To reach or not to reach – Why your facebook reach suck.


There are many factors involved when trying to figure out why your Facebook reach suck.

The Facebook overly promotional filter are but one of the things to keep in the back of your head while using Facebook for business. In this post we take a look at various pointers that can affect your efforts negatively.

A while back Facebook made some updates to the way they show content, which they believe are too promotional. I’m not sure but I did see a decrease of promotional content in my stream, but also clearly noticed the need for paid ads: generic reaches on places where the engagement are low – suffered the most. These will be pages with only posts of promotions and specials.

Posts where people where discussing things, showed a smaller reaction, meaning the reach on those posts weren’t affected as drastically.

So after a couple of months, I can only really make one good conclusion – and that is, you must pay Facebook to promote your ads. Which is something everyone saw coming for quite a while. Another thing I picked up, on the organic reach – the paid posts showed growth in organics hits and not only paid for traffic. A clear indication that Facebook is controlling content, as they are supposed to.

To me a clear message from Facebook. I have to add that I do not manage any groups, I tried one once, and it did not serve my purposes, so these findings I point out relates to Pages and in some cases profiles.

Facebooks overly promotional filter

scream-400Facebook turned to their audience as usual to find out what people want to see, and the answer where less promotional type adverts and more about their friends and places they follow.

Facebook directly controls the number of ads a person sees in his news feed.

According to Facebook surveys, they claim to have identified consistencies that renders unpaid posts to promotional, they went further and listed these with examples:

  • 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 ads

Examples here:

Other Key points to keep in mind are:

Facebook pages for business

Using a profile for your business on Facebook is a bad idea, not only because it’s not the way Facebook wants it, but pages are dedicated for business social interactions, providing you with crucial analytical data.

Not Reaching

Top 5 ingrediens of a facebook post

  1. A Link
  2. Brief – 40 characters or less
  3. Publish times
  4. Follow other posts regularly
  5. Timely and newsworthy

Probably the most common reasons posts are not reaching as far as they should. Let’s take a look at some of them. First up and weighing in quite heavy, a link.

A Link

Posts that originates from a website is key, these posts not only makes more sense, as it carries backing content but at the same time provide Facebook with data that gets used in many ways. One of these will be timing: Once a link fires, Facebook checks how long you stay away. The time it takes you to read the related post on the website are scaled and effects how many times your posts will be shown by Facebook.

That is the reason, why you aim to get word counts of more than 300 words in your posts. Posts with word counts between 1200 and 1700 seems to perform better. If you get back to Facebook too fast – they show it less, and if you read the whole 1500 words for +- 7minutes then the post scores better and reaches further.

Brief – 40 characters or less

Short and sweet = keep the content in the post, and spend time on a excellent, compelling post not more than 40 characters…. That’s not easy though, I screw up this one often πŸ™‚

Publish Times

Yes, the times you publish your posts does affect the reach, the general believe is based on peak times. If you are using Facebook for a business via a page and not a profile like you supposed to, you get handy insights on timing.

Many on-line applications that helps to manage and even score posts do exist, some are free with advertising, but signing up for buffer or Hoot suit will be the only way to make use of the true advantages these applications offer. However that does not stop you from giving the trials a try. I will recommend Buffer.

Following other posts

Very easy, you need to follow other posts as you use Facebook on a regular basis. Once again extremes will not help here as that can look suspicious.

Timely and newsworthy

Let’s just get our bearings: if you are posting for a business – you are most likely not a journalist and especially not an investigative journalist. Journalism is a science on it’s own and unless you took time to become an journalist, I will highly recommend steering away from acting like one, you will only cause damage to your campaign, freak your audience out and get zero return on your investment.

What to do? By all means – I am not telling you that you not allowed to think you are a journalist, but bear in mind that if you make statements and attack people and believes – you better do it with proof, rock solid proof.

The quickest way to lose your audience is, to make them believe, that you think – they are stupid.

That may not be your intentions, and so you get trapped easily. Here’s an example: If I am trying to convince you that Twinkies are shovels, or take it as you (the reader) believes that twinkies are shovels, then I am effectively taking you low, implying you are stupid.

So, the question is: How many times will you read my post, If tell you that you are dumb?…. Even though I do that sometimes – sorry πŸ™‚

Nearly the same thing applies for newsworthiness. Shocker! your audience does consist of real people. Telling them what they don’t want to hear, or to force your opinion on them or confirming well known unimportant facts, all chase people away! Plus they CAN NOT share your content, because that will make them look even more stupid.

Here’s an example:Β  “Hey! Tell all your friends the sun will not be rising tomorrow morning, and that is why you bought a lamp from Pete’s lamp shop. ” – Pete Thicket

Will you share that? Here are some more things to avoid.
  • complaints about your boss
  • political or religious beliefs
  • don’t ask for likes
  • staff pictures that doesn’t tell a story
  • posts with no images

Facebook stats you aught to to know about

  • Shorter posts gets 23% more interaction
  • 35% percent likes pages they can participate in
  • 42% likes to get coupons or discounts

Enough about Facebook for a long time, I have about 30 interesting posts lined up, probably enough for the next 6 months πŸ™‚ Really useful, practical things to come – so hang around or let’s chat in the comments.

Renier van den Berg
Working alone, providing digital services to businesses in different sectors, comes with an advantage. I get to see the similarities in businesses operating in different sectors and will gladly help you to implement the right digital strategies and applications to save money and generate more business leads.