With now 2 billion active monthly users on Facebook worldwide AND up to 1.4 billion of those logging into Facebook daily, the noise on social media is becoming deafening.
As a result, and to ensure the best possible user experience, the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing and adapting and you will now find that many of the posts you were finding successful a year ago, today may COSTING you. The algorithm is now actively shadowing/ghosting more and more posts that are considered self-promotional or spam. So, the big question is, how do you stand out?
Here are seven current tips in 2017 to get better exposure and beat the algorithm…
1. HAVE A CLEAR GOAL AND STRATEGY TO BACK IT
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer, but in the constant need to create engaging content the actual objective of a Facebook post often gets forgotten.
Consider the purpose of each post, what do you want it to do? Drive traffic to your website? Build engagement? Branding? Spark a debate? Shares? Or maybe build your audience.
A post with a specific objective will be more effective – it’s that easy.
The objective should be obvious, too. If you want someone to click on a link that takes them to a blog post, make sure the headline is attention-grabbing. A great way to achieve this is to keep things mysterious which will encourage clicks.
2. HIDE YOUR LINKS
Links that are built in rather than typed into the text on Facebook receive up to twice as many clicks.
When Facebook users see an image, the instinct is generally to click on it. If that image was pulled through from a site and redirects the user where you want them, then so much the better. After inserting the link, your preview and image should appear, at this point delete the link itself and type your text.
Don’t over post links, Facebook doesn’t like people to be sent away to other platforms or sites but for the posts that need one, make sure it’s built-in, and make sure the images and text that it pulls through from the website are relevant to your audience and good quality.
3. HAVE 40 CHARACTERS OR LESS
A year ago it was 74… now the sweet spot is down to 40. This may be difficult, and I’m not suggesting that this has to be EVERY post BUT with Facebook becoming busier and busier just humour me….
Nobody wants to read paragraphs on their timeline. Users will either skip to the end or ignore it altogether, which will never work in your favour.
However, a post with text containing 40 characters or fewer will receive on average 86% more engagement than a post with a higher character count.
Use your 40 characters wisely, remember to grab attention and leave an impression. Less is more.
4. POSTING AT PEAK TIMES IS NO LONGER THE RECOMMENDATION
It seems obvious to post at peak times such as lunchtime or evening. That’s when people are more likely to see your posts, right?
At peak times, you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other posts to be seen, and it’s very easy for your content to go unnoticed.
If you post your updates at off-peak times, they’ll stand a better chance of being seen by your audience.
As you may have noticed, your posts are no longer in chronological order, so its quite likely that a post you put up a week ago is still appearing in someone’s feed and the post you placed yesterday is dead as a doorknob, thanks to the algorithm. It’s not about the TIME you post anymore, it’s about the quality.
5. GIVE INFORMATION AWAY FREELY
Did your heart just skip a couple of beats? WHAT, give away information… for free? You heard me right.
Here are a few examples;
– Car detailer – Car cleaning product and how to tips
– Medical industry – Tell people how to look for certain symptoms and self-treat simple ailments to avoid an unnecessary consult.
– Real Estate – Home staging tips to increase their home value or better yet, tips on how to know if your real estate agent is taking care of you. If you are a renter, things you should know ie, your rights and common problems you can easily avoid.
– Florist – DIY the perfect arrangement at home
– Coach/consultant – Your best information…. Give it away freely!
Why? Because your audience will be so tuned in to what you have to say if they feel you are giving THEM value at no obvious benefit to you. If you give away great info for free people will be left thinking, ‘if I get this much value for free, imagine what ill get from them if I pay!’ Plus, your content will become more shareable, relatable and relevant to your target market.
Oh and don’t worry, I promise you, what you find easy – others don’t so you won’t be enabling people, it will draw them to you.
6. BE CONSISTENT – OR BE NON-EXISTENT
Getting engagement is the first step.
And now you’re publishing good content – that’s step two.
Successful Facebook pages post at least 5 times per week, which helps to create an expectation among your audience of consistent, high-quality content.
There are several ways to maintain consistency. You can do it manually which I don’t recommend unless you are a creature of habit. In my experience with clients and workshop participants, no matter what the intention may be, Facebook usually gets put on the backburner when life happens. I suggest trying the Facebook schedule tool and allocation 2 hours once per week to get your posts lined up. Alternatively, sign up for a scheduling tool like Buffer, Sprout Social or Hootsuite.
7. MAKE POSTS CURRENT AND RELEVANT
As well as posting content that’s relevant to your brand and products, make sure you keep on top of the news.
Popular stories and current events create talking points for your audience, factoring in trending topics such as a sports final or the season premiere of a popular TV show. Just make sure it’s not completely irrelevant to your audience. For example, if your target audience is young females, I wouldn’t harp on about the football grand finals or if you are aiming to attract busy business people I wouldn’t be spamming them with details about current fashion trends etc.
Applying these tips will help but let me promise you, Social Media is complicated. Yep, its hard for the pro’s too, don’t let them tell you otherwise!