By Grace Rose
With more people turning to their phones than ever before, Facebook has been smashing records this year. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, the platform added 105 million new users. This brings its monthly active users to 2.6 billion – a third of the world’s population.
Facebook may be a good way to reach your audiences, but competition is still steep. More than 90 million businesses use Facebook, sharing millions of posts every day. To make matters worse, a typical post from an organization only reaches a very small percentage of the page’s followers.
So, what can you do to help your messages reach more of your followers? A key is understanding Facebook’s algorithm.
When you log onto Facebook, the content in your newsfeed isn’t just what was posted most recently. It is carefully curated by Facebook’s algorithm, a set of rules that decides what content is served to each user.
The algorithm has changed a lot over the years. For a while, Facebook prioritized posts that sparked conversations and engagement. But it came under fire as studies showed that while it created engagement on the platform, it also sowed divisiveness and outrage. That’s because posts that spark anger and debate tend to have the most comments.
This year, Facebook has shifted its algorithm to be more holistic and encourage more positive interactions for users. Facebook now prioritizes these three major things:
1. Who the user usually interacts with
2. The type of media (videos and photos often perform better than plain text)
3. The popularity of the post (number of likes and comments; how many people are clicking the link; how long people are viewing the post)
Best practices for your content
In light of this shift, here are some best practices for increasing a Facebook post’s reach:
Post when your audience is online. Facebook views newer posts as better posts. Take a look at your Facebook page’s Insights tab to understand when your followers are online and schedule your content accordingly.
Be visual. Your followers are more likely to engage with posts that include images and videos.
Post often and consistently. Facebook’s data finds that pages that post consistently are more meaningful to their audience and drive more engagement overall.
Consider “boosting” successful posts. With organic reach decreasing on Facebook, boosting (or putting money behind) a post is a surefire way to ensure more of your audiences see your content. If a recent post is garnering a higher than average level of likes and comments, consider boosting it to capitalize on the great content and expand awareness.
As always, stick with quality content. Sharing content that your audiences find valuable and interesting will always be a winning strategy. Take a look at past posts – what has been successful? Were they infographics, videos, candid photos? What topics seem to draw the most likes or comments? Performing a regular review of your page can help you optimize your Facebook strategy and better engage your followers.