Have you noticed your Facebook post views dropped dramatically in the organic reach of your Facebook fan page?
If you’re not sure with what’s going on, take a few minutes to click around your Facebook Insights. You’ll find the link on the top bar in your Fan Page admin panel. Take a look at the recap of your Recent Posts Published. You’ll get the full picture of which posts are connecting with your fans by checking your Reach and Engagement numbers.
So what happened to all those Facebook marketing messages that you were posting that were getting Likes, shares and comments from your fans?
In January, Facebook quietly made another change to their programming that has directly affected how Facebook Fan Pages connect with their customers. It turns out that most Facebook users want to see more pictures from their friend’s vacation and less sales messages. They want to click on more hamster videos and see fewer Fan Page marketing promotions.
So Facebook decided to make a change to their algorithm (how we get our content in our home feeds) to provide their fans a better user experience. So what’s a small business to do? Well, you’ve got three choices.
My Facebook Post Views Dropped: What Do I Do?
1. Move on From Facebook
This may be the time in your marketing plans to shift your attention to your other social programs like Pinterest and Twitter.
Quite honestly, you may not need to do an official breakup with Facebook. But you should consider finding other social programs to spend some time with to reach a new audience.
2. Play the Facebook Game and Pay for Promoted Posts
I have always been a big fan of Facebook’s Promoted Posts. You can run a targeted marketing campaign for as little as $30 and reach thousands of people.
Not of all them will be your target audience, but at least by promoting your posts, your content will show up in more of your fans and friends of your fans news feeds.
3. Stay on Facebook and Make it Work
If you decide to keep posting on Facebook, you’ll need to make some changes to your Facebook strategy. Below are some ideas to help you create content that your fans will want to read and share.
Change Your Text-Only Messages into Link Share Posts
With the updated Facebook news feed algorithm, text-only updates are now less likely to be seen by your fans. But when you share a link, the new programming gives these “Link Share” posts a higher priority, meaning more people will see them.
Link Share Posts:
Facebook posts without the link appearing in your message but that are shown below it with an image – are now getting more engagement from fans. It’s really simple to do and makes your post stand out more in the news feed.
In the status post update section, do the following to create a Link Share:
- Copy the URL of the content you want to share.
- Paste it into the status update. Facebook will bring up the article title, image from the post (if there is more than one image, you can click through the options) and a description of the article.
- With the Link Share info now included below in your status update, delete the URL you just pasted.
- Add your comments or questions to your status then hit the post button to share with your fans.
Pay More Attention to Your Images
Visual content is still a great way to get your fans’ attention. So spend a little time making sure you add eye-catching images to your posts that grab your fans’ attention. The new content feed changes also brought new changes to the way images appear on your wall.
I’m sure it may change again. But right now, Facebook images are all about the square.
The Best Facebook Photo Sizes Are Now Square (504 x 504 Pixels)
If your images are smaller than the 504 pixel square, Facebook will fill in the extra area with grey bars. If you post taller images like infographics, your image will be reduced to 504 pixels tall and Facebook will fill the extra space on the sides with the same gray bar effect.
Note: These gray bars filling in the extra space won’t be seen in the news feed of your fans. Facebook is using the grey bars to make sure that your image fits into the 504 pixel wide space on the new Fan Page wall layout.
Whatever you decide to do with your Facebook marketing plans, make sure you take into account all of the new Facebook changes to ensure that your company’s content connects with your fans.
I look at my social media marketing plans this way. With all the latest changes on Facebook affecting my reach with customers, I’m not putting all my marketing eggs into Facebook’s basket. But I will continue to post, share and engage on this social site because Facebook is still the first place we go to check out a business. And if your last post was 6 months ago, then what message are you sending to a potential customer?
Facebook Photo via Shutterstock
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Thanks for raising my blood pressure, Penney.
As much as I don’t like Facebook-for lots of reasons, I do get a fair amount of web traffic on my franchise websites and blogs. But, not as much as I used to.
It seems that FB is changing something every week, now. There’s no way I’d advertise there until things are more stable. And, i probably won’t anyway-because I don’t want them to have my money. I can’t control enough things there.
Anyway…great article. With lots of facts.
The Franchise King®
This Facebook marketing stuff can be a little tricky these days. It’s hard to say when the updates I shared with you will change out to something else.
Hopefully, these tips I posted here will help you continue to get traffic back to your website.
thanks for your comments!
When considering whether to pay for promoted posts, consider how strong the call-to-action is in the post. If the post is mostly informational and has a low likelihood of driving conversions, the ROI probably won’t be there.
