Marketing campaigns conducted over social media, especially seasonal campaigns are important for many businesses. They’re fun, there are many ways to spin them and they often yield a lot of engagement. However, one of the major blockage that stands in your way from maximizing your ‘reach’ with your audience is the infamous Facebook algorithm.
The recent change on the social media site at the top of the year further contributed to an already plummeting level of organic reach of many businesses, some only reaching 2% of their followers. Still, with 96% of businesses actively using Facebook, this is still the leading platform for many of us to interact with our followers, bringing in traffic and even drive sales.
1. Dig deeper into the demographics of your followers
On the ‘Posts’ section of Facebook Insights, you can see when your followers are online.
For instance, from the image above, you can see that the ‘peak time’ for us is at around 5 PM. From this, one may automatically assume to that the best time to post would be around then. However, this may not be the best way to go about. Even though you may potentially reach more people per post, the followers that are online around this period in time may not be the most responsive. This is especially important to companies that have adopted localization heavily but only communicate in one language on social media.
How do you know when is best to post then? Head over to to the ‘People’ section, which will show you some more data about your followers, including their location, gender and age group. From here, click ‘People Engaged’, which will display where the most responsive fans are, as well as the languages that yield the most engagement.
Once you know where your most vocal fans are, it’s all about testing to see when they are most likely to engage with your content. Is it in the morning during their commute to work? Or evening when they are home on their computers? This will require some time to test and analyzed.
Another important factor to dwell into is seasonal holidays, specifically targeted to different groups of users, which you may not be aware of. To check for a comprehensive list of upcoming events, head over to Twitter’s Event page.
Pro tip: To target a campaign to a specific group of users, while creating a post, click “limit posts to specific demographics”. Doing so will prevent showing irrelevant content to those that are not interested and help to maximize engagement in your campaign.
2. “Relevant Content” & “Meaningful Interactions”
Back in January when Mark Zuckerberg announced the change on Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, he’d stated that:
“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
There’s a popular saying when it comes to SEO, which is to speak to Google – the machine and the people – your users. Similarly, when you’re creating social media content, you’re not only curating content to your followers but also Facebook, which will rank and determine how many people see your post on their newsfeed.
For us, this meant to avoid call to actions, such as ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘go to website’, which will cause your post to fall short. Instead, focus on what message you’re trying to deliver to your readers, that’s not only relevant but also unique to you as an organization. For us, whose product enhances productivity, we simply shifted our wordings, from what the users can do to how we can help them achieve their needs, online, for free.
3. Guide Your Followers with Visual Content
This is our secret to overcoming Facebook’s algorithm change and is probably the most important tip to drive organic engagement. Put visual content at the forefront of your social media campaigns.
To elaborate – whatever the message that you want to deliver to your followers, include it in your creatives. Whether it’s an image, video, infographic, utilize them wholeheartedly. The status text will be resorted to simply an add-on to your message.
Baffled? Here’s an example:
Above are two different posts that we, at Smallpdf, did earlier this year for two very popular seasonal campaigns: Earth Day and Mother’s Day. The one on the left contained phrases that Facebook probably would not deem to be “meaningful”: Free, Share, Tag, and even a deadline! This post was our experiment to see how detrimental the inclusion of these phrases would be, and the status update was basically DOA.
For the second post, we switched it up and moved all the wordings into our image. The text was left to only a (non-cheesy) Mother’s Day quote. Furthermore, we removed the link to our site, as it was irrelevant to a giveaway campaign. If the users love the product, they naturally will be led to your product page without this direct guidance. The difference? At least a 3-time increase in everything, including: Organic reach, likes, and comments.
Another supporting evidence for the 1st tip, relating to the posting time is also visible in these two campaigns. Below is a comparison of the post from Earth Day, published around our “peak-time”, as shown earlier, and a post from Mother’s day, at 6 AM, which would be one of the times where our users are least likely to be online, but attracted much more engagement.
As they say, content is king. It’s important to find a balance between creating content to reach as many people organically, without it being a detriment to your goals. If you don’t have access to in-house designers, lucky for you, Crello’s got you covered with over 60 million photos and 11,000 templates to create the perfect visual content.
4. One Swipe Rule
This is one that I’ve taken from my work in business development into content writing. Essentially, when you are prospecting, i.e. sending an email or InMail on LinkedIn, the message has to always be contained within the phone screen. If it is longer than that, you may not be able to relay the message to your prospect in the seconds that they are willing to allocate into reading your message.
Similarly, for social media content, you want your followers to grasp the message you are trying to deliver as they are scrolling through their newsfeed. Enough so that they stop, read and engage! Messages that are too long may even require users have to click ‘More’ to view the entire message – another click of action for the user.
To organically reach users and maximise engagement on Facebook, it’s important to play around with your content. Even with the abundance of existing studies on when to post on social media, you need to remember that your users may behave differently from those that were reviewed. As such, it’s best to invest time in examining their behaviors by getting to know your followers, which type of content works best and personalize your campaigns accordingly.
Alternatively, you could opt to pay for Facebook Ads – something that Facebook themselves have been adamant about. However, if you have managed to build a following organically over time or have no budget to spend, just know that it’s not the end of the road – and take your time to build up your social media presence.
To top it off, it’s important to have fun! What are your favorite methods to engage with your followers on Facebook? I’d love to find out. 🙂