by: Carol Bryant
How can I get more reach on Facebook so that people LIKE my page and engage with me? How can I get more blog comments and actually get people to engage with me on my blog? Help me get people to see my content on Facebook! Do any of these statements sound like you?
Organic reach of Facebook posts is a very hotly contested topic: It seems as if from day to day, the percentage of people who actually see what you post on Facebook varies. In this case, “actually see what you post” refers to business pages, not personal accounts.
Have you ever paid to “boost” a post on Facebook, but then perhaps the next post or two seem to tank? There is even some discussion that unless a user pays to boost each of their posts on their business page, that Facebook will somehow dish out a penalty. That penalty, it is surmised, comes in the form of less eyes on your prize: A status update.
Here’s the reality: Facebook’s algorithm does NOT punish users for paying to boost posts. This is the scoop:
More Content, Same 24 Hours
We all share 24 hours in a day. Within those 24 hours, there is more and more content being served/pushed out into feeds and timelines on Facebook. At present time, Facebook feeds and sidebars are heavily populated with holiday sales and ads: ‘Tis the season, after all.
“Another way to think of Facebook content and reach is like this,” Chloe DiVita, BlogPaws’ Director of Programs and Events, shares. “Imagine you are driving down a street and each person has a yard sign promoting something they believe in. You can visually see them all, but you probably don’t absorb each one. Certain ones catch your eye and certain neighbors interest you more than others. That was the Facebook feed of 5 years ago, maybe even 6 or 7.”
Fast forward to present day and imagine driving down the same street, twice as fast. Why so fast? Well, the world and people in general are generally less patient these days. We are a society that wants it now! Now imagine every house you drive past has 10 yard signs.
How many yard signs do you feel you can see now? Your mind is only capable of absorbing so much information, just as your Facebook feed can only serve so much content.
Piecing it Together
If Facebook gave you every piece of content for the pages you followed – not just liked, but truly followed – for one day, would you go through all the content and decide with which pieces you wanted to fill your 1,500 content slots? What if there were 4,000 pieces of content being delivered? How would YOU try to pick the 1,500 you want to see?
At its core, this is the whole purpose of Facebook’s algorithm. It tracks your habits, what posts you like, what you comment on, what you share, what pages you follow, and it tracks it all and tries to deliver what it thinks you want to see. It’s not perfect, but this is how it works.
Fishes and Ponds
There is an old adage about being a little fish in a big pond, and indeed Facebook’s waters are deep. Imagine a high paying advertiser comes along and “steals” one of YOUR content slots. Said advertiser does so by purchasing that slot with dollars.
For example, Big Brand A comes along and puts something on your Facebook feed that actually interests you, so you LIKE it. It is almost guaranteed that if Big Brand B comes along and puts out a paid Facebook ad the next day, it is most likely going to show up in your Facebook feed.
Because you interacted with a similar brand (Brand A), you have defined yourself as the brand’s target market. Additionally, Brand A will show up for you unless you tell Facebook to make it stop. Until you tell Facebook to stop delivering you Brand A, well Brand A is stealing a piece of your content away from a page you might truly care about seeing.
What Can You Do?
Yes, there are exceptions, but the bottom line is this: YOU have the most control of your Facebook feed when you tell Facebook what you do like, what you don’t like, and those times when you hide posts and follow posts. It is super important to take a peek at your Facebook Analytics at least weekly.
Power Editor or Boost Post
If you are of the pay to be seen attitude, and let’s face it: The right boost at the right time to the right audience can make magic happen. It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling when those LIKES and SHARES come rolling in when the dollars are dished out for an ad on Facebook.
There is much talk about whether to simply boost a post, which is quite easy to do right from within any Facebook business page post. When you build ads in Power Editor instead of the Facebook Ads Manager, the user has much more control and creative purpose over the elements and goal of the “ad.”
With Power Editor, be sure to use Google Chrome. This is a really good basic understanding post from Post Planner on the topic of Power Editor.
If you want some love around a general post, then a boost is fine; if you want a more defined target audience and more features/ad goals, then Power Editor is worth exploring.
Instagram Sponsored Ads Via Facebook
Indeed, you can now insert sponsored content into Instagram feeds. A few basic tenets apply:
- Use Google Chrome so that…..
- You can use Power Editor
- Determine who your audience is, what the goal of your “ad” is, and be certain the picture is stellar: No fuzzy, grainy, or crowded shots. Clarity and beauty rule.
It can be confusing, and I had a bit of a spat with the process at first, so take it from someone who has done this: The bottom line is you run an ad on Facebook with a goal in mind and can attach your Instagram page to it so that it runs concurrently on that platform. Click here for the basics of creating an Instagram ad through Facebook.
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How are you handling Facebook these days? Are you paying to boost posts? Is anything puzzling you? What’s working?
Let us know in the comments below. Happy Boosting!