Facebook is becoming an increasingly frustrating problem for marketers.
On the one hand, it’s the king, queen, and ace of social media platforms. The ad network is extremely effective and Facebook’s users practically live on the platform.
But on the other hand, Facebook is becoming increasingly “pay-to-play” as they relentlessly scale back your organic post reach, or the percentage of your fans who see each post you share.
Between January and July of 2016 alone, Facebook pages have experienced a dramatic 52% decline in organic reach.
And that’s just the most recent shift. In 2012, Facebook pages had a 12% organic reach. Today, your reach may be as low as 2%!
The worst part is that it makes sense why they’re doing it…real people are publishing less frequently while new brands continue adopting Facebook as a primary marketing channel. That means less real estate to go around without scaring off the users you’re trying to reach.
But all is not lost…it is possible to increase your organic reach by understanding how the Facebook Algorithm works (and then optimizing your posts based on that knowledge).
Here’s a hint: you want to be using video…
How the Facebook Algorithm Works & Why Video Helps
The Facebook algorithm is a big, tricky beast.
At it’s core, you know that there’s a time-based element, so the longer your post is up, the less likely it is to get seen. However, if your post is getting strong engagement, it’ll move up the feed and stay there until it starts to lose momentum.
That’s a super simplified explanation, so let’s unpack this a bit more.
Over time, Facebook has continued to add layers to the algorithm to make it more effective. In particular, they’re beginning to prioritize quality and relevance.
For example, if you publish a post and it gets a lot of engagement right away, then Facebook will show that post to more people.
This is based on an assumption about the quality of that post; if it gets lots of engagement, it must be good. And if it’s good, Facebook wants to share it with more of your followers.
Makes sense, right?
Plus, the more frequently each of your followers engage with your content, the more likely they are to see posts from you in the future. That’s one of the (many) ways that Facebook tries to show each user the most relevant posts.
All of that is to say that quality and relevance are the keys to increasing your organic post reach in the news feed. (Conversely, you should never publish something that isn’t great, or your organic reach will go DOWN).
But there’s one other factor that you also need to think about, and that’s your post type…
On Facebook there are four basic types of posts:
Of all the posts types, videos get far more engagement than the rest. Since Facebook released its native video platform, videos have consistently received much higher exposure in the news feed.
See where this is going?
Video gives you an unfair advantage in the news feed. If your video is of a similar quality to your other content, more people will engage with it than they would a link, photo, or text-based post.
And when your followers engage with your post, they’ll be more likely to see your next one.
So that’s how video can help you drive up your organic reach.
The next question is: how to create videos that actually drive engagement on Facebook, which is precisely what we’re exploring This Week In Video Marketing.
Facebook Live: Why Marketers Need To Start Using It
First and foremost, you should be using Facebook Live.
The benefits are clear: it’s free, the quality standards are lower than for produced videos, and most importantly, live videos get even higher organic reach than other Facebook videos.
Not only will your videos get more reach, but your followers will receive a notification that you’ve gone live, prompting them to tune in and engage.
Plus, for the duration that you’re live, your video will appear at the top of all your follower’s newsfeeds.
And if that doesn’t convince you, watch this video featuring our Director of Production Stronz Vanderploeg, where he shares why Facebook Live is so powerful for marketers.
You don’t want to miss this opportunity to dramatically improve your organic post reach and get better results from your Facebook investment.
A Simple Tip To Get More Viewers For Your Facebook Videos
Facebook Live is amazing, but if you’re like most brands, most of your videos are going to be of the on-demand variety.
But on Facebook, the rules are a little different than other platforms. You can’t just take a YouTube video, upload it to Facebook and expect to get stellar results.
You see, Facebook videos autoplay without sound. That means your video either needs to work without sound, or be compelling enough visually to encourage viewers to click for audio.
If your followers don’t actually watch the video and consume your content, they’re very unlikely to like, comment, or share your video.
And remember what I said earlier: you need your fans to engage if you want to boost your organic reach.
There are many techniques for overcoming Facebook’s silent autoplay issue and I encourage you to try them all.
Some of the staples include:
- Text-based animation
- Using on-screen text to ask viewers to click for audio
- And more…
In this video, Annette shares one of our favorite techniques for getting Facebook fans to engage with our clients’ videos.
If you want to know what it is, just watch the video!
Facebook is making it difficult to put your content in front of your fans, but by focusing on quality and relevance, you can recover much of what you’ve lost and stand out in your industry.
And there’s no better way to get that snowball rolling than to use Facebook video (especially Live).
Have other tips for increasing organic reach on Facebook? Let us know in the comments!
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