5 Ways You Can Use Facebook to Gain New Followers

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A lot of people (personally and professionally) have noticed how their Facebook reach has either dipped considerably or remained stagnant.

This is not a coincidence and I’ll tell you why.  

Facebook has recently changed their feed algorithm so that posts from pages are now less visible than before.  Facebook has taken upon themselves to DECIDE what your followers see based on their past interactions with your previous posts.

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For example, I have ‘Liked’ several other blogs and I have noticed the ones that I do not regularly interact with by liking, commenting or sharing have all … but disappeared from my daily newsfeed.  I actually have to look them up manually to see their latest posts.

As someone who runs a blog for a living, staying on top of  different social media platforms and their changes in policy and algorithms can be exhausting, not to mention infuriating.  It feels like we are at a constant disadvantage.

There are, however, a few steps we can all take to counteract and/or improve our page reaches! 

ASK PEOPLE TO PRIORITIZE YOUR FEED

There was a time when you hit the LIKE button on a page you saw their latest posts.  Facebook no longer allows every page you have Liked to show up in your newsfeed (more on that later).  The best way to ensure that your fans SEE your posts is just simply to remind them to PRIORITZE it.   Ask them to move their mouse over the LIKE button on your Page, click it, then hit POSTS IN THE NEWS FEED, and then SEE FIRST.

When they do this, they are almost guaranteed to see your latest recipes and/or blog posts because Facebook will place them near the top of their feeds.  I personally have done this with several pages I want to see each day.

Why is Facebook doing this?  Because they want you to click on BOOST POST and spend between $1 – $300 to promote your latest post (which I personally refuse to do). 

So by simply reminding people to interact with your posts will keep you in their newsfeed.

A STRONG CALL TO ACTION

Another consistent thing I discovered was that posts tend to do much better when there is a strong ‘Call to Action’.

A Strong Call to Action means clear instructions which both benefit YOU and the READER.  This is where you are clearly asking people to LIKE, TAG, or SHARE your posts.

I know it can be a little embarrassing to actually ask people to LIKE your stuff but it really does seem to work from the A/B testing I’ve done.

I recently posted 7 consecutive days of recipes and posts without any clear call to action.  Then the following week I made sure to have a message that said “PLEASE REMEMBER TO LIKE, SHARE OR COMMENT OR HU WILL DISAPPEAR FROM YOUR NEWSFEED”. 

Both posts did okay, but the one where I directly asked people to LIKE, SHARE OR COMMENT the post outperformed the other by more than 3 times!!!  And 3 times more traffic means Facebook will continue to share your post with others.  (More on that below)

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KEEP YOUR POSTS SHORT

 Let’s face it, most people are scrolling through their newsfeed either at a stop light, at the Doctors office, waiting in the busloop or on line at the grocery store.  Most people are short on their free time now-a-days and don’t have the patience and/or time to read lengthy Facebook posts.

Posts which get to the point quickly CONSISTENTLY outperformed those which are long and rambling. This out-performance is further improved when the post has an attractive image attached to it.  Do not LINK but ATTACH an image to your Facebook post for that quick wow factor.  Before your followers are going to click on a link you’ve shared to Grandma’s Secret Spice Cake recipe you first need to grab their attention.  

Short and sweet, photo included.

ALWAYS CLICK ON YOUR OWN SHARE BUTTON

I was completely new to this concept, and yet it’s so simple stupid, how did I NOT know it? 

If you want to improve your organic reach, simply SHARE your own page posts into the various blogging groups you’re in or on your own personal Facebook Page.  DO NOT repost from scratch by cutting and pasting and reattaching the same image. 

Sharing has the benefit of increasing your organic reach AND improving the visibility of your Facebook Page, and friends of friends can see it all.

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 COUNTRY CLICK FARMS

Like we stated above, your Facebook reach is calculated on algorithms.  Every time you publish a post, Facebook will first feed your post to a small percentage of your total readers, let’s say, 10%.

Facebook will then decide how many of this 10% are actually engaging with your post.

If a lot of people from this 10% are Liking, Commenting, or Sharing it, then Facebook will see it as a worthy high-quality post and continue to feed your post to another 10%-20% of your readers, and continue to evaluate it.

However, if there is LOW engagement from this original 10% , then Facebook sees the post as less worthy of being shown to more people and they will less likely continue to feed the post to others.  Have you ever noticed that some posts seem to have a low reach while others is higher?  Few people interacted with it so FB stopped putting into their newsfeed.

Here is where the problem comes in:

There is something out there called CLICK FARMS.  They are basically a collection of FAKE FB ACCOUNTS, usually created for the sake of generating dirty money.  It is a business that pays employees (usually out of the country) to click on a website and artificially boost the product or website.  The problem is that they are INACTIVE accounts.

As the Associated Press reported, “there’s a global market for this activity that, according to some researchers, might have hit hundreds of millions a year.” Last year the U.S. State Department was criticized for spending $630,000 to buy Facebook fans and boost its popularity. 

So what does this mean to you and your Facebook fan reach?

Imagine if out of the first 10% of people that Facebook shares your post with, 3-4% are CLICK FARMERS. And because they are Click Farmers, they are essentially INACTIVE accounts that are still up and running. With inactivity comes ZERO engagement, and with zero engagement comes poor reach.  Facebook’s algorithm will see a LOW engagement and therefore STOP feeding your post to others newsfeeds.

How to know if your account has Click Farmers and What You Can Do

The majority of Click Farmers come from other countries.  These countries, if you look into your Analytics page, are countries that are usually non English speaking and include, but are not limited to:

  • India,
  • Bangladesh,
  • Philippines,
  • Russia,
  • Egypt,
  • Pakistan

(You can google ‘Click Farm countries’ for more countries)

Now without sounding biased, my website is based on American cuisine, therefore the MAJORITY of my reach is within the United States, Canada and a few other English speaking countries.  I’m not saying our site cannot reach countries like Pakistan or Russia but when the commonality is low there is reason to question it.

So with that being said, it’s up to you if you want to take the next step or not.  There is a way inside Facebook to limit which countries your posts reach.  Doing this will greatly increase your reach because Facebook’s algorithm will be working with REAL accounts that are active and engaging.

Here is how you do it:

  Go to your Page and Click SETTINGS on the right hand side

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 Scroll down to COUNTRY RESTRICTIONS

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 Manually enter the countries you wish to hide your posts from.

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That’s it! From then on, any post you publish on your page will effectively be filtered from being affected by Click Farmers (if they exist) from those regions.

ADDITIONAL TIP:

 If you want to know more precisely WHICH countries have the lowest engagement rate on your Page (i.e. affecting your overall organic reach), just click on INSIGHTS in your main page.

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click on PEOPLE on the left,

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click on PEOPLE ENGAGED near the top,

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scroll down to SEE ALL, and take a note of the countries with consistently the lowest level of engagement over time or even the countries which don’t even appear!  If they don’t even appear, it means not a single person has engaged with your page, even if they LIKED it – a clear sign of Click Farming activity! 

Doing this will help you decide if it’s worth it or not to filter a country out from your Post Feed. 

I hope these tips helped you reach more of your Facebook followers.  Social media is the cornerstone of building a successful blog and getting your name out there.  Staying on top of the changes is paramount so you’re not wasting your time/effort/energy and losing money with outdated policies.

We’d love to hear your comments on how Facebook has helped shape your blog.  Sharing this information with others helps us all continue to enjoy what we love doing best, blogging!  🙂

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