Why do I have to pay to reach all my Facebook fans?
I hear that question a lot. If you are the owner of a Facebook page who has worked hard to get quality Facebook page fans I can understand the frustration that comes from seeing only a small percentage of your fans looking at each of your pages updates.
I can especially understand why page owners who have spent lots of money on Facebook ads to get “likes” on their page are angry and becoming disillusioned with Facebook now been told they have to pay again to reach more of the fans by boosting their posts.
However, there are some very good reasons why your posts aren’t been seen by more of your followers that has nothing to do with you paying or not paying to reach them. Lets take a look at them.
1, Your Fans Aren’t On Facebook Right Now
Lets me give you some quick Facebook statistics that will explain why this is one of the more important factors in your pages posts reach:
- 76% of your pages fans only log in to Facebook once a day
- The typical Facebook user only spends 20 minutes browsing Facebook per day.
- The average lifespan of a Facebook post is just 3 hours (after that 3 hour time span, your Facebook posts will no longer appear in any of your fans’ news feeds.)
So, if you post some great content to your Facebook page at 9:15am there is a very good chance that when a fan of your page logs on at 12:30pm they won’t see your amazing post in their 20 minute browsing session unless they regularly engage with your pages posts (and that is assuming they are sorting their news feed by Top Stories)
So lets look at some actions you can take to help fix this.
Learn When your Fans Are Online
Firstly, you have to understand when your fans are online so your posts can get the most potential reach. Amazingly, Facebook have this very information for you to see in the analytics area of your page.
To access it head over to your pages Insights and click on the posts tab
By looking at the graph you can quickly get the following information:
- What number of your fans were on Facebook each day of the past week.
- What number of your pages fans were online during a particular time of day.
This is very valuable information. If you can see that your fans are mostly gathering on Facebook around 9:15am, it obviously makes the most sense to post your best content then to get the most reach and engagement.
If you can’t manually post at that time then don’t forget you can schedule your posts very easily.
Post More Often
When you want to reach as many of your page fans as you can then you need to post more than once per day.
Look at the When Your Fans Are Online tab again in your Facebook analytics. If you only post once a day at 9am on a Monday you will reach a small portion of your pages total fans. What will the fans that log in at 1pm see or the folks that check in at 4pm? Will they see one of your pages posts?
[vc_blockquote type=”type2″]The more you post the more of your fans you are going to reach.[/vc_blockquote]
You need to space out your posts over the course of the day. I would suggest every 2 or 3 hours so at least one of your posts stands a chance of been seen by a fan of your page.
Also, make sure you try to post quality content each time. If you don’t you run the risk of fans ignoring your posts.
However, don’t start posting just for the sake of posting. Again, you can create good content in advance and schedule it to post when you wish.
If you are stuck for content ideas don’t keep reposting the same post all day either – that will really hurt your pages engagement. You are better off not posting instead of doing that.
Pay To Promote Your Posts
Oh, I can hear your cries of pain from here. I get it, you have already spent a lot of time and possibly money getting your Facebook page community to where it is right now..so why should you pay again to promote posts to fans of your page?
Here is my answer. If you have an effective Facebook marketing sale funnel in place and then you are given the ability to pay extra to reach more of your engaged fans and turn them in to paying customers then that is a better choice than not been able to reach them at all.
Sure, in an ideal world any post you make should reach all your fans. The problem is that would mean an unfiltered news feed. Then the typical fan would see over 1500 posts per day if that occured. Imagine trying to make your posts seen with all that daily noise occuring.
At least with a filtered newsfeed your posts stand a good chance of been noticed if you have spent time creating engaging content and you are willing to pay a few bucks extra to get more reach.
Many of the people I see complaining about paying to promote their posts have no end goal in mind for their Facebook marketing efforts.
[vc_blockquote type=”type2″]There has to be a plan beyond just getting more likes and shares for your Facebook content otherwise you are wasting your time and money with Facebook.[/vc_blockquote]
That is where a sales funnel comes in to action. An effective sales funnel doesn’t have to be overly complicated either.
For example, my basic Facebook sales funnel is this:
- Build my Facebook page audience by getting targeted Facebook users to like my page.
- Build trust by being authentic and giving away good content like this article to my fans.