I totally agree! I also believe that there’s another step to make sure your promoted posts get more conversions – making sure the visual content that goes with the post is an eye-catching image and has some text on it so people can tell what the post is about.
Great point – thanks for sharing!
Won’t pay for posts on principle. FB makes enough money! The more of us that make a stand against it the more likely (one can hope) that FB will drop this. It is also very unfair on the small biz, that who it hits most. I have found that the posts with links in get the least views actually?
I certainly agree that even if you don’t get many views (or at least a very tiny percentage of your likes) that one has to keep the content up to date because of new people checking out the business. Rotten Facebook, seriously going off it purely because of the attack on small biz but they have us by the short and curlies!
I think a lot of people feel that way. BUT at the end of the day, Facebook is a business like we are. They’re goal is to make money, just like we do. So it’s hard for me to get too upset with them for creating their promoted posts options.
I think this move is more about us as marketers for our companies. This is the point where we can make a choice to move our marketing efforts into another social program. I found that when I shifted my attention from Facebook to Twitter, my site traffic increased.
Love your comment though — short and curlies 🙂
One of the clients who I worked with faced a wall in Facebook when fans are rarely coming and there is hardly any participation in the page. It seems like the answer is mere promotion. We made use of Facebook ads and got our page off the ground from there.
Yes, it seems that ads and promoted posts are now the best path to create the Facebook posts that get the most attention. I think that using the paid options are good way to get everything started and then maybe just add in a few promoted posts/ads scattered throughout the year to give you a little boost is a great way to go.
Great point – thanks for sharing your story!
Thanks for the post, Penney.
I noticed I’m getting even less page views than before. I didn’t realise FB made another change in January. My suspicion’s that it’s made more changes since then ‘cos my page views have really dropped.
I did start posting images, some with links, others without. I noticed very little difference. If anything, there were less page views for those statuses.
What it has made me do is use other platforms to see which ones work for me in terms of visibility. I know Tumblr isn’t social media per se, but things are picking up for me there. I’m also starting to use Pinterest. I use Twitter but it doesn’t really work for me. Google+ us the next one I want to use.
I found the same thing happening to my posts on Facebook too. I’ve always had a great results from Pinterest (it’s my number traffic referral) so I added more time to Pinterest and started to up my usage on Twitter and Instagram. This is new trio of social sites seems to bring me more traffic than when I was a heavy Facebook user. So until Facebook makes more changes, this will be my go-to social media marketing plan.
Good luck with the other platforms! Once you give it some attention, you’ll start to see some results.
I’m glad Pinterest’s working for you, Penney. Hope you experience a similar growth on Twitter and Instagram.
I’m becoming less and less impressed with Facebook in terms of ‘social’ and ‘reach’. On the contrary, they’re doing me a favour with the changes they’ve made and continue to make, because it’s making me consider other platforms and making me less dependent on FB.
From a digital marketing perspective, the changes Facebook has been making lately are frustrating to say the least. The whole concept of posting something, then not knowing exactly who’s going to see it (unless you pay) has personally turned me off, but I know I still need to stay in the game. I know some folks are just upping their posting frequency with the hopes that more get through, but it just leads to a glut of junk posts that no one finds interesting.
I agree about the link share posts. Facebook is unique in the way they display them, and they have a lot more impact than just text.
If there’s one thing that’s constant in social media is that Facebook will be making changes!
I agree with you though, I still stay in the Facebook game but I’ve moved my attention to other social sites that are not only bringing me more traffic, but I’m connecting to people who are my target audience.
Hopefully, the link share posts will be around for awhile so we can at least get a little bit of traffic.
You mentioned you’ve been turned off my FB’s meanderings. What have you done in light of that: do you use other platforms more these days?
(apologies. I meant ‘by’, not ‘my’)
I do try to use other platforms, but I do accept the reality Facebook is still top of the heap. Despite my frustration, I’m still not getting the same amount of results elsewhere. Penny mentioned she is using other sites which are bringing her more traffic, I’d be curious which ones are working for her!
Almost all of my posts contain a picture and some with links. The more interesting the content, the more likes and shares. I try to drive traffic to my website that provides sales information. I don’t like Facebook but that’s where a lot of customers hang out. I’ve got to be where their eyes are looking.
Thanks for explaining the latest changes.
Totally agree with where you are with Facebook! I think it really comes down to sharing content that fans will find interesting and informative and hopefully, they’ll want to share it.
You’re welcome for the explanation!
We have had the same problem. We are an education page, previously averaging 40-50,000 views per week, now we average about 5,000. Post rate is still the same, we have always used graphics, dropped over one week. Maybe it was the complaints I was making about the stats not looking to accurate.