Social media primer: Facebook

If you love Facebook marketing for your business because it’s free, you are in love with nothing. No more than 6 percent of your followers will ever see your organic (aka ‘free’) posts, which is much lower than years past and is intentional on Facebook’s part. Why? Money. Facebook likes to make money, so it rewards businesses that spend money on its platform.

Don’t fret – there are some tricks to increase the number of people who see your organic posts before you spend money on Facebook advertising. Here are some tips to working with the Facebook algorithm from Hootsuite.

Start conversations that get people talking to each other. 

According to Facebook, one of the algorithm’s key ranking signals is whether a user has previously engaged with your page. And while no one is going to interact with your brand page like they would with their friends’ pages, those likes and shares go a long way towards increasing your reach on future posts.

That means you have to put in the elbow grease before the algorithm can start to recognize and reward your page’s value. And by elbow grease that does not mean shoddy, obvious engagement bait. (The algorithm can tell, and it will down-rank your post and maybe even your page.)

Pro Tip: The best way to earn more engagement is to be genuine. You don’t have to be controversial, you can try curious, funny, interesting, or inspiring.

Post often and consistently. 

Pages that post often are more likely to be meaningful to their audience. Therefore, posting frequency is a ranking signal that can affect how high up in the newsfeed your posts are placed.

ProTip: Look at your page’s analytics and create a content calendar so you always have something relevant to post. 

Post high-quality videos longer than 3 minutes. 

In May 2019, Facebook announced that the newsfeed will increasingly show quality, original videos. The algorithm is increasing the influence of these three ranking factors:

  • Loyalty and intent: Videos that people search for and return to
  • Video length and view duration: Videos that people watch past the 1 minute mark, and that are longer than 3 minutes;
  • Originality: Videos that aren’t repurposed from other sources 

Pro Tip: Try using Facebook live video, which averages six times more engagement than regular video.

Anatomy of a good Facebook business page

1. Focus on the customer: Show images and content that interest them, not what you want them to see 

2. Mix up content: Post videos, tips, cool photos and inspiration

3. Keep your images updated: This includes your logo, your banner.

4. Create a group: This helps organic reach because people engage with groups of like-minded people

5. Complete your profile, completely: This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not uncommon for businesses to not choose a category or even have a broken URL link.

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