A Data-Driven Approach To Improving Facebook Organic Reach
By Brandon Olson January 14, 2015
Have you noticed a drop in your organic reach on Facebook? To make sure your followers see your posts, it’s time to start creating content they love. Learn how with these three simple tips.
If you’re like many Page owners on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that your organic reach has decreased over the last year or so. (If you haven’t, consider yourself one of the lucky few!)
Just in case you missed it, the folks at Facebook hinted last June that they started reducing the organic reach of Page posts. The purpose? To crack down on promotional content and give users “more stories from friends they care about.” And just a couple of months ago, they made it official — users will begin to see fewer promotional posts in the News Feed.
For many business owners and Page admins, this change has turned their world upside-down. Facebook has been relatively “free” for several years, and business owners have relied on the social giant to grow their businesses.
So what can you do about it?
There’s one way to prevent your organic reach from dropping and coming off as too promotional. It’s time to take a good hard look at your content and begin making some real changes. It’s time to provide more relevant content.
But how do you know what content works for your Facebook audience and what doesn’t?
To help you answer that question, here are three ways to dig into your Facebook data, improve your content plan and maximize your Facebook organic reach.
Survey Your Facebook Audience
One of the best ways to find out what your audience wants is to ask them. Surveying your audience is a great way to identify the content they want from you. (For example, here’s a social media survey we’re running right now.)
Running a survey is easy. There are a lot of tools available, like SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. You can even do a small survey within your email messages using links or a service called Customer Thermometer.
With your survey, you’ll want to discover:
- What topics your fans are interested in learning more about
- How they feel about the content you currently share
- Other ways you can make your Facebook page more meaningful or valuable to them
Make sure to gather enough demographic information to provide context for your data. For example, knowing that 75 percent of your Facebook audience wants to learn more about email marketing is great. But imagine if you knew that those individuals are in also the finance industry. Now you know you should provide content about email marketing specifically for financial professionals.
A word of caution: Be careful not to ask for too much demographic info, and don’t ask for personally identifiable information. If you’re not sure what to ask for, some basic fields include what industry they’re in, the size of the business or organization, and so on.
Bonus Tip: An incentive can be an effective way to motivate people to take your survey.
Dive Into The Data
Though a survey is helpful, you shouldn’t rely solely on what your audience tells you. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Be sure to look at your Facebook Insight data (which you can find at the top of your Facebook page) and compare it with your survey results.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this within your business page:
Once you access your Insights dashboard, you’ll find your post data by clicking on “Posts” at the top of the page:
You can view which posts had the most clicks and which had the most likes, comments and shares:
You can also view the engagement rate for each post:
As you dig into the data, focus on the content that receives the highest engagement rate. This is the content that your Facebook audience responds to the most, meaning it’s what they want.
Create Data-Driven Content
Now that you’re armed with all the data, it’s time to start using it to create a content plan that works for Facebook.
As you look at the data, keep an eye out for common themes (e.g., questions, behind-the-scenes photos), best-performing tones (e.g., humorous, helpful, friendly), and highest-performing post types (e.g., photos, videos, links) and make a list of them.
Then, put your thinking cap on to find ways to connect these high-performing posts to your overall business goals, whether that’s growing your email list or driving more downloads of your eBook.
As you start creating your new and improved Facebook content, remember your audience comes first. If you want to reach more of them, give them what they want.
Have you seen your Facebook organic reach drop? What are you doing to change the trend for your Facebook page?