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Beating the Facebook Algorithm at Its Own Game

Gus Wagner


Have you noticed that the organic reach of your Facebook posts is frequently inconsistent? We have too, and we know that it’s frustrating.

Why has my organic reach on Facebook fallen? TWEET THIS

Facebook has changed the algorithm (read: math) that powers its platform. Those changes are completely within Facebook’s power to make. After all, Facebook lets us use its platform for free, while its trying to make a profit.

How can I increase my organic reach?

We have four answers for you:

1. Post from a mobile device

Of all the actions we have attempted since the December 2013 changes, this is the one with the greatest success. By using a mobile device to make text only posts to our own and our client’s brand pages we have seen organic reach into the high-30%’s. Coincidentally, we have also seen greater audience interaction with these text only posts from a mobile device. Check out the Insights panels below for audience numbers.

Pro tips: We have found that these posts are most successful in the evening hours of our time zone (where most of our clients and our client’s audiences are located) We have also found that posting photos with these texts seems to dampen their reach.

2. Post multiple images

We tip our hats to Social Media Examiner for this tip, which seems to bump the numbers a bit:

By posting multiple images with your text and link content, instead of the traditional one image per post thinking, administrators are seeing greater reach. We have not tested this theory as much as the others but we did see a double the amount of impressions than we had since the December 2013 algorithm changes by trying this method. 

Facebook has been trying to become an image-based platform for some time so it makes sense they would give multi-image posts more weight in their algorithm.

3. Share then like

The third method we see success with is shareable content. You can’t plan your audience’s shares, but you can create content with shareability in mind.

Since Facebook’s December algorithm changes, we have noted that posts with even just one Share had much greater organic reach than those without. Posts which normally received low double-digit organic reach suddenly received hundreds of impressions because people shared those posts through their personal accounts.

Pro tip: Don’t start Sharing all of your business page posts with your own personal profile. It’s a hacky thing to do, and it’s a great way to get in trouble with the Facebook police. [link to FB police article}

Want better Facebook results? Check out ShareThenLike.com for more information. (block call out graphic or text)

Pay to play

Paid advertising is another way to boost your organic content’s reach. 

Allegedly, this is the crux behind the algorithm changes: get more people to pay to reach their audiences. It’s not a bad idea for Facebook as a tool for generating profits, and it’s not a bad idea for you as an advertiser either.

Facebook advertising is the most effective, manageable and targetable form of advertising for businesses. Check out the post below about our paid statewide The Rocket Group ad that cost $50 and reached more than 11,000 impressions, had dozens of interactions and got business worth much more than $50. Then check with your newspaper, television or radio ad reps and see what $50 can get you in those forms of advertising.

Pro tip: Don’t push all of your content out there through ads. Only market your key content — the stuff that has earned good organic reception and which will bring you more business. Then be sure you target it correctly for your geographic, demographic, or industry targets.

These are just a few ideas to help you as you navigate Facebook’s new algorithm, trying to keep your organic reach up and engage new audiences.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time.


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Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.

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