I Used To Be So Popular
How to Increase Your Organic Reach on Facebook.
As all arts organizations are aware, social media is one of the most cost effective ways to market to your audience. Recently, however, updates to Facebook’s algorithm have caused organic reach to dwindle to an average of 2.6 per cent, creating a huge challenge when attempting to reach your hard-earned followers through unpaid posts. This is by no means an insurmountable problem, as these best practices and nifty tricks will help you navigate the ever-changing digital landscape.
Facebook looks at few key factors when deciding who will see your post, including the type of posts (links, photos, or videos), affinity or user engagement, and time decay (time since being published). Without getting too technical on all the algorithm factors, there are a few easy tips that can help just about anyone reach more people.
Quit Over Selling
Affinity and post engagement are key factors in reaching more people organically. Now think about whether you would be inclined to like, share, or comment on a post if an organization is telling you to buy tickets versus sharing interesting facts or a striking rehearsal image.
Facebook actually took this one step further, and began punishing businesses in their algorithm for posts whose sole purpose is selling. Unless you have an early bird deadline or an expiring offer, stick to showcasing the highlights of your performance – it goes without saying that you have tickets to sell.
Keep Update Text Concise
Think about how distracted people are when they scroll through Facebook feeds and how short their attention span is. The initial time after an update is posted is critical in gauging user affinity. If a user quickly read what you have to say and like or share it, your reach can grow quite quickly.
Of course, there are a few exceptions when the information just won’t fit into a concise format, in this instance try posting with only one or two lines of text. If you need more room, take full advantage of the editable regions of text on your link posts.
Use Images in the Recommended Dimensions
It’s all about user experience, and photos cropped to the right dimensions just display better in newsfeeds. Make sure you’re using the recommended image sizes to gain the maximum post reach. Stick to square dimensions for photo posts and swap in a horizontal image when posting a link to a website. Not only will Facebook give these images preferential treatment, images that look great in news feeds are more likely to get a positive reaction out of your audience.
Post at the Right Time of Day
With time decay and user engagement being major factors, the time of day that you post updates can have a huge impact on how many people you reach. Typically, the best time is in the early afternoon between 1pm and 4pm, however, each group of Facebook page followers is slightly different in terms of when they are actually online. To get more specific data on when your followers are online, the Insights tab on your Facebook page offers a great deal of detail on your audience.
We also encourage experimentation by posting at different times of the day to assess best times of engagement. For certain audiences, an evening post may get the best reaction due to fewer people posting and competing for space.
Upload Videos Directly to Facebook
A sad casualty in the war for online supremacy between Google and Facebook has been the downfall of Youtube video reach – traditionally a fantastic source of social content. Not only has the size of Youtube videos decreased to tiny thumbnail images in the newsfeed, they have also received less organic reach as a result of Facebook offering preferential treatment to its own video content.
Although it can sometimes prove frustrating, social media can offer huge dividends if managed properly. Creating great social media content can be time consuming for arts organizations with limited staffing resources. This makes following best practices all the more critical to get the most out of your efforts.