Over the past year, Facebook has dramatically reduced the exposure of business page posts in fan newsfeeds, to the point organic reach is trending toward zero.

But all is not lost!

Before you write off your Facebook page entirely, try these clever hacks to increase your organic reach and get back in front of your biggest fans--the people who already like your page.

1. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content, or UGC, helps businesses have a steady flow of interesting, engaging content to share. It can help reduce the costs of content creation, and also tends to be popular with fans. One of the factors the Facebook newsfeed algorithm considers is affinity--that is, how much of a connection you have with each fan. If you can get them liking, commenting on, and sharing more content, you demonstrate a greater affinity and they will see more of your future content. UGC by way of photos and videos gives fans an incentive to like and share. After all, it's their content!

2. Share Facebook-Exclusive Content

Giving fans something they can only get on your Facebook page incentivizes them to tune in and share your content. Try having flash sales, offering special discounts, or holding contests open only to your Facebook fans. Use dark posts (a post that will not appear in your Timeline but that is accessible using a direct link you promote elsewhere) created with Power Editor to incentivize fans from other networks and email to Like your Facebook content.

3. Use Custom Audiences to Tap Into Your Existing Networks

Facebook's Custom Audiences tool allows you to input a list of contacts (say, your email marketing lists) and target those people with specific ads on Facebook. You can use email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, or mobile advertiser IDs to get in front of people you're connected with elsewhere. Use this for lead nurturing, to increase Likes on your page, and to offer specific content to the audiences it's most relevant for, while they're on Facebook. You can also import your email contacts using the Build Audience button on your page to invite them to Like your page.

4. Gamify Your Facebook Experience

Remember that affinity factor in the newsfeed algorithm--the one that helps determine how your content ranks in fan newsfeeds? Increase engagement and therefore affinity by gamifying your Facebook page experience for fans. Games can be single player, like Buffalo Wild Wings' 'Protect the Football' game, with incentives for daily play and weekly prizes. Or they can be multi-player or more social in nature, such as Red Bull's popular Arcade games. Use apps to power gaming experiences that incentivize regular visits to your page and help build affinity with fans.

5. Engage, Engage, Engage With Content

Engagement truly is the currency of Facebook. As Jay Baer, author of Youtility, said, "People are on the internet for one of two reasons ... Either to solve a problem or to be entertained." Is your brand content serving one of those two purposes? Every single post you put out should entertain or solve a problem, if you expect users to engage. Multimedia content is more engaging by nature; make the most of your content by keeping it purposeful and engaging.

Facebook is still a great place for businesses to expand their reach, build awareness and branding, market and remarket, and yes, even make sales. An integrated strategy using organic tactics and paid advertising together can keep you front and center on Facebook!

Published on: Oct 7, 2014
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