Why Facebook Reach is a Myth
There’s this myth going that Facebook is hiding your posts.
If you run a Facebook business page and you’re struggling to reach even 1% of your existing Facebook fans with your latest update (without paying for advertising), you’re probably very familiar with it and therefore the idea of it being a myth probably makes you a little confused or even angry.
Because, of course, there’s absolutely no denying that organic Facebook post reach has declined considerably. Even if you have a six figure Facebook following, you’ll notice that at times only tens of people will even see your post – never mind engage with it.
For a small business this is a great frustration and seems like a huge injustice. For those with limited marketing budgets, it just cuts off another channel through which they can reach potential customers, by forcing them to pour cash they don’t have into the Facebook machine to boost posts and create ads.
Why Has Organic Facebook Reach Declined?
It’s often speculated that Facebook’s algorithm is suppressing the visibility of posts, in order to encourage page owners to spend money on advertising. Facebook denies it, but there seems to be at least some truth to the idea that they want you to advertise.
Facebook is a corporate giant and needs revenue streams like any other corporate giant does. Advertising is a natural stream. As the social network has been used as a marketing channel for quite some time, it’s not entirely surprising that Facebook is focusing on monetising this use as much as possible.
However, although they want to persuade you to advertise, they’re not hiding your posts to force you into it.
So Why Is No One Seeing My Content?
The reason why no one is seeing your Facebook content is not down to some evil money making conspiracy theorist scheme. The answer is quite simple. Your content just isn’t good enough to be seen. Yes, it sounds way harsh, but it’s the truth.
Over the past few years, the number of Facebook users has grown exponentially and with it, so has the number of Facebook fan pages. There’s a page dedicated to almost everything. Every celebrity, every brand, every TV show, movie, hobby, movement, charity and cause has one.
Facebook is very focused on user experience, so showing you every single post from every single page, every single day will not enhance your user experience. Your timeline will be saturated with useless information.
For that reason, Facebook wants to improve your experience by filling your timeline with only the content that it thinks you will find interesting or entertaining, based on your previous behaviour on Facebook.
For example: if you follow Buzzfeed and frequently comment under Buzzfeed’s posts, you will continue to be shown posts from Buzzfeed. However, if you followed a local restaurant’s page back in 2009 and have not engaged with any of its posts since then, Facebook will stop showing you these posts because it’s guessing that you’re not interested.
What Does This Mean For My Business?
This means that Facebook is not hiding your posts, per se. It is only showing your content to the people who they believe will find it most relevant or useful.
Although it seems quite unfair, this is actually a good thing for a business, as it forces you to be more creative and produce amazing content that will engage your followers. This will help your results through content marketing in the long run and will be beneficial for your website’s SEO.
Obviously, producing amazing content is not as straightforward as it sounds. If we all knew how to do that, we’d be marketing geniuses. However, there are many strategies, techniques and tools you can use to get a better idea of what your audience reacts well to online.
6 Tips For Creating Engaging Content
TIP 1: Discover exactly who your audience are by using Facebook Insights and other analytics tools to determine their gender, age, location, online behaviour and interests.
TIP 2: Find out which other Facebook pages are popular among your audience by using Facebook’s Search Function. Simply type “pages liked by fans of *your page name*” into the search bar.
TIP 3: Look at the specific posts on these popular pages which have the most likes, shares or comments. See what they have in common and assess if you can replicate what they’re doing right.
TIP 4: Try your hand at Facebook ads. Don’t see it as giving in to ‘the man’. Creating an ad to promote a certain post will tell you what kind of content has the potential to do well.
TIP 5: Don’t post for the sake of it. If you’re posting something overly promotional that you know isn’t the most interesting thing in the world, just don’t bother. A post with no interaction signals to Facebook that your content is not relevant and will have a detrimental impact to your ever-decreasing reach.
TIP 6: Measure the results. Keep a note of what is doing well and what isn’t to ensure you’re moving forward.
About the Author:
Lana Richardson, journalist and content marketing specialist. Lana writes about marketing for a number of online and print publications and is the current blog editor for Unibaggage.com, NIParcels.com and IrishParcels.ie.