This gorgeous sneak peek reached 67,000 people when I posted it on my Facebook page
There has been a lot of talk recently from small business owners who are having trouble reaching all of their Facebook fans with their updates. While I’m not planning to get into a debate about why this might be, today I thought I’d share some ways in which you can make sure your posts reach as many of your fans as possible.
The fact of the matter is this: Even if your overall reach is down, you are still being seen by the people who really care about your content. And no, I didn’t really believe this either until I did some serious nerding out and research for myself!
If you’re reach is down, it is most likely that the people who aren’t seeing your updates any more are just not interested in you (harsh but true). If someone isn’t engaging with your posts, pictures and comments, Facebook shows them content from other places instead. The Facebook network is phenomenally complex, and to put it concisely, they have a much deeper understanding of what each of their users is likely to enjoy than you do.
So just how can you ensure that your posts are reaching those people that do care?
Post when your fans are online
Facebook’s new Insights are brilliant and can give you a much clearer idea of who your fans are. They can tell you things like where in the world they’re located, their ages and what other pages they like. However, for me, the most useful stat has been the graph that shows what time your fans are online. It may sound obvious, but if you post something when more people are on Facebook, more people are going to see it! And you might be quite surprised at the results.
As my social media is linked to my business, I am mostly on Facebook during office hours, when I’m working. I assumed my fans were the same. WRONG! The people that like my page are mostly on there between 8 and 9pm UK time. So, if I have an important update that I want seen by as many people as possible, I post it during this time.
The general consensus used to be that you should limit how many times you updated your page to avoid annoying your fans. However I don’t really think this is the case any more, especially as not everyone sees everything you post. You certainly should never post links to the same articles multiple times a day (that is spammy) but posting a few times throughout a 24 hour period is a good way to reach more people.
After all, if you don’t post, you don’t reach anyone, and if you only post once, you’ll only reach those fans that are online within the one or two hour window when it goes up.
I generally post three to four times a day on my page. In the morning I’ll link to my blog post that goes live at 8am, around lunchtime I’ll usually post something like a funny story, a joke, a sneak-peek image or something I’ve found online that I liked, and mid-afternoon I’ll post a link to my 3pm blog post. Then, since noticing the stat about when my fans are online above, I’ve also started posting something else in the evening.
Re-share old, popular, content
If you’re not posting new content on your own site multiple times a day, one way to make sure you’re still posting links to your own stuff is to re-share old, popular content. Remember, a lot of your fans may have only liked your page recently and won’t have seen everything you’ve ever written.
I’ve spoken before about why I think ‘evergreen’ content on blogs (i.e subjects that don’t go out of date) is better than news-related or topical articles, and this is a great way to get some new eyeballs on those older articles that you’re proud of.
Over the past few weeks I’ve started doing this at 8pm most days and the results have been astronomical. As you can see in the screengrab from my Google Analytics, below, by sharing a link to an old post blog traffic has increased dramatically compared to the previous week whe