One of the most frustrating things about Facebook is the fact that they are a business. You can’t blame them for needing to make money, but now that they’re a publicly traded company, they have to show growth to their investors or face the wrath of their board. They can’t show growth if their most actively used tool is the fanpages they don’t charge you to establish. One way they’ve found to make money is to incorporate an algorithm which limits your exposure, forcing you to pay for advertising and boosts if you want your posts to be seen.
I’ll use my own author fanpage page as an example. I currently have just shy of 2500 “likers” on my J.M. Gregoire fanpage. I have all of my social media set to post to it, so postings are regular. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my blog, it’s an active page.
Regardless of how active it is, my average post, a link shared from one of my social media accounts, is only seen (labeled on Facebook as “reach”) by approx. 30-80 people, the difference depending on the content of the post itself. Do the math and you’ll see that only 1%-3% of my followers are seeing these posts. Because most of my posts are actually links to a post I did on another social media site, Facebook automatically limits my reach.
I tried advertising my page about two years ago and was so angry about the money I had spent when I was done. In less than 48 hours, I had spent more than $200 and as a result, I got 14 new likes on my fanpage. The reach on my posts didn’t budge. Facebook claims that they put my page in front of more than 60,000 people, but I really don’t buy that for a second.
Since then, I’ve mixed things up a bit, played with different posting style ideas, and in the end, I found some tricks that work to help bypass their data funnel of doom.
As with anything else free, it’s not 100% foolproof and you have to invest the time into it. You’ll be glad you did as your fanpage will become much more active and your audience will become more interactive. Here are a few things you need to remember about the way Facebook works and some ideas for getting around it.
Facebook hates it when you share links to 3rd party sites.
Yeah, they really do. By sharing that 3rd party link, you’re pulling people away from Facebook itself and that’s the last thing their investors want. There is a very simple solution to this. When you post your status on your fanpage, put (((LINK IN COMMENTS))) at the end of your status, and put the 3rd party link in the comments. Simple as that. Your reach on that post will be MUCH higher than if you had included the link in the actual status itself.
Facebook hates it when you share pictures.
This one doesn’t make sense to me at all. You and I both know that teasers and memes get shared constantly, all day, every day. I bet if you were able to peek behind the curtain, you’d find that memes drive more traffic on Facebook than anything else. However, when you share a picture on your fanpage, again, traffic is limited. As with 3rd party links, you can trick the system by posting your status and then putting the picture you want to share in the comments.
The one caveat to this is Facebook also knows that sex sells. When I post a picture of a bumpy-bellied man who seems to have misplaced his shirt, even if I share it as part of the status itself, the post will have a good amount of reach. However, if I post a picture of a house…….crickets. Just be aware, if you start posting pictures of half-naked men, someone will get offended and someone will report your post. This can land you in Facebook jail, which means you’re locked out of your account for XX days and there is nothing you can do about it. No one wants that, so just be careful how graphic your picture shares are when surfing the sex sells wave.
Interaction is KEY
One of the biggest factors in how well a post is seen is the interactivity. The more likes, shares, and comments you have, the higher your reach will be. After I post something to my author fanpage or my blog fanpage, I immediately go like the post, and then I share it to my personal Facebook profile. That takes the views from 30 to 150 right away. From there, every person who likes the post or comments on the post, they then increase your reach my 50-100 views. Then it just becomes a snowball. More people see the post, more people like it, then more people see it, and so on.
Think about your giveaway posts:
To enter, just like this post and comment below!
Get an extra entry for every bibliophile friend you tag!
A giveaway post like this will generate a TON of traffic. I did a few jewelry giveaways on my author fanpage last winter. I posted my status just like the sample above, and my reach ended up being over 5,000 people on that one post. It helped my ebook sales and those giveaways were so much fun to do.
If you’re not consistently posting to your fanpage, you will see your reach go down to 3 or 4 people per post. And no, I am not joking. Even if you just have your social media and blog pushing to your fanpage, that’s still daily posting. Just make sure you run right out to the fanpage after your post goes up, like it and share it! Dont forget the snowball effect we discussed in the last section!
Another good idea is to schedule posts to go up throughout each day. Make it a part of your post-dinner ritual every night. Take a few minutes, write a few discussion type posts, schedule them to post the next day, and be sure to reply to comments when you get them. More likes/comments = more traffic. Snowballs, snowballs, snowballs!
Thanks for reading!