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What (Not) to Do to Increase Your Facebook Reach

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Are you getting lots of advice these days on how to increase the reach of your Facebook posts? Isn’t it all so very confusing? Let me sift through which tips work better than others.

THE MUST-DOS

At present, Facebook advertising is the most effective technique to improve the reach of your fan page posts. You might suspect that I’m about to use the phrase “advertising budget” … and that sounds scary. But start with an initial investment of just $5 per post to give your messaging the audience it deserves. If you post 20 times a month, and you plan to promote each post, we’re talking about a monthly budget of $100.

If you feel that your Facebook marketing efforts are worth that relatively small investment, make sure your posts are worth promoting. Don’t make all the posts about “You gotta come to the store today” or  ”Check out our latest deal.” Facebook fans, who are typically on Facebook to be social with others, do not want to be bombarded with your pleas for their business. Use moderation with those types of posts.

To expand your variety of post types, try tapping into the social nature of Facebook by initiating a dialog. Ask your fans to:

  • create a caption or thought bubble for a photo
  • share their thoughts about a current event (for example, chatting about red carpet events like the Academy Awards is great fodder for businesses in the entertainment, fashion, and beauty industries)
  • offer ideas for upcoming products or services

These more socially oriented posts often encourage more engagement, which in turn helps your promoted posts garner more reach.

Sometimes fans need a little incentive to interact with your posts, regardless of how social they are. So give timeline contests a try to occasionally rustle up post likes and comments. Last fall, I needed feedback on future topics for my blog, so I asked my fans — in exchange for a chance to win a copy of a hot, bestselling book on content marketing.

b2b-sierra-tierra-facebook-timeline-contest

This easy-to-implement contest was a small investment to get great feedback, higher engagement, and a doubling of my typical reach numbers.
The onus isn’t entirely on you to come up with fresh ideas. Why not get some inspiration from your competitors? The “Pages to Watch” box allows you to see a list of your competitors each time you log into your fan page. Imagine you own a doughnut shop and run its fan page. You should add competitors to your Pages to Watch box (see the example), check their weekly “likes” growth, and click through to see what types of posts are earning them good engagement (and in most cases, good reach).

Facebook Pages to Watch
THE WAIT-AND-SEES

Hashtags have done wonders to extend reach for businesses on Twitter and Instagram. But to date, Facebook hashtags have done very little to increase the eyeballs on business’ tagged posts. Think about it: when is the last time you’ve searched on a Facebook hashtag?

There’s certainly one big reason why this feature hasn’t taken off on Facebook. The social network has yet to give mobile users any way to search by hashtags. Heck, mobile users can’t even click through on hashtags to see what other posts are similarly tagged.

Facebook made an announcement last week that made many gotta-have-reach marketers giddy. By tagging another Facebook page name in a post, your post will have the potential to show up in the news feeds of that other page’s fans — even if those fans are not YOUR fans. “This means some Page posts that tag other Pages may be seen by new people,” said Facebook’s article on this new feature.

facebooktagging-other-pages-news-feed

Let me separate myself from the “OMG Reach!” marketer posse. I think marketers will overuse tagging to appear in as many other pages’ fans’ news feeds as possible. That’s pretty close to spam in my book. Until Facebook creates a way to moderate abuse of page tagging, I won’t be using this feature on a regular basis. I suggest you hold off as well. Let’s focus on what we know works before we delve into unknown territory.

What’s worked for your business to increase the reach of your Facebook fan page posts? (What hasn’t worked?)

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa, Would love for you to talk about how you use google analytics to monitor your social media results

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      I’m happy to share some ideas — of course, the results depend on what your goal is for being on social media.

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