How to increase organic reach on Facebook for small business in 2019
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of hate for Facebook and Facebook pages. Many business owners, particularly small business, are feeling defeated by the algorithm and the limited organic reach that is happening in 2019.
I myself have noticed that Facebook has become a lot more ‘pay to play’ in recent years, which can definitely be a problem for smaller businesses that don’t have a large budget to splurge on sponsored posts.
I have seen a lot of suggestions that Instagram is the saviour of social media and although my posts do receive a lot more likes and even comments compared to the majority of my Facebook posts, I do not see the conversion from internet love to clients on the platform. In fact, despite all the organic reach problems, I still receive 85% of my leads and sales from Facebook.
If I delved deeper into the reason behind this, I would imagine it is due to the audience; on Facebook real people follow my page however on Instagram, most of my followers are from other business accounts. With this in mind, it is fair to say that Facebook is still a gold mine for connecting with potential customers.
I have put together some of my best tips for increasing your organic exposure on Facebook in 2019 without paying for it and chucked in a few bonus tips on other methods to help sell your services and/or products (scroll to the bottom for those ones).
Please note, this post does not contain the definition of what organic reach is, why it is important to you or how to post good quality content because when I googled ‘how to increase Facebook post reach in 2019’ I found post after post that answered all of this (so please google it if you need!) instead of actually giving me any solid info. It also does not answer how to create a Facebook page or why you should reply to the comments you receive on your business page (if you are not replying to comments on your business page you may need to consider hiring a social media manager – click here to have a chat with me about this).
Instead I have tried to create a list of tips and tricks that are straight to the point and are hopefully not necessarily occurring to you.
Tip 1: Tag someone in your post
This is my number one tip on increasing your organic post reach on Facebook and it can be utilised in a variety of ways. The more tags, the more exposure you will receive.
From experience, I can tell you tagging someone in your post will gain it more organic reach. I take and post many photos of families and weddings on my page and when I can tag someone (or someones!) in that post I always end up with more likes, comments and shares than the posts that I am unable to tag someone in.
By tagging another account in your post, you are increasing the organic reach through a number of methods.
Firstly, you are sending the person who has been tagged a notification that might encourage them to like or share your post (increasing your exposure as Facebook gives precedence to posts that are engaged with quickly, and well, just engaged with in general).
It is also likely that the tagged person’s friends will see your post in their newsfeed as Facebook loves to offer up information they think may possibly pique users’ interests.
On top of this, it places your post on the timeline of the person or page you have tagged, placing it in more places on Facebook and upping the chances of it being seen.
When creating a post consider:
If you have worked with another business or person to create the content
If you have created the content for another business or person
Are mentioning (or even promoting) another business or person through the content
Have been given the content by a business or person.
If you said yes to any of the above, you now have a valid reason to tag someone in your post and increase your organic reach.
Warning: Make sure you only tag relevant businesses or people in your posts or you can come across as spammy to your customers – which no one wants!
Share on your personal page
Currently Facebook places significance on personal posts as it is trying to promote a platform that is about connecting with people and they are trying to create a more meaningful user experience (see https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-organic-reach-declining for more information on this topic). This is a bummer for businesses as it sees a further decline in organic reach.
But let’s turn this negative into a positive. You have the option to share your own page’s content on your timeline to help it be seen by your friends and family. In fact, you can even ask your own friends to click on the shared link so they are liking your page post, rather than your shared post, and further increase the exposure of this post via engagement.
You can also get sneaky (or clever, depending on how you look at it) and ask anyone who works with you to do the same and share your post to their timeline too.
Ask people who like your post to like your page
Another way to further your exposure is by increasing your page following. The best way to do this is to ask people who have already liked your posts to also like your page.
This method works well as the audience that you are targeting here have already showed an interest in your business. This means that they are more likely to consider your suggestion and accept your invitation to follow your page.
On a side note, I was recently messaged by a page on my personal account under the guise of a ‘competition’ which they wanted to enter me in because I liked one of their posts. I really felt like this stepped way over the boundary of how a page should contact a personal account and was actually more inclined to block them – especially when they sent me a second message after I had already declined the first! So just be wary of how pushy you are when it comes to contacting personal accounts via your page!
Ask your followers to see your posts first
Okay, so let me get real for a second, Facebook has apparently changed for the better as far as being a personal user but I am NOT seeing it.
