Why the Reach Problem Shouldn’t Prevent You From Selling Facebook Contests

by Emily Thousand Second Street

Nothing about the way reach is calculated has changed – people are just more aware of the potential audience for their posts. (Geek alert: There’s more to this story beyond what Facebook shows you in your Insights Dashboard. I’d recommend that everyone dig into their Insights to find their TRUE Facebook Reach.) Despite this increase in awareness, there is still a lot of mystery around how Facebook determines what content makes it into which News Feeds, when.

Here are the 4 main reasons not all of your fans will see absolutely everything you post:

    1. Your fans are not always online when you publish a post.

    1. Each fan’s experience with the News Feed is dynamic and unique to them. No one has the same experience. The News Feed has always been controlled by EdgeRank, the algorithm that determines what gets displayed in fans’ News Feeds.
      Facebook-Reach-Diagram

    1. Your fans Like a different amount of Pages and have different amounts of friends, all vying for visibility in the News Feed.

  1. Your posts only live in the News Feed for a finite amount of time, depending on when you post, what you post, and how much engagement that post got. The more engagement, the stickier that post becomes, and the stickier it becomes, the longer it will live in the News Feed and be pushed to more fans.

Here’s the good news: Facebook Contests are one of the best solutions to increasing reach and building a relationship with fans. The more engaged fans are, the more likely they will see future posts – and your advertiser’s reach will continue to grow.

If your advertiser wants to continue reaching their fans, they’ve also got to put thought into creating compelling content that is useful and inspires folks to share – it’s not totally Facebook’s fault that reach has been declining. “Hey I’ve got stuff! Buy my stuff!” does not equal compelling content.

So how can you easily educate your clients on what to do to maintain reach and engagement?

  • Make sure they are aware of EdgeRank and how the News Feed works.
  • Encourage them to run Facebook contests throughout the year to maintain engagement with fans (and get new fans!).
  • Use Facebook’s Graph Search to find Pages in similar categories that are doing great things. A local auto dealer could take some cues based on what Ford is doing.
  • Big brands aren’t the only ones doing great things – check out Green Acres Nursery, a stellar example of a small local business that is building an active community on their Page.

Check out our Overcoming Objections article for even more information on common objections to Facebook Advertiser Contest, plus how you can respond to them.