What an agency won’t tell you about facebook reach.
Achieving digital success is a dream for every big or small brand anywhere across the world. You always dream of driving maximum likes and engagement, far beyond that of your competitors. And in the process you end up hiring an agency which provides you with the ‘best laid plans’ for you to achieve your goals.
But is the agency having a tell-all session with you?
A clear smack in your million dollar plans for your company can be only because your agency chooses to keep you blissfully ignorant about a lot of facts.
For instance, did the agency tell you how they plan to get you the likes and reach you are expecting or how will they make your post go viral. Many of these achievements, my experience tells me, is based on a parameter called‘edgerank’, thus creating virality for any sort of content.
Here are 25 simplified observations to help you understand how it all works:
1. Content that receives lot of likes / comments / shares is likely to get increased organic reach.
The stories that show in your News Feed are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. This helps you to see more stories that interest you from friends you interact with the most. The number of comments and likes a post receives and what kind of story it is (e.g. photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear in your News Feed.
2. To get higher organic reach, it’s necessary that your audience @tags their friends & conversations happen within comments. Source: Facebook
3. Posts which generates discussions between page admins & audience is likely to get higher organic reach.
4. If your content drives lot of clicks, it is likely to get more organic reach.
5. If you keep in tune with trending topics, and genuinely use those within your post, it will receive more organic reach.
When a friend or Page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in News Feed, so you can see it sooner.
6. Facebook puts increased stress on ‘recency’ of post. If post generates high engagements within short time of posting, it is likely to go viral and get better organic reach.
Currently one of the signals we look at is the total number of likes that a post has received when determining how high up to to show it in News Feed. With this update, we are going to begin looking at when people are choosing to like, comment and share.
Which means, time you post on facebook really matters. A post which gets visible while majority of fans are online, is likely to generate more engagement in lesser time.
7. Posts that receive engagement by one’s friends, doesn’t have much of an effect on your reach. Which means, you are less likely to see which posts your friends liked or commented on.
This is how Mashable puts it:
Posts highlighting what a friend Liked or commented on will either show up lower in your News Feed or not show up at all.
8. If your posts are flagged or reported ‘hide’, it is not going to get good reach.
9. Posts that receive very high amount of engagement than page’s average engagement is likely to get lesser reach. Facebook believes that posts which explicitly promotes like-baiting, harms overall user experience and hence it blocks such content from reaching out to large audiences.
In Facebook’s own words:
People often respond to posts asking them to take an action, and this means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we survey people and ask them to rate the quality of these stories, they report that like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares. Over time, these stories lead to a less enjoyable experience of Facebook since they drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.
Example of like-bait:
10. If your page’s average engagement levels are high, your posts are prone to get more organic reach. Source: INC
11. Facebook users can control what pages they want to follow and which items to see on their newsfeed. If your page is among their ‘always show in my newsfeed’ item, your posts will get high organic reach.
Source: The Next Web
12. Stories that generate more ‘time spent’ (average amount of time spent by a user on your post), gets more viral. Chances are, facebook will show your post to more users.
“We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.”
13. Type of content – status update / photo / photo album / video determines reach of your post. With my experience, I have seen pictures & more recently videos getting better organic reach.
Here’s excerpt from Facebook’s blog:
The stories that show in your News Feed are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. This helps you to see more stories that interest you from friends you interact with the most. The number of comments and likes a post receives and what kind of story it is (ex: photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear in your News Feed.
14. Exclusive videos (uploaded directly on facebook & not shared via YouTube) generates higher views & organic reach. Source: Facebook
15. Recently, facebook has started giving more importance to link posts, over links shared within picture caption or status update. Source: Facebook
16. Click-baits or posts with explicit claims (of making you ‘awwwww’ or ‘you won’t believe what happened next’ kind of posts) are being penalized with lower reach.
17. Posts that tag other pages, gets better reach.
When a Page tags another Page, we may show the post to some of the people who like or follow the tagged Page.
18. If you are republishing articles or links that are already going rounds, Facebook is not likely to promote your content to many people.
There are occasionally instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again. We’ve found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that frequently post them. We are improving News Feed to de-emphasise these Pages.
19. Articles, Images & Videos which are original, generates better reach. Source: Social Bakers
20. Phishing & spammy links are getting penalized with lower reach.
In one of the updates, Facebook said:
By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links.
21. Text updates are big NO. Facebook treats them differently and it doesn’t generate higher reach.
From Facebook’s newsroom:
The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends … Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.
22. Contents which are overly promotional, lesser in value & information are getting lower reach on facebook.
According to Facebook, overly promotional content includes:
Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
Posts that reuse the exact same content from ad
23. If your image uses ‘lolcat type meme’, posts is going to get lower reach.
Source: Social Bakers
24. Posts that contain the words “Like, Comment, or Share” may receive increases in reach.Source: Social Bakers
25. Facebook’s new ‘reaction’ feature is going to affect reach of your posts.
From its latest blog:
“In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, “wows” or “sads” a post — we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content. Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”
What has been your experience of using Facebook? Do you know any other factor than these, which may affect organic reach of a post? Please share your feedback in comments below.