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Is the social sky falling?

By Alexandra Gavril - February 12, 2013

If you spend time on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a lot of Page owners are gnashing their teeth because they’re now reaching less than half of their fanbase with each post.

Facebook has changed its reach algorithm a couple of months ago but most Page owners are just starting to notice that their posts are only reaching a small per cent of their audience. In other words, page owners are forced to pay to ‘Promote’ posts if they want to reach their own audience as they did before. For a business with a huge Facebook fanbase, this can cost tens of thousands of pounds a year as promoting a single posts starts at £4.

Is this bad? Yes, it is, but as a business you should’ve seen it coming. Facebook was never supposed to be free for businesses. They showed you what you can achieve with their social platform, now it’s time to pay up.

Things are worse for businesses who have been putting all their eggs in Facebook’s basket. Social networks are great tools for businesses looking to expand and connect with their audience but your entire social strategy shouldn’t be built entirely on someone else’s platform.

So, what’s a brand to do? They can either pay for it or earn it by creating social content that’s engaging enough to get shared, clicked, liked, commented on, or both. Here are a few tips you can use:

Find out when is the best time to post


Image via http://mashable.com/2012/09/28/marketers-facebook-wrong/

If you want to reach more of your audience, then you need to update your Page at specific hours of the day. A study from Buddy Media called “Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis” has found that off-hours are the best time to post. Brand posts between 8pm and 7am got 14% higher interaction than those published between 8am and 7am when everyone’s at work.

At the same time, the study shows that Wednesday is the worst day to post as interactions are 7.4% lower than average. Saturday and Sunday is when the audience appears to be primed for interaction.

Vary the post type

If you regularly post links, you might want to take a break. Mix it up by adding images, videos, polls, infographics or just plain text messages to engage with your audience.

Geo-target your posts

Add your location when you post an update. This will help you target your posts so that they reach fans in your specific location.

Keep it short and conversational

Write short posts if you want to engage more with your audience. A study by BuddyMedia revealed that posts of about 80 characters and less had 27% higher engagement rate than longer posts. Also, try to turn your posts into a two-way conversation by asking questions.

Remember to always measure you results. Use Facebook’s analytics tool to see which posts worked best and which didn’t get any likes at all.

The latest Facebook algorithm change proves that no advertising is free. So, instead of focusing all your social activity into Facebook, try other social platforms as well, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus, depending on where you audience is spending its time online.

Got any other tips on how to reach more fans on Facebook?