13 Steps to Improve Your Facebook Reach

4-28-14

If you’ve been reading the social media blogosphere these past few weeks, you might have noticed that nearly every social media blogger has complained about the same problem: the precipitous drop in our Facebook page posts penetrating our fans’ news feeds.

In other words, fewer of the posts you carefully plan for your Facebook page are visible to your fans.

A few weeks ago Facebook changed its algorithm, giving more weight to posts that trigger engagement in the form of Likes, Shares and Comments. Then on April 10, Facebook notified users of still more changes to the news feed. These improvements are designed to reduce the stories that users identify as spam or prefer not to see.

The new update targets three categories:

  • Asking fans to like a post
  • Frequently posting the same type of content
  • Tricking fans to click a link by including misleading information in the post

Some people are giving up on Facebook, but that move would be shortsighted. Facebook remains the second most trafficked website (after Google), and it has more than 1 billion users, far more than any other social media network.

I tell clients that if they want their posts to reach more fans they need to follow a two-pronged strategy: provide the best, original content you can and allocate some funds – a few hundred dollars annually – to an advertising budget.

Organic Reach Is Still Viable

I am taking a Master Class with Facebook ninja Mari Smith, and she recommends these strategies for helping your posts receive more exposure among your page fans without the expense of advertising. (My comments are italicized.)

  1. Post more frequently. I recommend twice each weekday and twice on the weekend.
  2. Change up days, times. You’ll want to check your Insights to see when your fans are on Facebook. Experiment to determine whether you have better results during the peak hours or right before the peak hours when there’s less competition in your fans’ news feeds.
  3. Write short (100-250 characters) vs. long narrative. Text overload is rampant these days so if you want your fans to read your post, don’t write more than 250 characters.
  4. Include more personality. I’ve been deficient in this area. People do not buy books from brands; they buy books from writers so don’t be afraid to share information that reveals more of your personality.
  5. Be controversial at times. When Mari says this I know, she’s not insinuating that you take a stand on abortion or an election. Instead, she’s suggesting that you take a stand on an issue in your niche.
  6. Add calls to action. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to purchase your new book.
  7. Vary your types of posts.
  8. Respond promptly and tag commenters. Try to respond to comments as soon as you can and be sure to type their name (tag them) in your response.
  9. Host Hangouts using 22 Social app. Consider podcasting and using Google+ to record them.
  10. Change your cover image. On a quarterly basis, freshen up your cover image using Canva or PicMonkey.
  11. Host a Facebook Friday networking party that enables your fans to promote their books.
  12. Drive traffic from other sources to individual post URLs. When you click on the date stamp of your Facebook post, you will see that your post has a unique URL. You can drive traffic to that post, especially if you have a call to action in it.
  13. Embed Facebook posts on your blog. Hover over the top, right-hand corner of your post and click on Embed. Then copy the html code and add it to your Facebook post. You’ll need to navigate to your WordPress website to add the code on the text (not visual) page of your blog.

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Some theorize that in the future Facebook reach will continue to worsen until the day arrives when we’ll be forced to use advertising regularly. For now, however, use advertising when you have a specific objective in mind, such as notifying fans of a sale price on one of your books or when you introduce a newly published book.  Until then, keep providing your fans with the best content you can.

photo credit: shoothead via photopin cc

 

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Facebook Reach, Blogging & Storytelling

Facebook Reach, Blogging & Storytelling

The declining reach of Facebook page posts was all the rage on the blogosphere. In case you haven’t heard, to improve the user’s experience, Facebook has made a series of changes that diminish the reach of our status updates in our fans’ news feeds. The Buffer blog does a good job at tackling this problem. It also, by the way, has a killer blog and I also included one of their posts on the benefits of storytelling. The posts by Heidi Cohen – a master at content marketing – Jeff Bullas, and The Write Life are also worth reading. I hope you enjoy them!

6 Ways to Combat Declining Facebook Reach from Buffer Blog: Nowadays, when I endeavor to check my Facebook statistics, I do so with the window open, birds singing, a pint of ice cream at my desk, and party jams playing on my jambox. I must balance the bad news with some good. Checking Facebook statistics has been bad news for a lot of us lately as we wrestle with declining numbers and shrinking reach. As the Facebook algorithm continues to change and adapt, we continue looking for answers. Why can’t we reach more fans with our updates? What kind of content should we be sharing?

The 10 Plagues of Visual Content Marketing from Heidi Cohen Actional Market Guide: Now that it’s ridiculously cheap and easy for anyone to take photographs and videos, marketers may overlook the fundamental power of quality visual content. With over 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook on an average day (250 billion images uploaded to-date) it’s easy for your visual content to get lost in the social media content stream. Therefore you must plan ahead to ensure that you avoid the 10 plagues of visual content marketing.

Self-Publishing Secrets: 5 Free Amazon Services That Will Help You Sell More Books from The Write Life: While nearly everyone has heard of Amazon, fewer people know about all of its free services that benefit independent authors. If you self-publish your work, make sure you’re aware of these programs and tools that can maximize your book’s impact. Selling through Amazon is common among independent authors. Amazon is the largest online book retailer, and people trust it: millions of buyers have their credit card and shipping information already saved on their accounts (hello, one-click-to-buy!). The downside of selling on Amazon is authors don’t get access to customer information (like name and email addresses) and the royalties are lower than selling directly through an author website using services such as Gumroad, Sellfy or PayPal. If you’re willing to give up the above for a potentially higher sales volume, then here are the five main services at your disposal, for free, to get your book onto Amazon.com as an eBook or paperback.

How to Start a Blog: Step-by-Step Instructions from Jeff Bullas: Note: This is a wonderful, indepth post that you should definitely look at. So you don’t have any idea where to start, right? Guess what—neither did I. I was clueless. Literally. When I started JeffBullas.com a few years ago, I had no idea how to start a blog. I could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a successful website and blog.

The Power of Storytelling: How To Get 300% More People To Read Your Content from Buffer Blog: Imagine that you’ve written a blog post that can help thousands of people solve a really painful problem.You’ve written the post, edited it, looked it over a few times to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important, and hit ‘publish.’ You send the post out to your list, share it on all of your social networks, and settle in to see what happens. And then… Nothing. Sure, you get some traffic. Maybe even a comment or two. But nowhere near the level of response that your breakthrough problem-busting content should be getting. It’s disappointing. And it happens to a lot of us. The problem is that valuable content isn’t nearly enough.

 

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web