It’s no secret that organic reach on Facebook has declined significantly over the years. But it is still possible to achieve epic organic Facebook results. You just need to know how.
Mari Smith, a social media thought leader and Facebook marketing expert, delivered a presentation at Social Media Marketing World in 2023 titled “How to Achieve Epic Organic Facebook Results in 2023.” In this presentation, Mari shared her insights on the latest best practices to help businesses maximise their organic reach on Facebook.
The key takeaways from Mari’s presentation are summarised below, along with some additional insights gained at this event and through personal experience.
The Importance of Organic Reach
Organic reach refers to the number of people who see a post without paid promotion. In recent years, organic reach on Facebook has declined due to changes in the platform’s algorithms.
However, organic reach remains an essential component of a successful Facebook strategy, as it can help businesses build brand awareness, engagement, and community.
Three critical factors that influence organic reach continue to be:
- Relevance – how well a post aligns with a user’s interests and behaviours
- Engagement – the level of interaction a post receives, such as likes, comments, and shares
- Timeliness – how recent a post is, with Facebook’s algorithm prioritising fresh content
But there’s a rising new star when it comes to getting in front of new audiences and that’s Unconnected Content. I explain this concept more in this post about The Future of Social Media. But the key takeaway is that if you create quality, highly engaging content, then that content is more likely to be seen by new audiences that you are not already connected with.
Facebook’s Native Text Based Image Posts
The content that seems to be the surprising winner for reach and engagement these days are Facebook’s native text based image posts. You know the ones, where you can type a short update and then choose a background for the text to sit on. These types of posts are working exceptionally well when you use them to pose a question or stir debate with a polarising comment. The best part about these types of posts is that they are so easy to create. You could even get ChatGPT to help you come up with a few variations that would resonate well with your audience.
The Power of Storytelling
The importance of storytelling in Facebook marketing was emphasised by all of the speakers at Social Media Marketing World. By using compelling narratives and visuals, businesses can create emotional connections with their audience and increase engagement.
Mari also noted that Facebook’s algorithms favour longer-form content, such as videos and text posts, that provide in-depth information and value to the audience.
Video content is becoming increasingly important on Facebook, as it has higher engagement rates than other types of content. Mari recommended using videos that are at least three minutes long and that provide valuable information or entertainment, targeted to the audience.
However, this recommendation was contrary to what most of the other speakers at the conference were saying, where the emphasis was on short form video content, in particular Reels. From my experience, Reels are performing exceptionally well right now. If your business isn’t currently using this format, then you’re missing out on a major opportunity for reach, engagement and conversions.
Regardless of the length, it’s important that you post your videos natively to Facebook, rather than simply sharing links from YouTube or other platforms. This is because native videos on Facebook tend to get much higher engagement than shared videos. Additionally, Facebook’s algorithm favours native videos, meaning that they’re more likely to show up in users’ newsfeeds.
And of course, many users browse Facebook with their sound off, so it’s important to optimise your videos for silent viewing. This means adding captions or subtitles to your videos, so users can still follow along even if they’re not able to listen to the audio.
Here’s an example of the type of educational short-form video that is performing well in Facebook Reels and Stories right now:
Use Facebook Live
Live video is a powerful tool to connect with your audience in real-time. Mari recommended using live video to share behind-the-scenes content, answer questions, showcase new products or services and provide valuable content to your followers. She also suggested promoting live videos in advance to increase anticipation and engagement.
Read Facebook Live Broadcast: The Ultimate Guide For Businesses for more information on how to incorporate Facebook Lives into your digital marketing strategy.
Leverage User Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) is content created by your audience, such as videos, photos or reviews. This type of content is highly valuable, as it’s authentic and showcases your brand in a positive light. UGC can help businesses build trust with their audience. Mari suggests encouraging your followers to share their own content related to your brand, and featuring that content on your Facebook page. UGC can also help businesses create a sense of community and foster engagement on their Facebook pages.
Read this blog post on How We Were Able to Get 29 Authentic Video Reviews from Real Customers in Two Weeks as an example of the power of User Generated Content.
Utilise Facebook Groups
Facebook groups can help businesses create a sense of community and engage with their audience on a deeper level. Create groups that align with the brand’s values and that provide value to the audience. You can use the group to share exclusive content, offer support, and facilitate discussions around the products or services that your business offers. Businesses can also use groups to gather feedback and insights from their customers or as a forum to provide support for an online course of membership, which is what we do as part of the Click Engage Convert Academy.
Engage Through Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories are a popular feature that allows users to share short-form content that disappears after 24 hours and are a great way to help boost your organic reach. You can use Stories to showcase new products or services, share behind-the-scenes content, and provide exclusive offers to the audience. Stories can be a great way to engage with your audience in a more casual and interactive way, as well as experiment with new content formats and engage. They are a particularly good way for engaging with younger audiences.
Connect Through Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with your audience on a personal level. Messenger can be used to provide customer support, answer questions, and nurture leads, as well as to send personalised messages and exclusive offers to your audience.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
It’s important to post consistently on Facebook, but it’s also important to focus on the quality of your content over the quantity. It’s important to take the time to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience, rather than simply posting for the sake of posting.
Engage With Your Followers
Engaging with your followers is crucial to building a strong relationship with your audience. Responding to comments and messages in a timely manner, and taking the time to address any concerns or questions that your followers may have is extremely important for building trust with your audience.
Utilise Facebook Ads
While organic reach is essential, businesses should also consider using Facebook Ads to reach new audiences, promote your brand and drive conversions. Facebook Ads can be used to retarget website visitors, create lookalike audiences, and promote exclusive offers. Mari emphasised the importance of experimenting with different types of ads, such as carousel ads, video ads, and Messenger ads, to see what works best for your brand.
Measure Your Results
Finally, it’s important to track and measure your Facebook results to see what’s working and what’s not. You can used Facebook Insights to monitor your page’s performance, and make adjustments as needed to improve your organic reach and engagement. But you shouldn’t just be focusing on achieving vanity metrics, like reach. Instead you should be focusing on metrics that matter, like building relationships, making sales and growing businesses.
Achieving epic organic Facebook results these days requires a combination of strategies. By taking the time to understand your audience and their preferences, and by experimenting with different types of content, you can build a strong organic presence on Facebook that helps to connect with your audience and grow your business.
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