One of the key things that you do need to understand about Facebook is that not everyone who Likes your Page will see your posts.
There was a time, back in the day, where this was the case, and every time someone chose to follow your business by Liking your Page, they then saw all your updates.
That’s not the case anymore.
The Facebook landscape
There are several reasons for this – for one, Facebook got too big.
With so many people on Facebook, connecting with friends, relatives, colleagues, etc. – the amount of content that you could be shown each day is overwhelming.
For example, the average Australian Facebook user has around 272 friends and has Liked around 70 Pages. If you were to be shown every update from each of these friends and Pages – which includes their posts and posts each of those people/Pages has also Liked - that would equate to more than 1,000 posts that each user could potentially be shown each day.
That’s too much for anyone to take in, so Facebook needed to filter their content feed to make it more manageable.
Facebook implemented a system which shows you content based on the Pages and people you interact with more often – so if you regularly comment on your brothers’ posts, you’ll see his updates more often; if you liked that Page about kite-surfing but you’ve never commented on or Liked any of their posts, they’ll come up in your feed far less.
It’s an effective system, but a side effect is that people more commonly use Facebook to catch up with friends, and business posts tend to suffer the most in reach performance.
Facebook also stands to benefit by getting more advertisers to pay for reach, but the prime reason as to why your Facebook posts will or won’t reach you audience comes down to how many people are engaging with your content.
No engagement = no reach.
So how can you boost your engagement levels?
It’s not an exact science, and it mostly comes down to your unique audience and what resonates best with them.
This is best exemplified by the quiz posts and memes you see circulating through your Facebook feed – while you might not be interested in working out which 90’s TV show character you are, the fans of those Pages clearly do engage with that type of content, so while that approach wouldn’t work for your business, it does work for them.
This means that there are no limitations on what will and won’t work, so long as you understand what your audiences wants from your Page and what they’ll respond to.
But that said, there are some best practice principles that serve as a good starting point for your Facebook activity.
Recently, content discovery platform BuzzSumo analysed 800 million Facebook posts to get an understanding of what types of content approaches generated the most engagement.
They’ve highlighted the following key guides:
- The most engaging posts were less than 50 characters, so keep your updates short
- Updates posted in off-peak times generate better response rates
- Video content garnered more shares than any other content type
- Links to longer articles (1000-3000 words) saw more engagement
As noted, these are not definitive, but given the breadth of BuzzSumo’s research, they certainly stand as good starting points to consider in your Facebook strategy.
It’s both a benefit and a challenge that there are no hard and fast rules for what works best on Facebook. On one hand, it makes it more challenging, as you can’t follow a guide book, but on the other it’s more freeing, as your response rates are driven by your audience.
Understand them and you’ll understand how to boost your Facebook performance.