Friday Digital Roundup
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What’s Facebook Reach and How Important is it to My Digital Marketing? Is it a Vanity Metric?
Questions we’re often asked include:
“What is reach?”
“Is it important?”
and “Should I care about it?”.
Well, the answer in short is, yes. You should care about it…
But you also shouldn’t care about it.
Well firstly. Let’s dive into the crux of what Facebook reach actually is.
What’s Facebook Reach and How Important is it to My Digital Marketing? Is it a Vanity Metric?
What Is Facebook Reach?
Facebook Reach can be broken down into two different categories. Post reach and Page reach. Although typically when we talk about reach in the real world, we’re talking about post reach.
But we’ll go over the meaning of each briefly.
- Post reach is the number of people who *saw your post in their news feed.
- Page reach is the number of people who saw any of your content from your page (or about your Page) during a given period of time.
(*Saw – when I say ‘saw’. I don’t mean with their literal eyes. Facebook’s good, but not that good. They simply determine reach by how many times your post was displayed on a screen- weirdly not all of us physically see the content that comes up on our screens.)
So yeah, it’s all quite simple, but quite complex too.
It’s also tricky because the relationship between post and page reach can be quite misleading.
Quite often you’ll find that if you post less, you’ll have a higher post reach, yet you’ll likely have a low page reach. Whereas if you post often, you might have a low post reach but a high page reach. This is because your overall reach is based on the performance of your content in any given time.
In summary, reach is essentially the number of people who see your content.
It’s important to note that reach is nothing to do with the people who’ve interacted with your post or page (i.e. liked, commented, clicked, shared).
That said, the two are heavily interlinked… bringing us to the next point.
‘Reach for the Stars’
We’re now tucking into why you should care about reach.
Reach is essentially the ‘awareness’ and ‘exposure’ of your posts.
If you don’t post, you can’t achieve reach – and therefore you’re not being ‘seen’.
I can’t stress this enough – you have to post if you want to be seen, even if you find your reach metrics are underwhelmingly low.
It’s amazing how many clients and friends I’ve worked with who just ‘don’t bother’ with posting on their social media accounts because they think no-one sees it. It’s always slow from the get-go; it’s a long journey but you’ve got to start with a consistent plan of posting content. That’s the key to generating the reach.
This might have happened to you. (It happens to me all the darn time!)
“I’m loving your content on Facebook”, says a networking contact.
“Really? Which content? (*Thinks* I’ve never seen you interact.)
“Oh, I’m not sure, but I love the content you put out!”
“Oh, gee, thanks.” (*Thinks* Maybe you should actually comment on it then!)
… most people scroll and laugh quietly. It’s annoying… it affects your reach… but it happens!
The Golden Rule For Facebook And Social Media in General is “Stay Visible To Stay Viable”.
By being visible and increasing your reach, you will improve your chances of engagement.
Those words behind the golden rule are words I utter day in and day out to clients who need social media training.
However, it’s not as simple as ‘just’ posting to maintain this reach and create an established Facebook page. You need to generate ‘engaging’ content. It might sound simple, but so many people miss this trick.
If you regularly post boring content that nobody chooses to like/comment/share, then Facebook will pick up on this and basically tell itself, “You’re not good enough for my users, so I’m giving you less reach”.
So, make sure you have that engaging and quality content embedded to improve your posts and ensure you reach more and keep reaching more.
Check your reach in the Facebook Insights
You need to ask yourself:
- Who’s my audience?
- What’s their reason to comment/like/share my content?
A quick peek around your Facebook insights will give you this information. From there, you can do a bit of research about what your audience typically likes to see.
Different audiences want different things.
Think of it being like a local news reporter. Local people are going to want local news because they are interested in what’s going on in their area. So as a news reporter you want to offer them the local news, as this will make people watch and listen to you. But if you start talking about a random town in Austria, they won’t care because it’s not relevant to them and therefore they won’t follow you or engage.
If you are literally just starting out a Facebook page, then it’s kind of trial and error at this point. Do some basic research on the big wide web on behaviours and interests of the audiences that you want to attract and start posting content around that. You’ll soon learn from your reach.
- Which posts get more reach?
- Can you work it out?
- Is it images?
- Is it questions?
- Or the type of content you share?
And then keep going!
You’ve learnt about your audience, but they are forever changing – as are their habits. You should always consider your reach before you post. By using what you learn along the way, adapt your content to reach more. Consider the time of day, the way you create the post, the images you do or don’t use, and whether or not you need a call to action, a question, or a statement with it.
Seriously. Just keep testing and keep trying. No one ever taught me. I’m self-taught. I learn every single day what works and what doesn’t. Getting training is often a good move, but the training never stops. Social media training also goes out of date fast as things change.
Keep posting / keep learning / keep testing.
Can I just pay Facebook to reach more people?
Yes, of course – that’s Facebook’s business model and to be honest it’s the only sure fire way of getting eyeballs on your content.
Sure, organic content is better as it’s free and often you’ll learn more about what Facebook wants as you’ll only reach a high number of people when the post is good, unlike a paid post which will reach people.
Paid reach is a subset of post reach and is pretty easy to track and report. You pay for it, so you know where it’s coming from. If you pay to promote your posts, your post reach is going to be much bigger than your standard organic reach (because you’ve paid to reach more of your fans).
Some simple ways to use Facebook Ads to reach more people could be:
- Promoting content to your page fans.
- Re-marketing content to your website or email visitors.
- Promoting content to people who interact with that content by using Facebooks ‘Events’ or ‘Video’ audiences – pushing videos out to people who watch videos makes sense, right!?
Facebook Ads work… but only when you really invest time and energy (and cash) into them.
If you’re going to use a few quid and then bottle it, I wouldn’t bother. You need to ‘tickle the pixel’ and warm up your audiences. A few quid here and there is pointless.
“But…. You said I shouldn’t care about Facebook Reach?”
That’s true, but then… you should if it’s the right reach.
Reach is rarely 100%.
Reach in itself is based on so many metrics and this means that when you post, sometimes your reach is low and sometimes it’s high – and that’s occasionally regardless of the content you post!
That’s Facebook for ya.
Just be grateful you aren’t like our great friend Donald, who has been completely banned from Facebook. It’s hard to stay viable when Facebook won’t even let you be visible…
Also. For the love of god, please don’t post just to get reach!
Yep, you read that right.
I’m contradicting myself here, but for good reason. Posting to get reach – more reach – is a great plan as we’ve mentioned, – but not if you’re posting for the sake of getting that reach or engagement up.
You need to stay true to your branding and industry.
It’s easy to post videos of cute dogs all over your Facebook page and get loads of people interacting with you and following you. But, unless you’re in a dog-related business, you’re posting off-brand, off-message, and unrelated content just for reach.
I’m sorry to say, but that’s not a strategy. That provides no end result and no one’s going to see your posts and then decide to head over to your solicitor service-based website or call you, all because you posted a cute video of dogs.
You have to stay true to your branding.
The aim of your social media is to unveil a story about yourself and show people who you are and therefore posts should ideally be relevant to your business… although the odd dog video never did anyone any harm. Tag me in them too please!
So, is Facebook reach important?
Should you post for reach?
Yes. (If it’s the right reach.)
Can you pay for reach?
Yup, and this is probably the best way to go for many people and brands.
Keep posting. Stay active. Please comment on other peoples’ stuff. No one likes a silent scroller!
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