If you’re not the type to whine and complain about Facebook reducing brand content visibility, then you’re the type who reads my blog. It’s going to be tough for a lot of people (because they used gimmicks like giveaways and invite a friend to build an audience), and increasing organic reach on Facebook now involves “work”, “research” and “marketing”. But if you begin to use Facebook as a professional instead of just seeing what got likes and shares, you too can win and potentially grow or scale your company’s reach.
Below is one example of step-by-step instructions to find that core, engaged fanbase of evangelists which is what you need to do to beat this new algorithm and get some solid organic exposure. Yes, you will need to spend a little bit of money to find them, but luckily it won’t be too much if you do this right.
I’m breaking it down into 5 simple steps and in the explanations, it’s only three. It’s that easy so no joining in the complaining and Facebook bashing. Instead be proactive and start testing and growing. On a side note, I have not used this specific idea with any of my clients yet, but I am certainly going to be using this one, but more in depth and detailed as they’re ready for it.
Steps to Get More Organic Reach On Facebook:
- Install the Facebook pixel
- Learn how to create a custom audience based on URLs
- Go advanced and create a unique audience based on the type of content (most companies will only need 4 or 5 of these audiences)
- Publish some “quality” content that uses a landing page
- Publish the next round of content and run it as an ad to the custom audience
Here’s more detail on these 5 steps.
Install the Facebook Pixel.
This is easy. You can do it sitewide with Google Tag Manager or by placing it in a static and recommended section of your site, or whatever way is best for you. If you’re using a shopping cart or wordpress, do a search for “how do I install the Facebook pixel on my (insert CMS or Cart) site?”. You’ll get detailed step by step instructions for find helpful videos guiding you through the process.
Creating a custom audience is also simple.
Under the settings you’ll see “create a custom audience”. When you click on that you’ll want to go by website visitors and then specific pages. Here is what that looks like.
What you want to do here is categorize what you consider quality content into 4 or 5 target audiences. If you’re a clothing store you could do men’s, women’s, kids, wearable accessories, sales and deals. If you’re a non-profit, try donors, activists, ambassadors/fans, etc… You get the idea. Break it out by message and goal type and provide an all encompassing name for each audience segment.
Now we publish some quality content by niche.
The first thing we need to do is to make sure our website or a site we have the pixel on has some “quality content” that is relevant for each of the audiences. In an ideal setting you’ll have this content on unique pages because you do not want organic or website traffic finding it and getting tagged. The reason is that they may not be part of your Facebook Fanpage and you’re trying to be able to reach them as content goes live so you can send the social signals back to Facebook, but at the same time this could also be good, it’s worth a test.
Add the URLs of these pages you’ll be sharing that are for the specific audience (not all of your custom audiences) to the custom audience group. Now use your Facebook insights, google analytics and even server logs to determine the best possible day and time to share this specific type of content…then go ahead and share it. As people reach these pages from your Facebook Fanpage, your audience of engagers by topic is now being created.
Protip: If you have the demographic data, you may want to boost the content to that specific demographic data as well. If you’re looking for donors but recipients are clicking through, the boost with people who have a median income above $XY,000 could help eliminate a mix or miss.
You have now begun and actually created an audience that you can use to fan out new content that is “quality” and needs to get exposure with an audience group who is your fan and responds to it. The best part is that marketing to these groups is relatively inexpensive and they can trigger quality signals for you to Facebook’s algorithm. If they have a similar friend base and connections, you may start to gain there and now watch your reach increase again.
Facebook didn’t do much except try to eliminate the bad content that isn’t getting engagement. Yes, they are forcing us to use the tools they give us to find out what our audiences want, but in reality, they should have done that a long time ago. Without providing a high quality experience to their users, they inch closer to a date where they struggle to retain users. By keeping their users happy and make brands and Facebook celebrities think before they share, they can increase inventory costs for premium brands while ensuring a higher quality experience for everyone on Facebook.