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6 Essential Steps to Increase Facebook Organic Reach & Grow Your Audience

Far too often, brands spend days devising a Facebook marketing strategy only to see their post go live and ultimately show very little traffic or engagement. You immediately think what went wrong or what if no one really likes our brand? Don’t go down that dark rabbit hole because Facebook organic reach is still a struggle for even some of the biggest brands.

In fact, SocialFlow discovered brands saw a 42% decline in Facebook organic reach within the first two quarters of 2016. Additionally, data showed by the third quarter of 2016, brands experienced a 52% decline (10 percentage point drop) on Facebook Pages.

Facebook Organic Reach Decline

Let’s be honest–Facebook organic reach is extremely tough for those looking to boost their Page without ads. But there are ways to improve your reach and build a Facebook audience. Here are six steps to help your brand increase Facebook organic reach:

1. Use Facebook as a Community Hub

Having trouble building an audience on your Facebook Business Page? Ask yourself this–why should people even follow you on Facebook? If there’s no reward for hitting the Like button, most users won’t bother in the first place.

However, giving customers a rhyme and a reason to click “Like” on your page sweetens the pot a bit. One way marketers increase their Facebook community is by making a hub for discussions. Whether it’s weekly chats, a place for digital industry gatherings or simple Q&As, making your Facebook Page the go-to spot will help.

Offer your fans something unique that they can only get on your Facebook Page. That way people know there’s a payoff to follow and Like your page. This means you have to stay active, constantly offer new topics of discussion and hone in on the community aspect.

Bringing users in through community building is a great way to not only increase engagement, but get people to notice your brand organically. The more people interact with your brand on Facebook, the likelier your Facebook posts will pop up in their feed.

2. Funnel Traffic From Other Pages

Building that initial audience is one of the hardest parts of increasing Facebook organic reach. And a simple way to increase traffic is to consistently remind audiences in other channels about your Facebook presence.

We’re not recommending to go overboard with Tweets and Instagram posts linking to Facebook. At the same time, what’s the harm of letting people know where to find you on Facebook within your Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram bio?

abc news twitter facebook link

If not there, what about on your website? Is there an easy click to Like your Facebook Page on your homepage? Don’t worry about overhauling your website, but providing more than enough links to your Facebook page can do wonders. To add to this idea, try posting on whichever platform has the larger audience and remind users you’re on Facebook.

Take lessons from the first tip and let people know what to expect or what they’ll get in return for following you on Facebook. Open communication is always the best for a healthy relationship, so why not bring this aspect to your loyal customers?

3. Find & Collaborate With Influencers

To piggyback on the last tip, another channel you could use to get more traffic is social media influencers. These power users can drive authentic traffic to your Facebook page with the right strategy in place.

According to MuseFind, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a social media influencer over an ad or celebrity endorsement. While this isn’t the most “organic” way to increase traffic since influencers often have a price tag for their work, it’s still a method to funnel potential customers.

You might not find that many influencers willing to work for free, so try to sweeten the deal with perks to help their brand recognition on your website or through link building. But you don’t want to start emailing a bunch of influencers and asking to work for free. No one wants to open that email–ever.

Use Influencer Search Tools

Instead of emailing blindly, try using influencer search tools to find the perfect match. BuzzSumo is a great place to locate, analyze or discover non-celebrity influencers in your industry. With easy search functions, you can limit results to bloggers, journalists, companies or regular social media users who just have good followings.

buzzsumo search example

Be careful to research your results by looking influencers up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to ensure they’re active with their audience. If you’re in a more general industry, try to narrow search terms for your company to find the perfect fit.

Follow users on social sites, interact and engage and then begin discussing collaborative strategies that could help both sides. Show influencers you’re invested and tell them your real problems like “nobody visits my Facebook.”

linkedin search screenshot

Another simple tool to use is LinkedIn. It’s the largest professional social network for a reason. So use LinkedIn’s user search to find those active and engaging people in your industry. Again, try to follow users on multiple profiles before sending any spammy emails.

4. Know Your Optimal Times to Post on Facebook

It’s hard to tell the difference between being spammy and attentive on Facebook. Out of the major social media networks, it’s one of the few places users don’t like brands to be too active. Even CoSchedule’s research from 10 studies discovered the middle ground for posting to Facebook at only once a day.

sprout index q1 2017 brand behaviors

If you couple that with Sprout Social’s 2017 Q1 Index discovery that 29% of baby boomers will unfollow a brand for being to spammy, it’s easy to see the dangers of over-posting. This is why brands have to be cautious when they post and how much.

Now that you know your brand should rarely post more than once a day, what time should you publish? It’s smart to learn your most optimal Facebook posting times and luckily, we did research on the best times to post to social media. Here’s what we found for Facebook:

  • The most recommended day to post is Thursday.
  • The most active time is 1 p.m. on Thursday.
  • The strongest days to post are between Wednesday and Sunday.
  • The safest time to post is practically any day between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The least recommended time to post is during early mornings and late nights.
best time to post on facebook graph

5. Schedule Consistent Content

After learning how much and when to post to Facebook, it’s time to make sure your content is consistent. While it might not seem like a critical aspect to your Facebook organic reach, consistent content is everything.

Think of what social media actually does for your customers–it’s a line of communication where you want to build a relationship. If you only engage or post a few times a month, or try various content types, you’re not creating a clear path of communication.

Increasing Facebook organic reach is about being persistent and reliable with your content. You ultimately build trust with users as you post in relative themes. For example, Groupon is notorious for its various deals, which would make posting a news-related article out of place. Instead, the company shares Mother’s Day deals and other topical content that wouldn’t necessarily surprise readers.

However, other brands who rely on topical events, may need to update content to match breaking news or industry updates. The main goal should be to provide content your target audience wants.

More Ways to Stay Consistent

Like we mentioned, consistency is everything to your social media content strategy. But there are other ways to make sure you’re consistent by addressing holidays, product updates or new marketing strategies.

It starts with intuitive social media scheduling tools. By using software like Sprout Social, you can easily schedule all your Facebook content, across multiple profiles, days or weeks in advance. Our social media calendar allows you to view your scheduled content across all platforms, so your entire team is on track with what’s being published.

sprout publishing calendar

And on Facebook, you’ll be able to schedule one-off and recurring posts through Sprout. You can manually choose the day and time you want to post, or use our ViralPost feature to automatically choose the best time to publish to get the most engagement.

6. Don’t Just Rely on Organic Content

Last but not least, it’s in your best interest to use as many different channels for Facebook–which includes paid ads. Facebook has quickly become one of the biggest paid social ad channels. This means you have to include paid strategies into a successful Facebook marketing plan.

When you only rely on organic Facebook methods, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your audience. However, if you don’t consider organic in your strategy, your Facebook Business Page will be boring to your followers.

We understand that advertising on Facebook might be a bit pricy for some brands, but organic content can help you save in the long run.

How?

Use organic content to analyze and test to see what works best. Once you understand more about what your audience wants, your brand can then use the same content strategies for paid ads. It’s smart to A/B test content on paid and organic channels as well.

sprout facebook integrations collaborate manage example

Users tend to act differently when it comes to paid and organic content. Luckily with Sprout Social, you can track your engagement across organic channels and even respond to comments on paid Facebook posts.

Be smart with your Facebook strategy and use organic content to increase your reach on the world’s most popular social media channel!

This post 6 Essential Steps to Increase Facebook Organic Reach & Grow Your Audience originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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