Expanding Your Facebook Reach—For Free (Spoiler: Content Rules!)
Noticed that lil’ “Promote This Post” option on your agency’s Facebook Timeline and not sure what it means? Don’t panic—we’ve got guest blogger Brenna Jennings, the ASPCA’s Web Design Manager, Community Outreach, on the case.
When I’m not working my full-time job here managing ASPCApro.org, I maintain a personal blog and its accompanying Facebook page. I noticed the new “Promote This Post” option while updating a status last week, along with the drop-down menu that offered me the option of paying a fee in order to get more eyeballs on my post, and I thought—like I now know many other bloggers and Facebook page owners had as well—that Facebook had begun manipulating the reach of my page’s posts, forcing me to pay to have more of my own fans see my stuff. For a hot minute I was really annoyed. Then I did some more research.
The drop-down options within “Promote” don’t help clarify what’s actually happening. The information that’s missing here is that your posts have never, at any point, reached your entire fanbase. Facebook has always used an algorithm to determine which content is displayed most often and to whom—this makes sense, especially for users who ‘like’ lots of pages and don’t like a massively clogged newsfeed.
How often have you heard the question from a Facebook friend, “Didn’t you see the photos I posted this morning?” But you really didn’t see them. Maybe you missed them, maybe Facebook’s algorithm decided that your friend posts way too many photos and they didn’t show up in your newsfeed, or maybe you did see them but hadn’t had your coffee yet. Regardless, with such a big stream of information, it makes sense that no one person sees every single posted item.
What I’ve read so far is that though it’s not some nefarious, underhanded way of ringing money out of users after a disappointing Wall Street stock debut, the Promote feature isn’t exactly great return on investment either. Your budget is better spent on clever cat marketing.
So what’s the takeaway? Content is still king! If what you’re posting is engaging your users, encouraging comments, conversations, shares and likes, then you’ll be fine. Keep tabs on your Facebook Insights, where you can sort by type of post, user activity and reach to see what’s working on your page and what’s not so hot, so you can adjust accordingly.
Tailoring your posts will help you be a better Facebook user and help expand that oh-so-vital community reach. So keep an eye on your numbers, and give your audience what they want most.
What are your questions and concerns? Please leave them in the comment box—we’ve got Brenna on stand-by to address them!
Brenna Jennings has been working on the Web for 10 years. She’s currently the Web Manager for ASPCApro.org and runs a popular blog of her own when she’s not busy raising 3 small dogs and one unruly preschooler.