Increase your Facebook engagement without spending

01.22.2014
Organically grow your Facebook engagement without spending on ads

Is Facebook making organic reach more difficult? I've been reading up on it and, unfortunately, yes.

These changes have affected businesses, brands, and nonprofits. Truth is, if you want to increase your organic reach, you are simply going to have to work a little bit harder.

Facebook's News Feed algorithm is designed to promote posts that have high levels of engagement, which basically boils down to creating great content. Great content equals more engagement, which in turn equals more exposure in the news feeds of your audience.

If it is within your budget, there are ways to increase your reach through paid advertising. Meaning, your content is guaranteed to be seen by more than 15% of your followers.

However, if it is not within your budget there are other ways to increase your engagement—by creating content that you know your audience will respond to.

How do I increase Facebook engagement without running ads?

The following is a list of some tips by Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics, on how to increase your Facebook engagement without having to spend money by using techniques that are backed by data and proven to work:

  • Use great photos: photos get 39% more interaction than posts without. iStock photo isn't the only place to find great photos. Creative commons has some really great images that you can use for free!
  • Keep it short and sweet: posts with less than 80 characters get 23% more interaction, so get creative!
  • Ask a question: question posts get 100% more comments! Sometimes this can be tough due to the fear of asking the wrong thing, but it can be a great tool to find out what your audience is thinking.
  • Find or create quotes that tie into your mission/brand: quotes get 26% more likes and 19% more shares! Who doesn't love a great quote, right?!
  • Best days to post: Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday and 32% higher on weekends. Busy having a social life during the weekend? Yeah I know, me too! So take advantage of the scheduling tool on Facebook and get in on that 32% higher engagement rate on weekends.
  • Best times to post: posts made at 1pm get more shares while posts made at 3pm get more clicks. This is useful to know if you are thinking of posting an image and a link on the same day.
  • Incorporate these keywords in your posts: posts with these words tend to get higher interaction rates: Facebook, why, most, world, how, health, bill, says, and best.

The takeaway

Bottom line, do your research. Figure out who your audience is and create useful and interesting content for them. If you're not sure, run a few test posts and see what gets you the most interaction—and do more of that! And remember to use the 80/20 rule: 20% of your content should promote your brand, and 80% of your content should be content that your audience finds interesting and engages them in conversations. Focus on building relationships with your audience instead of turning them off by bombarding them with your sales pitch.