- Once trust is developed I can invite fans to join my mailing list.
- Sell my products and services through my social media channels and more importantly through my email list.
Tabsite came up with this Infographic which explains the sales funnel process quite well:
If you have a plan in place for converting fans to customers then you can measure more effectively how paying to promote your posts has increased your sales.
If you know by reaching 2 thousand more of your fans with a boosted post you are going to see an increase in email subscribers, sales or leads you are not going to ignore that option (I hope.)
For 5 dollars you can reach hundreds or thousands of your highly targeted page fans. The returns on that small investment can be huge as long as you have a sales funnel in place.
I am going to be covering in more detail how to come up with an effective sales funnel for your Facebook page very soon so stay tuned for that post.
2, Your Fans Are Sorting Their Feed By Recent Stories
Facebook users have 2 ways to sort the news on their feed; Recent Stories And Top Stories.
Now, if you fans are sorting their feed to see only recent stories they stand a good chance of not seeing your page updates unless you are posting on a consistent basis.
Top stories are determined by the Facebook algorithm that takes into account the popularity of certain posts, the nature of the post’s topic, and more.
If fans of your page are sorting by top stories then your recent pages posts will likely appear on their feed depending on how active their feed is, if they have engaged with your pages content before and how much engagement that post has received by other users.
What You Can Do:
Post more often. To cover both ways that your fans are sorting their news feeds you want to post engaging content on a regular basis. I already covered what that means above.
Pay to promote your posts. It will give them a higher profile in people’s feeds regardless of how your fans are sorting their news feed.
3, The Facebook Algorithm Has Deemed You Unworthy
You are probably aware that Facebook has an algorithm in place that filters the stories that users receive in their news feed.
As I mentioned earlier, if the algorithm did not exist the average Facebook user would have 1500 stories a day filling up their news feed.
The Facebook user base continues to grow and users have more new connections everyday, more Facebook pages are been created daily by brands and they are developing and publishing content daily. This is your competition when it comes to getting more reach.
Facebook have to balance the needs of the average Facebook user with the needs of Facebook owners who want to get their pages content out there. That is why the algorithm is needed. The algorithm is there to make sure Facebook users only see the most relevant information from their friends and pages they like.
The algorithm has a number of factors that determine what content gets shown: Affinity, Weight and Time Decay, along with 2 new factors: Last Actor and Story Bumping.
I could go through and talk about each of these factors, but this post is already getting too long. I recommend you go read this post at the Buffer Blog that tells you clearly what each part of the algorithm really means.
If your fans aren’t engaging with your pages posts you are much less likely Facebook will show them your newer posts.
Remember, every time you post on Facebook you are competing against hundreds of other posts from pages users have liked, along with all the latest posts their friends are adding.
What You Can Do:
Post More Often. We have already covered this above.Try to make sure you are posting new content on a regular basis. Then, as your old posts disappear from the news feed you will have new content for your fans to see. If you don’t have time to post it manually, use the build in scheduler on your Facebook page or use an app such as Buffer
Encourage Engagement. There are lots of ways to build engagement on your page; caption this contests, fill in the blank updates, ask your fans some easy to answer questions. If you can build the engagement with your fans you stand a better chance of them seeing your future posts.
Don’t Annoy Your Fans. Do not post multiple post updates at the same time one after the other. There is probably nothing that annoys a pages fans more than seeing too much at once pop up in their news feed from just one of the pages they like. They will quickly hide your posts or unlike your page which certainly doesn’t help the reach of your posts. Spread your updates out.
Focus On Quality. You can stand out from the crowd if you are giving your fans high quality content. Your posts will receive more engagement and in turn they will show up more in the news feed of your fans
The one sure thing about Facebook is this – they are always going to be messing with things.
Maybe tomorrow Facebook decide reach is still too high and they make it even harder to by tweaking the algorithm. Maybe they decide you can only post once a day to your page unless you pay to post more often. These things are unlikely, but you are not in control of your Facebook page – Facebook are.
You need a plan in place to get your most engaged page fans into your sales funnel so you can market to them away from the ever-present Facebook algorithm of doom. For me that is getting them on my mailing list. You might have a different plan. Just make sure you have one.