Recent changes to Facebook's news feed, while optimizing the individual user experience, have made it harder for brands to communicate directly with users without resorting to paid advertising.
Kevin Dando, senior director of digital marketing & communications at PBS and speaker at PR News’ Social Media Summit on June 3 in New York City, offers some tips that brands can use to increase their reach on Facebook.
- Geo-targeted Facebook posts. PBS has had particular success with this tactic. Most brand Facebook pages have the ability to post content that can only be seen by people in a certain city (or combination of cities) or state (or combination of states) or country/countries. If your content lends itself to this type of post, try it out. People love to see content that is targeted—literally—just to them. Be sure to call it out, though. We preface our geo-posts with a variation of “Attention City Name Here.” It is eye-catching to those living in that city or state to see it mentioned in this way, and makes the post much more engaging (and clicked on).
- Experiment with demographic targeting of posts. You may also want to try targeting people of certain demographics. Have a post you think will be resonant with people 50+? Target them only, using Facebook’s free tools. Want to have a post that can only be seen by women? By men? That's also possible. We’ve seen our engagement rates go up considerably using this type of targeting.
- Varying types of posts. Facebook recommends this tactic, and it has worked well for PBS. We very much concentrate on varying the kinds of posts we put up, between video, status with link, text only, etc. We also continually experiment to ascertain which of these is doing well for us at any given time.
- Posting 24 hours a day and targeting content by time of day. Since Facebook has seemingly eliminated (or at least minimized) the penalties for posting too frequently, we’ve been experimenting with posting more often and around the clock. We even think about what kind of content might be more resonant at night or in the morning.
For more information on Facebook engagement and working with other social media platforms, join us for the PR News Social Media Summit and Taste of Tech, taking place on June 3 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Follow Kevin Dando: @kdando
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell