Why Your Facebook Page Isn’t Getting Engagement

June 13, 2014
Josh Light

Have you recently asked yourself why your Facebook Fan Page isn’t getting engagement like it used to? You’re not alone.

Facebook made some big changes in late 2013 on the way it determines what content appears in newsfeeds.

Facebook even publicly admitted that organic reach is declining, and the purpose of obtaining Facebook fans isn’t to get free exposure, but rather to make Facebook ads more effective.

So why is this happening?

Some people say that there is so much content being shared on Facebook that the company wants to make sure that you see the content from people who you care about the most.

Others claim that Facebook is doing this to increase their profit.

We don’t know the actual reason.

What can you do?

You really only have three options.

You can improve your relationship with existing fans, you can pay for exposure through Facebook advertisements, or you can focus on optimizing your Facebook posts to maximize exposure.

Existing fans

This strategy involves fostering stronger connections with your existing fans.

Part of the way Facebook measures your importance to a fan is based on how often that fan engages with you. If you get a fan to “like” or “comment” on more of your posts then the probability of future posts appearing to that fan increases.

The trick isn’t getting a lot of engagement. The trick is getting more engagement from a fan relative to that fans other connections. So you’re essentially competing against every connection a particular fan has.

This is extremely difficult to do considering that less than 2% of active fans engage with content published to a fan page according to Page Lever.

Advertising

So what about the advertising approach? Does it actually work?

The data research group, Forrester, published a report on the effectiveness of Facebook ads.

Here’s what they concluded:

“Facebook creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity … [so] … Don’t dedicate a paid ad budget for Facebook.”

Forrester isn’t alone in this conclusion either.

The Social Media Hat did research of their own on the effectiveness of Facebook ads for their website where they tracked traffic from various social media sites.

Here’s their website traffic results:

Facebook: 11,438
Twitter: 36,039
LinkedIn: 15,428
Google+: 61,828

Notice how Facebook drove the least amount of traffic to their website.

To be fair, however, not everyone is complaining.

Jeremy Leon recently saw a return of 15:1 for two of his retail clients.

He credits his success to running lots of tests before investing in a specific ad (20 creative iterations of each native ad running at once).

Optimizing Facebook posts

Optimizing your Facebook posts involves publishing your content at the best times possible, using the correct hashtags, and sharing content that people actually want to read (big surprise).

Figuring out the best time to post is a difficult thing to measure. Self proclaimed “social media gurus” claim various hours and days work better than others. They base these claims on the volume of posts being published on Facebook at any given time.

The truth is…your target market isn’t going to match the normal activity of all other Facebook users. So to get a true measurement of the best time you’re going to have to analyze when your Facebook connections are posting.

Using the correct hashtags has always been a “guess” at best.

Selecting the best content to share is probably the easiest problem to solve. There are a ton of free tools to do this. My personal favorite is Content Gems.

We also have a free social media management tool called RedbirdQ that helps you post your articles at the best time of the day, use the correct hashtags, and find articles that is getting a lot of traffic. One of our motivations for building this was to solve these three problems.  You should check it out.

Should you invest time on Facebook?

I’d say yes. It’s the biggest social network, and if you do it right then you can get a ton of exposure…despite Facebook’s recent changes.

Should you buy ads

That really depends on what you’re trying to do. I’m always a big advocate of trying things and testing if they work. Run a few ads and track your returns to see if it’s right for you.

Conclusion

Facebook’s organic reach is in decline, and will probably continue this trend. You need to focus on improving your relationships with existing fans, and optimizing each post to give it the best chance of being seen by your followers.

How are you combating Facebook’s new changes?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Facebook’s algorithm also impacts how we think about important issues.  Check this article out, “How Facebook Perpetuates War“.

(Photo Credit: Flickr via mkh marketing)