Perhaps the most deflating feeling felt almost unanimously by business owners using social media is that of crafting a clever and informative Facebook post, only to see no engagement. Subsequently, that deflating feeling is usually followed by the anger and frustration upon seeing that your post has only reached around 5-10% of your audience. Or, those that have "liked" your page.
If you find yourself wondering why no one has seen your Facebook post, just know you're not alone. ALL Facebook business pages are going through the same struggle as you, and it has to do with an algorithm put in place by Facebook called EdgeRank.
EdgeRank is a mathematical model used by Facebook that is designed to "guess" the interest level of Facebook users in your post. Unfortunately for business owners, EdgeRank puts a significant damper on your Facebook business page. Conservative estimates put the percentage of people who see your Facebook business posts around 14% of your audience, but it's not surprising to see less than 10% of people seeing your post.
This is a significant burden to business owners, as studies have shown that 96% of people that like your business page will never return to the physical page. Therefore, getting your brand's message into the newsfeed is really the only option you have of reaching your "liked" audience.
Sadly, the only real option of reaching your entire is audience is participating in Facebook's "pay-to-play" advertisements. This unfortunate reality is a result of Facebook going public in 2012, and the new pressure from investors for the social medium to become a profitable company. And, with over 80% of Facebook's revenue coming from advertisements from brands and celebrities, the trend of limiting your business' reach on Facebook is only going to continue.
However, if your business does not have the budget to pay for Facebook advertisements, or, you really don't want to participate in the pay-to-play system, there are some ways to boost engagement on your page:
Use meaningful text posts:
All varieties of content have taken a hit via Facebook's EdgeRank, but it appears that text posts are the least penalized under the new rankings. Text posts have been notorious for receiving much less engagement than that of other forms of content, like photos and videos, but a number of trusted marketers have reported that because text posts reach a far greater audience than other content types, that quality text posts can significantly boost engagement on your Facebook business page.
Use new tools:
Like most businesses, Facebook rewards brands that "scratch their back". Meaning, if Facebook launches a new tool for business pages, use it. Facebook rewards brands that use their new tools because they want to promote them, as well. It may seem a little shady that EdgeRank, a seemingly purely mathematical model, would put emphasis on those promoting Facebook's rollouts, but unfortunately, it looks like showing Facebook that you're willing to play ball with them will give you a little boost in your audience views.
Understand who "likes" your stuff, and go after them:
If you have been using a Facebook business page for some time, you may notice a pattern in who "likes" your posts. That's no coincidence. Those who have liked your posts in the past are at a significantly greater chance of seeing your latest offerings because EdgeRank has determined that that person actually has an interest in what you post.
Like any good marketer, cultivating your "Brand Ambassadors", and studying their demographic, is essential in tailoring your posts to the people that are going to reward them with engagement. Always remember that a "like" or "share" from one of these ambassadors is going to get your post into their newsfeed; thus, increasing the probability of virality in your content too.
While these are all helpful tips in manipulating Facebook's EdgeRank, the truth is that the current state of Facebook is going to continually push your marketing plan in the direction of pay to play. There are some people fighting back against this, however. Most notably, popular marketer and founder of content-sharing tool, BundlePost, Robert Caruso, has started a petition asking Facebook to drop the pay-to-play manipulation.
If you still need additional help in figuring out how EdgeRank effects your business page, or if you want to learn about more individualized tips in how your business can fight back against EdgeRank, local Indianapolis business, Intelligent Designs Media, has developed a unique consultation program that tailors itself to your business' specific needs in fighting back against pay to play.