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Is Organic Reach Dead? Or Are They Just Scrolling Past?
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
… it’s the kiss of death for Business Pages on Facebook. Isn’t it?
That basically means that they’re only going to show content from your mum or your friends and work colleagues, right?
It also means you need to pay if you have a business page.
But this isn’t news. Reach has been declining for years, and as Facebook (and other platforms) get busier and busier, the challenge for the techies who control the platforms is how they decide what to put in your timeline.
Your timeline is bursting at the seams and the job of Zucks and his crew is to make sure you don’t find it overwhelming and leave.
Twitter struggles with this. Many tell us it’s simply too busy.
Facebook do pretty well in our opinion and the algorithm updates do favour friends and family, but they also favour paying businesses who keep the platform viable.
So is organic reach totally dead? Can you still get posts out there for free on Facebook?
On Sunday night at 5:53pm I fired a simple question from our Facebook Page. I simply posted:
… and then I forgot about it.
I checked the post at around 7:30pm to find that I’d had over 70 comments!
- I hadn’t paid.
- I hadn’t sent the link to anyone.
- I hadn’t shared it into any groups.
- I hadn’t even asked Jo to comment.
I just posted it and left it.
70 comments isn’t loads, but on a page with just over 2,000 likes and one that we rarely use for sharing content now (mainly it’s just for ads) it was a surprise to me.
The post did well for many reasons, and here’s my learning from this for your own posts on your page, in groups, on LinkedIn, and in the wider social media world.
Golden time to post…
6pm on a Sunday is a golden time to post for us. Our audience are mostly 30+ and in business. Sunday night is unlikely to be a time when they’re out partying or socialising. (Sadly, those days are gone!) It’s a time they’re most sitting relaxing and contemplating the next week whilst checking Facebook after dinner.
It’s a habit that many do.
Sunday night is also very busy in a group I admin which is also full of business owners.
So timing was key.
I find that any time between 6-11pm does well to be fair, but Sunday evening is definitely a good time to post.
Short and sweet
Long posts can work well, but the short and concise ones work very well indeed.
Facebook is overwhelmed, right? So a short and concise message has more chance of being read and understood.
Think about it: you skim read on Facebook, don’t you? You don’t read all the content on longer posts.
This short and concise message got the point through.
Emojis add colour
We use our cowboy emoji all the time as well as the cactus and the laughing emojis. Adding them to your content can really help your posts to seem more human, more emotional and more colourful. It explains the tone of the post without people having to try too hard.
The little cowboy smiling at the end helped to make people notice the post and encourage them to comment.
The content resonated…
The post is about reach on Facebook. Most of our fans will have pages that are struggling and will be following us for advice and help on social media and marketing. We posted about a pain they’re most likely experiencing and that caught their attention.
“Just testing this ‘reach’ theory” caught their eye and adding ‘reach’ into speech marks helped to show it as the main focus of the post.
But that’s not all…
All of the above has helped. Good timing, style of posts, relevancy, intrigue – it all helped. But there was one very simple reason that this post got ‘reach’ and over 100 comments and counting was that I asked for them…
Call To Action.
What’s most likely happening to your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and then further on email and video is that you’re not adding a Call To Action and they’re being seen, read and then scrolled.
You do it, don’t you?
You read and scroll on other posts.
We don’t interact with every post, email, video we see. We don’t.
When you ask a question or add a really strong Call To Action you’ll get some action.
And that’s what happened here and also over on LinkedIn last weekend when I jokingly posted:
“If you use LinkedIn at the weekend, comment “Yes” below…”
(I was taking the piss a bit, but loads of people commented and the post reached nearly three times the number of direct connections I have!)
Add a Call to Action…
I’m not trying to encourage you to post meaningless content that asks for comments. That’s not the lesson here.
The lesson here is simple:
- Keep it short
- Keep it relevant
- Keep it timely
- Add a Call to Action!
Reach and engagement might well be low for your sales posts and your big statement pieces but ask a question or a simple CTA and you’ll see some far better results.
At the end of the day, Facebook still wants to keep businesses happy and a post that got nearly 70 comments in an hour is also one that Facebook decided to show to more people, even those who weren’t fans, because it added value to their platform.
Add value, add intrigue, add a Call To Action, and add some money when you need to.
There are some many factors and play into the small success of that free, organic post but simply put I asked for feedback and told them how to give it – TWICE!
Keep trying to be seen but ask for feedback, comments, emotions, actions or you’ll never know who’s seeing your content.
On Sunday at 5:53pm I created a simple post that reached 2,600 people (and rising) for free.
You can and could still get free exposure on Facebook if you try to engage with your audience.
What works for you? Let us know and we’ll compare notes.
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