This is a guest post by Victoria Rogers from Declutterbug versus Captain Stingypants.
We all want to improve the reach and reader engagement on our Facebook pages.
In order to do that we first need to be clear about two things: the objective of our Facebook page and the current behaviour of our readers.
If it is most important to you that your page reflects you wholly and purely, then it is up to you to provide content that is interesting enough to sustain your readership. If your page is intended to promote a blog, a business or a product, then it is by considering your ‘brand’, that you have the key to increasing your reach. Your brand is what makes your page distinctive, different from others. It is mostly defined by you, but if you want to improve your reach, your brand is partly defined by your readers.
Your readers also provide definition of your brand in the way that they respond. A page with good reach will provide content that the readers will respond to – questions that they will answer, pictures that they will like and share, and posts that they want to discuss.
In order to examine and analyse how your readers behave you need examine your insights data. This will tell you which type of post gets best reach. To access insights data, you need to have more than 30 ‘fans’, or people who have ‘liked’ your page.
On your page the insights data is shown in two different ways – each post has data underneath it and you can also look at and click on the insights graph shown at the top of your page. Clicking on the insights graph takes you to an area where you can view in summary or individually how well your posts are doing. If you click on the little grey question mark by each title it tells you what the data is. It initially show an overview, but clicking on ‘reach’, ‘likes’ or ‘talking about this’ at the top of the graph you can also see demographic data about your fans.
Here are my seven top tips for increasing the reach of your Facebook page:
1. Understand your readers’ rhythm. Your readers will have a ‘rhythm’ – peaks of times when they are online and willing to read your page. A way of increasing your reach is by finding this rhythm and posting content when your readers are around to both read and respond to it. You can use your insights data to help you work out when your audience are likely to respond to a post. Examine posts made at certain times of day, and also the type of post that you have made. You might find obvious times of day for posting a picture, or a text post. There may also be clues in the demographic of your target audience. For example, home based parents might use Facebook at their child’s nap time, office workers in evenings. Schedule all your posts for these time slots.
2. Be ‘sociable’ with your readers. Respond to their comments, answer their questions. People do go back to their comments and look for responses, or further comments, turning them into a ‘conversation’ will help increase traffic to your page.
3. Use a theme for your content, perhaps a week’s worth at a time. this can be directed by the time of year and cultural events, for example Summer holiday activities, Winter fashion, Easter baking. They can build up momentum by the end of a week. If a theme is not doing well, be prepared to stop it, always analyse your reach for your posts.
4. Don’t waste your good material on low interaction (slack) days. Use them for a break, or try something new, you might find something that fits those days better.
5. Follow a pattern. Have a day for a type of post for example Meme Tuesdays, Funny Fridays, Thoughtful Thursdays. People’s weeks follow a pattern and perhaps they read Facebook on the days where there is nothing on TV, or they are waiting for a child to finish a weekly sports training session.
6. Stay on brand but experiment within your brand, food blogs post recipes, food stuff, cafe reviews, food news. The readers probably won’t be interested in a mountain climbing meme.
7. Look for similarly themed pages and comment on their posts, the likelihood is that if a reader of a fashion page sees comments from another fashion page they might go and have a look. Try and create friendly alliances with the other pages to do this, it is much nicer if you are upfront and make an arrangement to make friendly and positive comments with a like minded page and vice versa.
While Facebook algorithms prevent every single post you make appearing on the news feed of every one of your fans, there are ways that they can receive delivery of all of your posts, in the form of interest lists. It is a good idea to get your page onto a relevant interest list. One way of doing that is by publishing your own and including your own page amongst the pages that fall within the interest list. For example an interest list of pages about cycling and your own mountain biking page included in the list. Subscribers to the list can open it and read everything they want, and save their own personal news feed for the status updates from their friends. If you make and publish an interest list, promote it frequently to increase the number is subscribers.
In summary finding a good pace, and providing content that will cause engagement from readers should increase your reach on your Facebook page.
Victoria was born in England and came to Australia a decade ago, to marry her Australian partner. They have had four children and she has been an at home mother for the last eight years. Before she came to Australia, Victoria worked in IT and office management for a Railway Signalling company, where she and her current husband met.