

In other words, the more successful a post is, and the more popular its creator, the more likely a viewer will see the post. The fact that someone Liked a Page makes little difference, because it’s whether the Page continues to be interesting to a potential viewer of their posts.

A brand’s reach increases for posts that garner numerous likes, comments, shares, and clicks, and decreases if their posts are dull and boring. “And since the natural trend is for reach to shrink as competition grows, Pages have to work harder and harder to stay visible.”

Facebook rewards Pages with engaging content and penalizes the use of click-bait headlines and shallow image macro memes. Constine insists that with funny, and dynamic content that fits targeted audiences, Pages can still get a high volume of free traffic out of Facebook.

A study Constine commissioned from EdgeRank Checker revealed news outlets and others that publish their real product to Facebook, like news articles, tend to see more reach than Pages that merely publish marketing messages for their products.

“You can Like both The New York Times and Oreos, but you can actually read the NYT on News Feed whereas you can’t eat a cookie there. So it makes sense that the NYT would reach a higher percentage of its fans — its posts are more interesting.”

Paying for Facebook Ads Only Way to Beat System

Paying for Ads Only Way to Beat System

Constine concludes the only way to beat the system is to pay for ads. But now Facebook lets Pages instantly copy the content of one of their posts into an ad. It’s still the same pay-for-visibility situation, but it’s as if Facebook is extorting Pages for many in order to communicate with their own fans.

“I used to reach more of my fans, now I reach less, and Facebook wants me to pay for what I used to get for free” is Constine’s characterization despite him believing it’s an unfortunate emergent by-product of the system rather than a malicious choice by Facebook.

Facebook Shady Bait and Switch Tactic

Facebook’s Shady Bait and Switch Tactic

Facebook told companies to buy Likes as a long-term investment, when it likely knew that reach to those fans would decline, devaluing the investment. Constine notes that advertisers made calculations comparing the lifetime value of a fan vs the cost to buy them through Facebook ads.

“Without integrating the decline in reach into that math, they might have bought fans at prices they can’t recoup.” It’s a bait and switch tactic potential Facebook advertisers won’t easily forget or overlook.

The “tough break, you’re not that interesting, get over it” attitude exhibited by Facebook’s Director Of Global Communications response to some businesses can’t continue, says Constine. “And [Facebook] should apologize for encouraging brands to buy Likes without warning them about inevitable reach decreases.”

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