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Succeeding on Facebook in spite of declining organic reach

By Justin Di Vilio

If you’ve noticed that your Facebook posts aren’t reaching quite as many people as they used to, you’re not alone! From 2012 to 2014, organic reach on Facebook (the number of people you reach for free just by posting to your page) decreased from 16 percent to just 6.51 percent. This means that your posts could be reaching 60 percent fewer of your followers.

There are two big reasons organic reach has taken such a major dive. First, more content than ever is being posted to Facebook. The average person has 1,500 posts appear in their timeline each day. People with a lot of Facebook friends or who follow a lot of businesses might have as many as 15,000 potential stories show up each day! With the sheer volume of content that people, brands and businesses are posting, getting your posts in front of your customer’s eyes is getting more and more competitive.

Second, Facebook’s algorithm wants to show users the content that’s most relevant to them. It looks at more than 100,000 factors to learn about each user and serve them the content it thinks they’ll enjoy the most. I love watching videos on Facebook, and the more I interact with them, the more I see featured on my timeline. Facebook keeps tabs on what content, pages and friends I interact with the most and puts the content most relevant to me based on these observations higher up in my timeline so I’m sure to see it right away.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure your posts are getting seen by more than 6.5 percent of your followers. The easiest solution is to pay to boost your posts. You’ve probably seen boosted posts on your own Facebook timeline – they look like normal Facebook posts, but they have a “Sponsored” label under the page name and have a call-to-action button that lets you like the page. These posts cost as little as $1 and can be targeted to reach a specific demographic to can get your content in front of significantly more potential shoppers. To really get the most out of a boosted post, boost content that’s gotten a lot of organic engagement from your current followers – that’s a good indicator that it’s something your audience cares about, which means it’s more likely to convince any potential followers to click that “Like” button for your page.

A more hands-on (but more budget-friendly) approach is providing top-notch content and tailoring it to your audience’s preferences. While this doesn’t guarantee that more people will see your content like boosting a post does, your shoppers are more likely to engage with posts they care about or are interested in, and engagement is one of the factors Facebook’s algorithm looks at when deciding who will see your posts. Pay attention to the “Posts” tab in your Facebook Insights to learn what content your audience likes to interact with – if videos or posts with links are getting the best reach, post more of that content. Posting content that your audience is going to find helpful – like tips for winterizing their boat or the best places to get out on the water in your area – is another easy way to get them engaging with your posts. The more people are engaging with your posts, the higher the chances that Facebook serves them to a wider percentage of your audience.

Even with Facebook’s declining organic reach, it’s still possible to succeed on the site. Do you have any tried-and-true tactics of your own? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below or email me at Justin.DiVilio@arinet.com.

For more information on ARI and their products and services that help dealers with their digital marketing and online presence management, reach out to Justin Di Vilio - business development manager for ARI’s marine division, at 414.973.4460 or by email at Justin.DiVilio@arinet.com

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