Lately I’ve noticed my Facebook organic reach figures fall like a lead balloon and I have to admit that at first I panicked!
I attended a Facebook boot camp in Sydney last month where I was told that our page posts are shown to approximately 16% of our fans. Lately though, I’m finding it’s less than 5%.
Facebook have even admitted it. Here’s an excerpt taken directly from Facebook’s own words:
“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”
So what does it all mean for your Facebook business page? It means that now more than ever before, you have to take a strategic approach to posting content, including carefully considering “when” you post, “how often” and “what” you post.
1. When should you post?
In order to know when you should post, you need to make sure it’s during the time when as many of your fans are online as possible!
You can find this information in your Page Insights. At the top of your Facebook Page Admin Panel you’ll see some tabs. Click on “See Insights”. There’s a plethora of information here to mull over… at a later time. For now, you need to click on “Posts”. You will see a diagram similar to mine below. Simply hover over the diagram and stats will pop up. You can ascertain when the most people where online on any given day. I seem to have a consistent daily pattern of the majority of fans being online at 6am, 10am, 3pm and the MOST at 7pm.
So although I post a couple of times per day, I make the 7pm post the most important one; usually letting people know I’ve updated this blog!
2. How often should you post?
I don’t know about you, but I used to be mindful of posting “too much/too often” for fear of annoying my fans … heaven forbid they should “unlike” my page! But my philosophy now, based on experience, is “post good content, often”.
Let’s assume half of your fans will be on Facebook every day for an average of somewhere between half and hour and an hour.
If you don’t post anything, you obviously won’t reach anyone! If you post once, you can only reasonably expect to reach fans who were on within about a one to two hour window of the time you posted.
To improve your odds of reaching more people when they are online, you need to post several times per day. Identifying those peak times when your fans are online will help you decide just how many times to post in one day. Remember, the same people will not necessarily see ALL of those posts so don’t be afraid you’re hounding them!
Make sure you don’t post for the sake of posting. Keep your content engaging and high quality. You don’t have to jump on Facebook four times a day to do your posting. Remember you can schedule multiple posts – leaving at least a few hours in between posts.
Let’s look at an example…
If you don’t post anything today, you will reach 0 people. If you post once, you’re going to reach as many people as saw that one post. But if you post four times in a day, how many people will you reach? You’ll reach some of the same people across a few of those posts. But overall, the unique number of people you’ll reach will increase dramatically.
Here’s an example based on a fictional Facebook page with 1,000 fans. Let’s say they posted at:
They may have reached the same people on more than one post, but chances are they reached several different audiences throughout the day.
But what if they only posted once that day and got an organic reach of 5% of their fan base? They would have only reached 50 people! So hopefully you can see how posting several times in the day increases the likelihood of reaching a greater number of fans in different audiences.
3. What should I post?
I can’t stress enough how crucial “what” you post is to your Facebook strategy. Your content needs to be highly engaging. Engaging content is the stuff people will find interesting or appealing; photos, links to news stories, new product releases, sales and special offers, statuses of company news and achievements… ultimately you want clicks! You want people to click LIKE, you want them to click the link through to your website and of course you want “SHARES”. Shares are Facebook Marketing GOLD (see my earlier blog post).
But a word of warning: don’t beg for it. Don’t say “please hit like” or “click SHARE” or any similar call to action. Facebook have hinted that these types of posts will get punished (bumped down the news feed or not shown at all).
Effective Facebook marketing is all about posting high quality engaging content often and at the right time. You can complement your efforts by boosting your posts and other forms of Facebook advertising – see my last blog “Facebook Advertising: Reach More People Using Promoted Posts”. Facebook advertising is very cost effective and the targeting options available make it easier to put your content directly in front of a high specific target audience.
Author: Jody Sharpe, Sharpe Design Solutions
Jody Sharpe has over 20 years experience in marketing & branding and is passionate about helping local small businesses grow.