As with any marketing platform online, there are ways to leverage the amount of traffic you get from them. Facebook in particular is notorious for the increased amount of effort (and creativity) brands need to put it to get results from it.
There are however a few hacks that you can do to simply further your reach, and maximise the results that you get from it.
Perform New Invites From Business Manager
Facebook business manager allows a couple of additional features worth mentioning if you manage your own, or several clients’ business pages.
Firstly, it provides better control over the admins of your page (if you need to set up multiple people within your company as contributors).
Secondly, if you are spending any amount of money on ads, it gives the flexibility to be able to add other users as managers, or if you have external agencies perhaps running adverts, (yet want to maintain in house control over content), then business manager is well worth converting across to. Although it was originally only available for large accounts in the US, business manager is now available to everyone.
One of the coolest features you get is the ability to invite from your likes. As not everyone who likes a post that you create is connected to your page, you potentially get access to a whole new audience. i.e. if out of the 100 people that like a post, only 20 of them already like your page, then this invite feature lets you attempt to onboard the 80 remaining. This has a tremendous benefit in that it enhances the growth of your page audience significantly. You can see how it plays out below, simply click on the ‘like’ count under a post to access it, and instead of the typical option to add an audience member as a friend, you’ll now be able to invite them to the page.
Use your existing customer list for ads
Targeting ads on Facebook is tricky. As with organic reach the more engaged your audience is, the better chance you have of your advert being shown. One quick way to do that is to retarget your existing signed up website visitors.
To set up this custom audience, you need an Excel file with a column that includes all of your subscribers or customer email addresses. Once you have that, go to Audiences in your Facebook Ads Manager, click Create Audience and choose Custom Audience.
This allows you to roll out an ad on Facebook aimed directly at your existing audience, and you can of course query your existing database to further split that up to make your Facebook targeting even more tailored. The more personalised your ad becomes, the better results you are likely to get from it.
Hack Your Organic Reach
Organic reach is something that Facebook are continuing to iterate upon and change with in the News Feed, with another announcement last month that marketers and page managers could expect even less of their posts to show up following on from the big organic reach announcement in November of last year (rolled out in January). But, its not all bad news. With a bit of creativity you can manage to boost organic reach with a couple of tricks.
1) Speed of likes
Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm for the news feed works on the basis that popular content rises to the top, and crappy content sinks to the bottom. If there’s no engagement, sink it, if there’s loads of engagement, then push it out to more people, and continue calculating that until it either runs out of steam, or reaches the maximum number of users.
The decay factor here is mostly the one that you can manipulate yourself the most. If you want your post to be seen by a larger proportion of your audience, have a go at getting your mates primed to hit ‘LIKE’ before the content hits Facebook to obtain faster likes on your content. The more people that like a piece of content when its been published, the more likely it is to be “released” out to others. If you are inside an organisation of any size, life is much easier; or you could of course set up a group of marketing folks Facebook to do the same thing.
2) Better Engagement Through Targeting
Facebook provides great targeting options for each post, giving you the ability to easily talk to a subset of your audience. The benefit of using this, is that you can craft a message to multiple audiences with multiple posts, in multiple styles, giving not only a feel for the type of content that is getting engagement ( an A/B test of sorts ) but also getting better engagement on your posts. For example, you may want to address the women in your audience differently from the men with your messaging.
See above tip for the reasons that is important. Faster likes, more audience, more likes.
3) Trick the Algo
Reading between the lines with some of the announcements put out by Facebook recently, you can tell that they hate external links. Drive traffic to your site? Don’t be ridiculous. The algorithm has and continues to be tailored towards internal Facebook content. Videos, statuses and basically anything without links according to HubSpot, and SocialBakers.
You can bet that this will continue to be the trend, with even less prominence given to links moving forward as they tweak things. Recently they even announced Facebook’s Instant Articles Programme, – designed to allow full articles to be read without even leaving the platform. If that’s not a sign that all-your-traffic-belongs-to-us I don’t know what is.
I’ve found some success with posting alternate types of content initially (without the link) and then changing editing the content after a short period to include the link. Facebook designates it as a pure text post, and thus increases your reach. LifeHacker reports success with adding ‘Congratulations’ to your post comments, to make it look like an important announcement, but I’m pretty sure that loophole is now closed.
4) Bigger Open Graph Photos
Facebook currently supports images at (1200 x 630 pixels) which gives you this:
Instead of this:
Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images, according to the Facebook Content Sharing Best Practices document. That’s ultimately going to drive more click throughs to your content.
As with any social service online, it makes sense not to put all of your eggs in one basket, and diversify your efforts across multiple platforms. Hopefully some of these tips help you to make the most of the platform while the going is good.