My newsfeed just seems to be a total mess. I am constantly getting posts from friends I never interact with (which has actually led me to de-friending a lot of people) and pages that I had forgotten I had even liked. I also find a lot of posts I have coming through are based on because I liked a ‘similar’ post and most of these posts are terribly cringy! On top of this, I have to search the people I am actually interested in catching up on (hi mum!) and pages that I am actually interested in.
It really makes me mad.
So, I took control of this and went and found the pages I want to see updates from and put them at the top of my newsfeed. I found you can do this by going to the page, hover over ‘follow’ and choose ‘see first’ (instead of ‘default’, see below).
Isn’t that cool?
You can now ask your followers to do this too and in fact, they might be quite appreciative of you explaining this to them! Once they have done this, they are far more likely to see your posts when they jump on Facey, gaining you better organic exposure.
Post at the right time
Okay, this is one tip that is a bit generic, but it is so very important! What time and what day you post is crucial to upping your organic reach.
Here’s the thing about this tip though, it takes some experimentation to work out what is best for your business and posting schedule.
To work out what is your optimum posting time you should use the information that your page can offer you, but also complete some trial and error to work out whether these times are useful to you or not.
Remember sometimes posting at odd hours when your competitors aren’t, can actually be more beneficial to you than posting at popular time.
I have noticed that the following times are regularly recommended for Facebook posting and could be somewhere to start with your experimentation:
Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 1pm
Thursday and Friday 1pm to 4pm
Wednesdays at 3pm
I personally find at night-time after 7:30pm on week nights is best, as this is when my audience has finished up tea and has time to check Facebook.
Collaborate with others
Collaborating can be so beneficial for businesses for a variety of reasons and one of them is for cross-promoting on social media.
As I mentioned earlier, you can take advantage of collaboration by tagging others in photos. You can also ask for businesses to return the favour by tagging you back in posts that you have collaborated on and help spread your brand awareness.
On a personal page, you can ask your customers to tag your page in their posts that are relevant to your business. This is a great way to get business exposure and build a good reputation with potential new customers. Brand advocacy by friends is one of the best recommendations that you can obtain as people will always trust those that they know over any other marketing, particularly when the endorsement comes from someone they like.
Bonus Marketing Tips
Post in groups
This tip is a bit more concerned with selling your services/products rather than gaining you organic reach on a post, but it can double as a tip for exposure for your brand.
Groups contain a specific audience that have already come together for one reason or another, often due to similar location or interests (which is basically any marketers dream right??). This means you are able to find a group that will be relevant to your business that you can join and post in occasionally.
When looking for a group you want to have a good amount of members (200+) and you want the members to be engaged. Sometimes engagement is hard to tell until you join the group and can see whether posts are receiving likes and/or comments.
Please note, all groups have different rules as far as posting goes. Some do not allow for self-promotion or only allow for it on certain days of the week. Make sure you have a quick squiz at the rules before posting (although some rules are a bit hard to find and/or understand, so don’t fret too much, the worst thing that will happen is you may get kicked out of the group, more likely your post will just be deleted).
Run a competition
Okay so I suppose this tip does *cost* something but it can be a great way to collect new followers and reach more people who wouldn’t otherwise have seen your posts.
I think the best way to run a competition is by gathering together a few other businesses who can benefit from a joint competition. This will further increase the exposure you can receive from this competition as fans of the other businesses will also be asked to like your page as a condition of entry. When choosing your partners in the competition try to choose businesses that will already have audience members you think may be interested in your own product/service. On that note, make sure you don’t have too many businesses as part of your competition as it can get very tedious liking everyone’s page and it can cause people not to enter as it becomes too much fuss.
Make sure you think about the conditions of entry to your competition. If exposure is your main focus make sure you ask your participants to like your page (or pages), like you post and comment something (make this comment a question and relevant to your competition) to help increase how many times your post and page is seen. DO NOT ask people to tag or share the post as a condition of entry as this is against Facebook rules. You can suggest to tag someone who you know would love to be involved, but it cannot be a condition of entry. See this great post by Origami Globe for further information on Facebook competitions.
Add Your Own Tip!!
Hopefully you have been able to find a useful tip here! If you have another great tip for increasing your exposure on Facebook, get in contact with me here and let me know so I can add it to our list!