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February 4, 2020

Five Posting Mistakes Killing Your Facebook Reach

By Hannah Stonehouse Hudson

In our last article, we talked about hashtags being a specific way pages accidentally lessen their reach on Facebook. But hashtags aren’t the only things decreasing your reach, and with retailers, ranges and manufacturers in the firearms industry up against a host of social media challenges other businesses don’t face, every edge you can acquire can make a difference. This includes avoiding common posting mistakes that limit your reach beyond the restrictions you already face. Let’s take a look at five of these errors and a fix for each of them.

1. Creating Posts With Outside Links in Every Post

I once had a client who insisted that every post have a link to his website in it, and he could not understand why his reach was so abysmally low on every post. I explained to him that Facebook penalizes pages that link to outside pages, especially if those pages include a link on every single post. He argued that Facebook should be making him money on every post, and that meant making sure that people could click the link to his web store on every post.

I’m here to tell you that that strategy will kill your Facebook reach forever.

The Fix: Social media is for selling, but specific selling or call-to-action posts should be less than 5 percent of your overall posts. Ninety-five percent of your total posts should be brand building, those interactive posts that build trust and connection, and it is these posts that demonstrate to Facebook’s algorithms that your posts are things the social media platform wants to show to your fans. Why? Because those 95-percent of posts are what should keep people on Facebook. Therefore, your fix for this problem is to keep those posts with outside links to a minimum and focus on giving great content so that when you do post an outside link, Facebook will share it with more people, and more people will be likely to click it because they have a relationship with your page.

2. You Have to Ask the Question

Asking your fans questions is one of the best ways not only to build engagement, but to discover what content they are interested in and the new products and services you can sell them. Questions also help you find your customers pain points and problems of your customers sets you up for success regardless of algorithm changes in the future. (Note that asking questions is also an excellent way to source content for newsletters, blogs, press releases and future videos.) When people see that you have listened to their questions and created content to address those questions, they are more likely to share that content with their friends and possible future customers of yours. The problem, as you might imagine, is that far too few businesses utilize this tactic.

The Fix: Schedule a check-in post or a live video once a week in which ask your followers and customers what questions you can answer for them. Not comfortable with a live video? Record a video and post it via your laptop (you are unable to schedule video posts this way via the mobile app at this time, though that may change in the next few months). Use the “premiere” feature in scheduled video posts to create a video that uses Facebook’s live video capabilities without actually having to be nervous about being live. Copy comments and questions you get in response to a notebook or program like Evernote to bank for future content.

3. ‘Sale,’ ‘Free,’ and Sign Up’ are No-Nos

Facebook (and in this case all social media platforms) limits your reach any time you use these words in posts, captions or descriptions. It does this because it knows you want to make money or acquire event, membership or contest sign-ups, so they’re going to limit your reach.

The Fix: Use these words/phrases only when necessary and sparingly even then. Also, try not to use the words in both a graphic and in the caption of the post.

4. Posting Here and There

If your busy season is only once a year or your page revolves around an event, it can be tempting to post only around that time or event. But your reach will significantly decrease if you do not post consistently, as Facebook sees your page as a dead page.

The Fix: Believe it or not, regular posting doesn’t have to be a time-consuming thing, and it doesn’t have to be in real-time. Batch-post scheduling lets you sit down and schedule ahead of time your posts for a given week or month. For instance, you could schedule a “Throwback Thursday” post once a week with photos of a past event. Or you can pre-schedule posts about an event sponsor or field staffer. From there you can reply to comments as you have time.

5. Giving Up

A lot of the issues I see having with reach are due to wanting every post to have a financial gain associated with it and, when they don’t, page owners give up. They stop posting, they stop replying, and the page goes stagnant.

The Fix: You have to accept that not every individual post is going to make you money and that your long-term Facebook strategy has to revolve around community buildings. Understand that social is social and that Facebook’s algorithms reward pages that interact with their fans positively and engagingly. When you post with that strategy, the strategy that keeps “social” Iin mind, Facebook (and other social media sites) will show your posts to more of your fans when you do post an ask-for-the-sale type post, and that will lead to more sales in the long run than if you posted only items that ask for money.

In our next article, we’ll talk about how to get people to better engage on any of your social media accounts and how you can use that engagement to build future interactions, create new content and discover the products and services your customers want and need.

About the Author
Hannah Stonehouse Hudson is a keynote speaker, coach and social media communications strategist. As the owner of HSH Communications, she helps people and organizations reach the most people on social media, and she is the instructor of the popular online course How to Get the MOST Eyes on Your Social Media Content.

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