about one month ago

The Frustratingly Limited Reach

Why Doesn't Facebook Show My Audience My Posts?

The disappointment of Facebook's limited reach is frustrating to almost everyone who manages a page. The question "why did Facebook only show X people my post when 10X people like my page?" is one that we get at one point or another from almost every artist we've worked with so far.

It can be insanely frustrating for anyone in the business of marketing or communicating with an audience to see, through no control of their own, that their posts and videos and photos are not reaching the people who have actively said "Yes. I want to get updates from you".

Is Posting On A Facebook Profile Better Than On A Page?

This is especially true for small artists who are essentially a one person operation. We've heard time and time again "it's so much better if I just post it as me. I get so many more likes on my personal Facebook than I ever get on my page".

While this is probably true on a per instance basis, it's not a good long term strategy. Facebook's rules are very clear that they don't want people to use profiles to promote anything that can be thought of as a business. But why do they penalise the pages so heavily?

banner by Herry Lawford 

The Business of Facebook

image by jenders

What Is Facebook Doing?

To understand this, it can be really helpful to think for a second about what it is that Facebook is trying to do.

The truth is, Facebook is not in the business of promoting any one entity's operation. It's in the business of keeping its users on Facebook. While Facebook is far from perfect, it really is ahead of every other social network, and it is worth understanding how it works for a long term success.

Facebook Wants Everyone To Spend More Time On Facebook

What Facebook wants above all else, is to serve the users with the best content available to that user at any one point. This article we recommend explains this in detail.

But basically for every user, Facebook scans every post, status, photo and link in said user's network. This includes groups, pages and friends have posted in the last little while. It assigns every post a value based on how relevant each post is to each user(!).

How it does that is in itself quite the feat, and far beyond the scope of this article. The point is that it basically ranks every post available for that user (that can be in the thousands) and only shows them the top tiny fraction of posts.

So Facebook is algorithmically curating the newsfeed for every user. Facebook organises all available posts based on what it believes to be the most relevant to each user at each point in time.

How To Work -With- Facebook

image by CBR

On The Bright Side

So the trick then becomes to work with Facebook on this, and not get stuck on the limitations this inevitably poses. Our residential rockstar runs his social networks on the strategy 'reminding people that we exist'.

Not every post has to reach every person, but presumably Facebook isn't serving up different posts to the same group of people. It's our assumption that it mixes up who in the page's audience different posts get shown to.

So even if not every post gets shown to every person, some posts get shown to some people. So by consistency in posting, it reminds the general audience that the page (and who/what it represents) is still active and around.

Reaching For The Big Guns Only When Needed

The truth is, it's not like the page has something amazing to share every time. However, by reminding the audience of the existence of the operation means that when you finally do have something – it's more likely your audience will take note.

When announcing a tour, releasing a video, or making another big announcement that is of interest to most of the audience (and the Facebook admins want everyone to know about) that's when we bring out the big guns.

This is when it's helpful to reach privately to some trusted fans or friends and say "hey, I'm announcing my video tomorrow on Facebook, I would really love if you could maybe look at it", and use Facebook's paid boost feature. Of course this something should both be of value and worth the audience's time.

Facebook likes content that people like. It's algorithm is constantly being optimised away from any tips and tricks that marketing comes up with to 'beat the algorithm'.

We Recommend

It's important to not get frustrated/disheartened that not every post gets served up to every person who likes your page. It's actually not even in your interest either to be filling up everyone's news feeds all the time.

The 'reminder that I exist' posts that some people see some of the time, are actually good for everyone. When the time comes where there's a call to action to drive people to (announcements, new video/single/album, whatever it is), that's when all that hard work will pay off.

To increase the odds in your favour, get help from those you trust – or simply pay for the reach. Even better: do both.


Keep In Mind

Not to run a fear mongering campaign – but Facebook can literally ban profiles that are being used for promotion of a product or a brand.

For those who are stuck in the limbo of 'but I have fans as friends on my profile... etc.' it's worth knowing two things: (1) Facebook profiles can be converted into a page and (2) two pages can be merged into one. We're pretty sure these are irreversible, so we recommend reading further up on this before taking action.