Ah, the very elusive Facebook reach…we all want more of it, but we’re constantly swimming against the current, which is, quite simply, Facebook’s algorithm.

Facebook reach is extremely important because this is how you get the engagement, the clicks, the traffic, and the sales – if people aren’t seeing your posts in their newsfeeds, then you most likely won’t be seeing results. And, unfortunately, Facebook seems to constantly come up with ways to hinder businesses and Facebook Page owners from getting the results they’re looking for – unless, of course, they’re paying for Facebook ads. In this blog post, I want to share some of the most effective strategies for improving your Facebook reach.

Hashtags – they Actually Work

Hashtags are huge on other platforms, particularly Instagram and Twitter. On these 2 social networks, if you frequently use quality hashtags, then you can boost your social reach, your followers, your engagement, and your traffic.

Facebook, however, is a bit different. They introduced hashtags a bit later in the game and they’re not nearly as popular on the biggest social network in the world. This would all lead you to believe that hashtags don’t really work on Facebook; and yet, research shows that hashtags can help you improve your reach.

The Social Media Lab has run an extensive test to see if they really work or not; they used 3 Facebook Pages, on which they posted 3 photos per day, for a total of 3 weeks. Then, they alternated using hashtags from image to image, to see what the impact on reach was.

None of the photos were boosted or promoted in any way and in terms of the numbers of hashtags used, they experimented with using anywhere from 1 hashtag per photo, to 5.

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Although they weren’t expecting to get more reach by using hashtags, it turns out, they actually do work on Facebook as well. Their testing found that using hashtags led to a 4.4% increase in reach, as well as a pretty staggering 60.61% more engagement.

If you want to read more about their testing, you can read about the entire experiment and the results here.

Post About Food

A while back, I saw an article on PostPlanner which mentioned how posts with food always (as in absolutely every time!) got stellar results: more reach and more engagement.

The trouble is, this doesn’t always fit any business – but, chances are, you can find a way to include food on your Facebook Page in an organic way, just to give a quick boost to your fan numbers, your reach, and your engagement.

For example, you can post images from your lunch with your team; or maybe there’s someone making something to eat for the whole office (I hear these people actually exist) – just pop a quick video or image to your Facebook Page.

Because the truth is, social media users love looking at food – it might be even one of the big causes for Instagram’s success.

Use More Visuals

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but visuals are extremely important on Facebook (and most other major social networks): videos, live videos, images, GIFs, etc. People generally prefer this content and because of that, it massively increases your chances of getting in people’s newsfeeds.

But even so, it’s not just any video/image/GIF that will get you the results you’re looking for. The best thing to do is to test different content types and formats (more on that in my next point) to see for yourself what works for your particular Page.

That said, there are a few very clear stats that can help you start creating better-optimised content. For example, when you create a video for Facebook, make sure that it can be watched and understood with the sound off, because 85% of Facebook users watch video with the sound off.

Try to add captions whenever you create a video for Facebook so that the video is just as entertaining to watch even with the sound off.

Another interesting fact is that native Facebook videos get 186% more engagement, as well as a pretty staggering 1055% higher share rate – and more engagement and more shares will also mean higher reach.

As I’ll illustrate in my next point, the best thing is to test for yourself and find out what works for you:

And Last but Not Least… Check your Insights

There’s really no better way to improve your Facebook reach – and your social media results in general – than by checking your analytics/insights.

Testing and measuring your social media is essential, particularly because you need to discover what works for your specific Page.

There are a few differenct aspects that can impact your Facebook reach which you can identify by using your Insights:

  • Posting times – experiment with different posting times to see how it affects your reach. This can have a very big impact on your results, and although there are plenty of studies of the best times to post, it’s still better to do it for yourself – audiences are different, they’re online at different times and if you want to reach as many as them as possible, you need to find out what those times are.
  • Update format – some updates get more results than others; that’s a reality. Not only do your audiences prefer them, but also Facebook’s algorithm. Try different types of updates, such as video, live videos, images, GIFs, text-only updates, and so on, to see which ones get the most reach
  • Update content – you should also look to see what actual content gets you more reach, engagement, and so on. For example, you might find that your audience prefers images over all other types of content; but, what images get the most results? Is it the fun images you make in the hopes of entertaining your audience? Is it the pictures you take of your co-workers from around the office?

The more you test and learn from your own analytics, the better you will be able to strategize and optimise future Facebook campaigns. You’ll understand more about your audience, about what they like, what makes them engage – all of which you can use to inform your own strategy.

Conclusion

Marketers and Page owners have agonized over Facebook reach for years; it feels like every few months there’s some new change that impacts your reach – and it’s never a positive impact. Facebook wants you to invest in ads and boost your posts, so they are making it harder to get results organically. However, don’t despair – keep testing and keep optimising and you can still get results without having to pay to boost each of your updates.

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