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Don’t let Facebook control your organic reach
by Erin Duff | April 22, 2014 | Facebook | 4 comments

With over 1 billion users creating content, sharing news and posting photos, it was only a matter of time before Facebook started limiting which content appears in newsfeeds. With Facebook’s new guidelines and rules, every business page’s organic reach took a hit. Organic reach is defined as the number of unique people who saw your post in their newsfeed, either because they are a fan of your page or a friend shared, liked or commented on your post. Two years ago, organic reach for most Facebook pages was around 17 percent, meaning your posts would reach an average of 17% of your fans, without any promotion. Now it hovers around 6.5 percent, according to a recent study from Edge Rank Checker.

So how can brands fight back and increase their organic reach naturally? Facebook uses a few things to calculate how important your post is and whether or not it deserves a higher spot in someone’s newsfeed – the number of shares, likes and comments. Here are some ways you can increase your social reach.

1. Post relevant content to increase shares
Shares are becoming increasingly important for your reach. Every time your fan shares a post or image, it appears on their newsfeed which is more likely to rank higher in other’s newsfeeds than your own post. What is deemed as share-worthy depends on your target audience and what has worked well with your fans in the past. For fashion retailers, this could mean sharing DIYs or style guides. For sport retailers, this could mean sharing game day recipes or humorous posts. The bottom line – post content that is helpful and worthwhile for your fans to read.

coach

2. Use visuals to increase likes
Facebook has taken a stand on visuals. Posts can now only contain 20% text, leaving 80% of your post for visuals. Increase likes by including stunning images that tell a story. Your fans will be more willing to ‘like’ a post if the image is something they can relate to. Always make sure that your image evokes some sort of emotion like laughter, love, or nostalgia. Feature fan generated photos to increase brand advocacy and generate more shares as others try to become featured fans. For example, Coach has a very large style savvy fan base. Their Facebook posts consists of what is trending now which works well with a fashion forward demographic.

3. Include questions to increase comments
Questions are also a great way to get feedback, either likes or comments. Ask fans to vote between two products to increase discussion and comments. Chipotle ran a Post Contest earlier this year and got a huge response from their fans.

chipotle

4. Enable employees to become brand advocates
Encourage your employees to like, share and post on your page to increase overall engagement. Your biggest fans should be your employees. They are the ones that know your product inside and out and can be your biggest advocates.

Take your social reach to the next level by adding one of these Annex Cloud boosts. These few social tools can quickly increase your social engagement and fanbase.

5. Run a Facebook contest
Contests are fun and work when your fans are properly incentivized. Try a Like-Gating contest on your site to increase your fan’s engagement on social and grow your fan base. To increase engagement on your Facebook page try hosting a Post Contest. Turn any post into a contest by asking your fans to submit captions and vote for their favorites with likes, similar to Chipotle’s Haiku contest. With Annex Cloud’s Post Contests, you’ll gather insights and social data from every comment as well.

6. Reward Facebook actions
Make sure that Facebook actions are part of your loyalty or rewards programs. Reward your shoppers for their social advocacy to keep them happy, engaged and primed to become loyal brand advocates.

 

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  1. avatar
    Alinn Louv
    on May 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I agree that simply running a Facebook contest can be an out-dated strategy. The Annex Cloud difference that makes running a social contest worth it, is the powerful analytics that shows the incremental revenue that results from a contest. Our clients have seen that conversion rates are 3-5x higher for visitors from contest entries. For more information regarding how social contests can be beneficial, please see our latest case study, here from Her Interactive. They ran a Facebook Like-Gating contest and received 82,000 entries and over 800 resulting referral orders.

  2. avatar
    Shane
    on May 2, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with the post Alinn. Running Facebook contests to acquire fans is a really old and poor strategy. You end up with a bunch of “likes”, not fans. That’s a waste of money.

  3. avatar
    Alinn Louv
    on April 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks Shane, yes I believe that simply asking fans to share a post that has no share-worthy attributes will lower your ranking or making fans share to enter a contest is against Facebook policy. I’ve edited the post for clarification. Asking fans questions and running Post Contests are within Facebook’s policy.

  4. avatar
    Shane
    on April 24, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Thank you for your article, but didn’t Facebook just release notes saying that including a CTA in the post will be looked at in a negative way? They specifically said that asking fans to share would lower your ranking.

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