I recently posted a blog about the issues many businesses pages are now having in regards to Facebook and the very low reach that their posts are getting organically. This drastic reduction in reach is due to some changes Facebook made to its EdgeRank algorithm in December. As a result of these changes it is now extremely hard to get good organic reach on your posts.
However, many of us rely on Facebook as a marketing tool in our businesses and this change has made us quite nervous. There are paid options in Facebook that will assist you with improving your reach. I decided to run some tests on my page to see what action you could take and what it would do.
Here is a summary of what I have done over the past couple of weeks on my page – bear in mind, this was not a comprehensive trial, so the results are anecdotal.
Facebook shared results last year that said a brand page’s content is only seen by 16% of the page’s fans. I started boosting posts regularly on the 15th February. Up until this point my organic reach on my page was about 7.5% of my likers on average, so my page was underperforming already according to the stats released by Facebook. However, they have not released stats since the changes to EdgeRank were introduced in December.
- Boosting a post
Facebook gives you the option to boost a post every single time you post. I trialled varying amounts and have to say that I think boosting a post for between $5-$10 yielded good results and I don’t really think there is much value in paying more to boost as this means your post is going out to people who don’t already like your page and are therefore unlikely to engage in the post. Boosting the post for $5 put the reach at about 100-150% of my likers. As well as being seen by more fans, the engagement was always higher.
Some anecdotal evidence:
- In between paid boosted posts, the organic reach of my posts was higher at around 10-15%
- You need to pay to boost regularly – the effect it has on subsequent posts diminishes over time. It has now been over a week since I boosted a post on my page and I can see every day the organic reach getting lower and lower.
- Boosting a post that was originally posted within Facebook and not a third party program such as Hootsuite yielded better results. This comes as no surprise as many users complain about the poor reach their posts get, particularly via Hootsuite.
- Creating an offer
In the same section as posting, you can create an offer. I set up an offer and paid the minimum amount $70 to promote this. This offer reached 1,311 people and got some engagement as well as some people claiming the offer. However, I would certainly not recommend an offer, mainly due to its high cost. If I had spent that $70 on boosting a post on my page, Facebook estimates my reach would be between 27,000 – 72,000 so in terms of value for money, it just didn’t cut it.
However, it is worth noting that an offer is a selling tool. This means you are offering a product or service that people can claim via the offer. So whilst it is not great in terms of value for money, you can sell rather than stick with marketing to your fans.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
So I have tested a couple of options to try and improve my reach and would suggest the following as a good strategy:
- Consider boosting a post 1-2 times a week. Work out what your ‘sweet point’ is in terms of spend and stick with it.
- Be consistent – don’t just do it once and then never again. This is a marketing strategy. You need to set aside the funds to boost posts and consider it now part of your marketing costs.
- Test, test and test some more – there are so many variables that can have an impact on the success of your boosted posts so do some testing:
- Have a go at boosting different types of posts to see what is getting the best engagement.
- Choose to boost on different days of the week and at different times.
- Use the target demographics option – Facebook gives it to you so you would be crazy not to try it out.
- Likewise, test different locations when boosting.
- Try an offer – it might suit your business and can be a cost-effective way of eliciting sales out of your fans.
Good luck with your page and with boosting posts. Be sure to check my blog posts regularly to keep up to date with all the latest in social media.