Facebook has always used an algorithm to determine which posts appear in each user’s increasingly noisy Newsfeed.
Many Pages have experienced a drop in reach at some point over the past year, due to the increasing demands of users and advertisers. Users want only the best content in their news feeds, and brands want to reach those users.
One solution for nonprofits is to use Facebook ads. But ads are not the only solution!
Here are thirteen ways you can boost Facebook reach without promoting posts:
1. Analyze your top 10
Go into your Facebook page Insights and rank your content by likes, comments and shares. This is the fastest way to see what’s resonating with Facebook users.
Seek out patterns. Are they mostly photos? If so, what subject do they have in common? What about conditional sharing? What can you learn from the comments in these updates? You get the idea.
2. Post awesome content
When you understand what’s been working on your page, you’ll do it more! But how can you go beyond what has worked?
- Would I share this with my friends?
- What gets people talking?
- What trending in your cause?
- What are competing nonprofits posting on Facebook?
- How can we be useful or even indispensable to our community?
The bottom line is that content is king on Facebook. Take full responsibility for yours!
3. Optimize targeting
Admins with Facebook Pages over 100 fans can target updates based on as gender, relationship status, educational status, age, location, language, interests and Post End Date (as shown below).
To target your posts organically, make sure you’ve selected “Allow targeting and privacy options when I create posts on my Page.” within your Page settings. Once that’s selected, you will see the targeting icon appear at the bottom left of the publisher.
This means that updates that pertain to fans in a specific location, or a certain age group won’t be hidden by fans outside of that segment. And on the flip side, a higher percent of those reached by these targeted updates will like, comment on, and share them.
4. Don’t cross-post
I’ve written about why cross-posting is a bad idea before, but here’s a summary:
Briefly, the intent of cross-posting is to save time and effort, which is the opposite intent needed to create a vibrant community.
5. Post at the best time
Lots of research behind this one. Early morning and nighttime are generally the best time to post updates, particularly around 8 PM.
This makes sense when you think about it – most people work during the day, come home and have dinner, and then relax, watch TV and peruse their News Feed.
But what about your fans? To see when your fans are online, check out the Posts report within Facebook Insights.
6. Post on weekends
During the weekends, most people have more free time to see what’s up with their Facebook friends. Also, very few brands post on the weekends, so there’s less competition in the newsfeed. This spells opportunity for your nonprofit to get more exposure in the Newsfeed!
Remember to make your posts “weekend friendly”, focusing on topics like family, entertainment, and weekend activities. If your community is particularly religious, post accordingly.
7. Use Facebook LIVE
Facebook Live is a video broadcasting feature lets any person, brand, or nonprofit live-stream events, reveals, celebrations, and more.
The Humane Society, The White House, the MET, and many smaller nonprofits are broadcasting news-as-it-happens, museum tours, and even feeding time for baby raccoons!
8. Use your blog
If you have a blog, you have a huge opportunity to increase visibility for your Facebook page simply by embedding relevant page updates within blog posts (as shown below). Making a regular habit of embedding Facebook Page posts in your blog posts will create more reach and engagement for those Page posts.
9. Use your events
If you’re like most nonprofits, events are central to how you do business.
Use Facebook before, during, and after each event to engage your community, and increase attendance! Plus you give event registrants a home base for networking with other attendees.
10. Use webinars
If webinars are a central part of your communications plan, think about using your Facebook page as a post-webinar discussion board! This leverages the concentrated attention you have during your webinars to boost your Facebook Page fan base and reach.
11. Use email marketing
Most nonprofits have an email list that’s about ten times as big as their Facebook Page fan base.
Amplify reach for your Page by linking to one of your top updates in the course of your normal e-mail communications. Because the content has already been vetted by your fans, your email subscribers will naturally like, comment on, and share it as well with their Facebook friends.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what you can do with email marketing.
12. Use Pinterest to spread the love
If your fan base is predominantly women, you need to be using Pinterest. You can create more reach for your Facebook Page photos by reposting them on Pinterest and linking back to the page update. The reach report within Page Insights will show you how well this is working.
13. Tell fans to get notifications
You already know that when Facebook users like your Page, they still might not get your updates in their newsfeed. One way to help them remedy this is to tell them how to get notifications like I did with this page update.