Every business on Facebook wants its posts seen by as many people as possible. Few Facebook users realize that because of your Facebook reach, only a small percentage of people who like your page will see your posts in their newsfeed.
A typical Facebook user has hundreds of connections, including their friends and other pages they’ve “liked." If each of their connections is posting a couple of times a day, there is some pretty stiff competition for a prime spot in their newsfeed. Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to sort through these posts to determine which ones are most relevant to the individual. Updates from pages with which a person regularly interacts are considered to be the most relevant. These updates get pushed to the top.
Some good news is that if your Facebook reach is low, it’s possible to improve it by working on boosting fan engagement. How do you do that? Well, in this post, I’m going to discuss more details about the factors that go into determining EdgeRank as well as describe the types of posts that tend to generate the most engagement.
It’s all about reach
Reach is the number of people who have actually seen your content. Facebook makes it very easy to monitor reach by displaying the number at the end of each post.
It’s critical to encourage regular interaction from fans in order to increase Facebook reach.
In order for people to continue to see your updates in their newsfeed, they have to somehow express interest when they see one of your posts.
Reach is influenced by these factors:
- Liking, sharing or commenting on a post.
- Clicking on a link.
- Viewing the full size of a photo.
- Watching a video.
Clicking the “See More” link at the end of a long post.
Whenever one of these actions occurs, Facebook’s algorithm reads it as a sign that you want to see more from the page that published the post. These numbers are represented in Facebook Insights by the “Engaged Users” and “Talking About This” metrics. It’s important to monitor these numbers; the higher they are, the better your future reach will be. So now that you know what goes into influencing your reach on Facebook, let’s talk about the types of posts that are effective at increasing it.
Types of posts that boost engagement
Image posts will almost always do better than any other. Images automatically get much better placement in a user’s newsfeed. Everything being equal, adding an image to a post will increase engagement on its own. Images also take up more real estate in the newsfeed. Compared with a plain text post, images are far more visible and compelling for users to click on. If you get creative, you can find a way to add an image to just about anything.
Attention grabbing posts
Start your post strong, get to the point quickly and wrap it up in a few sentences or less. With a website, you have just ten seconds to grab your reader’s attention; on social media, you have even less time. You need to command attention with a strong opening and communicate what you need to say in as few words as possible. Be mindful of the fact that users have dozens of items in their newsfeed to go through. If you don’t capture their interest in the first few words, they’ll just move on to something else.
Posts with a strong call to action
It’s easy to boost engagement just by asking for it. Try ending your posts with a call to action that asks your fans to either leave a comment, share or like your post. Sometimes people just don’t know what to do with a post after they’ve seen it. Adding a simple call to action gives them some direction for what to do next. You’d be surprised at how well this works.
One of the primary reasons why someone likes a business’s page on Facebook is because they want more information about products and services. Be a valuable resource to your Facebook fans by giving them the information that they’re looking for. You know what problems your customers are facing better than anyone else. You know what benefits they’re seeking. Use this knowledge, combined with your expertise in your field, to provide helpful solutions to customers. If you can solve their problems and teach them something new they’ll be more than happy to thank you by liking, sharing or commenting on your posts.
When people go on Facebook they go there to relax, unwind and be entertained. Funny, light-hearted posts tend to go over extremely well. Knowing what you know now about the effectiveness of image posts, you can imagine the kind of engagement numbers you’ll draw with humorous graphics, comics or memes. Go try it, it’s fun.
Questions are great for so many things, including increasing reach. I really enjoyed writing about them in a previous blog post where I talked about how you can dramatically boost engagement on Facebook by asking questions. Rather than repeating it all, I encourage you to please read "The Secret No One Told You About Increasing Social Media Engagement".
Facebook reach is determined by the amount of people who regularly interact with your updates. Reach can be increased through encouraging regular interaction between your Facebook fans with compelling and engaging posts. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list of the types of Facebook posts that you can make, but it’s a great starting point to do your own testing and see what works for your audience. Every Facebook page is a bit different.
What do you find works best for your Facebook page? What types of posts tend to result in the most engagement? Let me know in the comments section!
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About the Author.
Matt Southern is the Social Media Manager at Bureau, a Canadian communications firm.
With an advanced diploma in Public Relations and a B.A. in Communication Studies he's passionate about learning how to build connections with people, which translates into his work and his writing.
He specializes in helping businesses build a human connection with their audiences through integrated strategies involving social media, content marketing and search engine optimization.
You can visit his website at MattSouthern.com, where he blogs about topics that are designed to educate and provide value to small businesses looking to get more results out of their social media marketing.