It has become more and more difficult for businesses to get their organic (or unpaid) Facebook posts to actually appear in users’ news feeds. The selection of which posts show up and which ones don’t (and to which users) are based on Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. Over the past few years, Facebook has updated its algorithm numerous times to cut down on organic posts with overly promotional content (such as posts that try to get users to buy a product or enter a sweepstakes). Facebook’s goal is create more of a balance between posts from friends and business pages so users don’t miss out on important updates from their friends and family members due to an overwhelming volume of commercial content in their feed.
With Facebook’s latest News Feed update, getting your franchise’s organic posts in front of potential customers has become even more challenging.
Facebook recently announced another algorithm update that makes organic Page reach (how many users see your unpaid posts) more heavily dependent on users’ sharing activity. According to a Facebook blog post written by Engineer Director Lars Backstrom, Pages that get most of their referral traffic directly from their posts will be hit harder by the News Feed algorithm update than Pages that get more of their referral traffic through shares. Backstrom wrote: “We encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.”
So what does this mean for your franchise? It means that if Facebook users who see your franchise’s unpaid posts aren’t sharing them with their friends, it’s going to become harder for your franchise to get seen on this social media platform—at least from an organic perspective.
We have two solutions for you:
1) Post more shareworthy content on your franchise’s Facebook page.
2) Use paid (sponsored) posts and ads to significantly boost your exposure on Facebook and better target your ideal audience.
Our franchise social media experts recommends doing both, as the best Facebook strategy requires both an organic and paid presence.
Here are a few tips for getting your organic Facebook posts more shares:
Avoid using copy that sounds too salesy, such as “buy now” or “purchase now.” Facebook users tend to get turned off by posts that feel like advertisements. Instead, keep your organic posts focused on information sharing and maintain a conversational tone so your posts better blends in with the rest of the user’s News Feed. It’s okay to have a post here and there with a call to action (such as “Share this article with a friend!”), but we recommend keeping this to a minimum.
Keep your posts short and to the point. Facebook is about quick, easy-to-read updates, so you should avoid creating posts that are more than a couple of sentences long. If your posts include long blocks of texts, they are likely going to get ignored by users.
Get visual with images and videos. Visuals are an excellent way to catch Facebook users’ attention and keep them interested. Video content in particular is driving more engagement these days. An analysis of Facebook data for the 15 most popular publishers on Facebook showed that videos posted by publishers’ Pages usually get 268% more shares than links.
Know the audience you want to target and create posts based on their needs and interests. Are you targeting stay-at-home moms? What about business owners or young working professionals who do a lot of traveling? Once you know who your customer persona is, create social media content that will specifically speak to and engage your target audience.
Capitalize on trending topics. Is there breaking news or a hot trend that currently has everyone’s attention? Use it to your franchise’s advantage by posting about it on Facebook—and do it quickly before the moment passes. It’s also helpful to find a unique way to present or share the topic, as you’ll surely have competition from other brands that are posting about the same thing.
Put your posts to the test and use the results to improve your social strategy. Post about different topics, try out different ad copy and visuals, post at different times of the day, and then look at the results to see what has generated the most engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.). You can check out all of your analytics in Facebook Insights (or in the Ads Manager if you are running ads) to assess what’s working and what’s not. Once you’ve crunched the numbers, you’ll have a better idea of how to make your Facebook posts more engaging for users.
We also have a ton of tips for creating more effective Facebook ads and paid posts, which we’ll share in the coming weeks. In the meantime, be sure to check out our free guide on social media for franchises.