How Small and Local Businesses Can Reach More People on Facebook

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Over the past few months, there has been a sharp decline in how frequently Business Pages appear in user’s News Feeds for free- something called organic reach. How Small and Local Businesses Boost Reach on Facebook has become a central concern in recent times. With dwindling organic reach, these businesses are seeking effective strategies to enhance their visibility and engagement.

Facebook points to two major reasons for this decline.

Business owner utilizing Facebook strategies, exemplifying how small and local businesses boost reach on Facebook.

1. Why Small Businesses Struggle to Boost Reach on Facebook: Content Saturation.

  • According to their blog, on average there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News feed each time they log on. Of those 1,500 stories, Facebook displays about 300.
  • As more businesses get on Facebook, it is getting harder to be one of those selected 300 stories.

2. Facebook is only showing what they think each person wants to see. There are a few Facebook uses to decide whether or not to show a post to users:

  • Did you show a post type (photo v. text v. video) that gets the most interaction? Generally photos and videos receive the most comments and likes.
  • Have users hid or reported any of your posts spam?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with a user? How much do they interact with you?
  • Is your post old? The longer it’s around, the less likely it will be shown.

This can be hard for small businesses that may not have the time or the resources to spend hours cracking the new system. While there is still a lot of ambiguity around how it all works, there are some things you can take into consideration next time you sign on to post to your fans.

Strategies: How Small and Local Businesses Boost Reach on Facebook

Engaging Content: The Key to Boosting Facebook Reach for Businesses.

How Small and Local Businesses Boost Reach on Facebook? Engaging content is content that people want to like, comment on, or share. This could mean funny photos, questions, contests, or special offers. Facebook gives top priority to videos and photos.

Statistics showing the impact of photos on Facebook engagement: highlighting how visual content, paired with humorous copy, can amplify reach for small and local businesses.
Photos on Facebook photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more clicks on links than text-based posts. Combine that with good, funny copywriting and your fans will be sharing your posts to their friends in no time.

If a customer posts with a question, be sure to respond. Facebook takes note of when people are talking about a news story, making it more likely that content from that person or page will be shown again.

As a warning, Facebook will also remember if a user hides or marks a story as spam. While you can’t cater to every person on Facebook, you can try to make sure your content is valuable to the majority of your customers.

Feature in the top right corner enabling users to 'hide' content from a business page, underscoring the importance for small and local businesses to boost reach on Facebook with quality content.
In the right hand corner, users can click on a button that allows them to “hide” everything from a business page or even mark it as spam.

Making sure you have good content also keeps Facebook from “hiding” your posts in the future. If a user marks your post as spam, Facebook is much less likely to show your posts to your fans and their friends.

Make some more room in the budget to pay Facebook.

Although Facebook claims these changes are not to encourage people to pay to promote their posts, paying for fans and ads will make your posts more successful. In fact, if you don’t, expect an average of six people to see your content for every 100 fans you have.

Facebook now offers several ways to boost or promote your posts on Facebook. When you start paying for Facebook, be sure your content is engaging to make the most of your budget.

Functionality on Facebook for 'Boosting posts' allows targeted reach based on demographics like age and gender, a tactic for how small and local businesses boost their visibility on the platform.
Facebook allows you to “Boost posts” to reach more of your fans and their friends. You can even choose who they show it to based on things like age, gender, and interests.

Click here to learn more about how to get started with Facebook ads.

Keep posting and keep track of what’s working and what’s not.

Use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Bitly to keep track of how many people are clicking on your links, what times are most active, and what types of content (articles, photos, videos, questions) are getting the most engagement.

Bitly is a free link-tracking service that provides real-time data for who's clicking your links, where they're clicking it, and where else they're sharing it.
Bitly is a free link-tracking service that provides real-time data for who’s clicking your links, where they’re clicking it, and where else they’re sharing it.

Set aside 10 minutes a day to take add content to these services (most of which post automatically throughout the day) and see how things are going.

Don’t fall for fake likes.

It can be tempting to try and win the popularity contest by buying fake likes. Fake likes are different from getting likes from paid ads because fake likes come from spammy, fake automated accounts that go around clicking on every page whether they actually like it or not.

Having fake likes hurts your business because it lowers your engagement metric. Fake likes won’t comment on or share your posts to their friends. As of now, we know that Facebook shows your post to a small percentage of users to test how engaging it is. If it does well, it will show it to more people. So if your engagement is low because you are showing your posts to robots or fake accounts, Facebook is less likely to show your post to your real customers and your reach will remain low.

You can view your engagement metric on your Facebook page by clicking on the "Insights" tab.
You can view your engagement metric on your Facebook page by clicking on the “Insights” tab.

The More You Reach, the More You Grow

Facebook has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, many of whom are looking to connect with their favorite local businesses. Even though Facebook might be changing how often your posts appear to those users, it is still a profitable avenue for growing your business. Understanding the changes and taking steps to adjust how you post to your fans can make all the difference and can affect how small and local businesses boost reach on Facebook.

Are you not reaching your fans on Facebook? Hownd has helped hundreds of small and local businesses get more clicks on Facebook and growth for their business. To learn more about our platform, click here.

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