Getting more organic reach for a Facebook Page can feel like being on a hamster wheel (courtesy sualk61 on Flickr CC)

Getting more organic reach for a Facebook Page can feel like being on a hamster wheel (courtesy sualk61 on Flickr CC)

How can you make sure that people see more posts from your Facebook Page?

The short answer: post helpful and/or entertaining information at the right times, and get help from others to raise visibility, but be ready to spend money.

Facebook is always tweaking their algorithm (the computer-driven sorting that determines what people see in their News Feed.)

The only way to avoid Mr. Zuckerberg deciding what to show you is to manually re-sort your Feed to Most Recent/chronological, using the tiny three-dot dropdown on the top of the upper left sidebar next to “News Feed.”

Facebook did announce on Feb 1, 2016 in this news release that, “We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed.”

There’s a bunch of wording in the news release about determining the “probability” of what people want to see and interact with, but we can’t bring our communications to a halt while we wait for some magic button that will make all this easier.

Every recent article we found that talks about the change basically re-states what the Facebook news release says.

So, now what?

Yes, Facebook is now largely a pay-to-play environment for most destination, attraction, hotel, and business Pages, but you can still get some eyeballs with these basic techniques….

Not All Engagement Is The Same

Likes, Comments, and Shares on each post are key to showing the algorithm that a post is engaging, and therefore worth more visibility in people’s Feeds.

We’ve also heard (and seen on our own Tourism Currents Page) that Comments and Shares are weighted more heavily than mere Likes.

Keep interacting with people’s comments and questions on your Page; those back-and-forth discussions signal “engagement” to Facebook.

The jury is still out on how they will weigh the new Reactions options like the heart, the sad face, the angry face, etc., but data on them should be showing up already in your Page Insights.

Post At The Right Time For YOUR Page

Make sure you post during the times when your Page followers are most likely to be active on Facebook. It varies for each day of the week.

To find that information, go to your Page’s Insights  —>  Posts on the left sidebar  —>  When Your Fans Are Online.

Mouse across each day to see how the peak times change.

That said, occasionally post AWAY from peak times, when things are less noisy online. Don’t forget weekends; late morning on Saturday and Sunday are great for our Page, but it all depends on YOUR data.

Don’t make assumptions. For example, our own Page Insights data shows that our followers are very active from 8 – 9 p.m. Central on Mondays & Wednesdays. Who knew?

You don’t have to be on a phone or computer at the appointed hour – use Facebook’s own post Scheduler and set it up in advance.

Get Your People To Help Your Page

Make sure people on your staff and volunteers know that when they Like, Comment, and/or Share your Page posts using their personal Facebook accounts, it helps your Page’s visibility.

Remember how we talked about integrating email and social media? Send an email out to your list to make sure they know that your Page exists, and explain how to help the visibility of its posts.

Send those tips out via email more than once; people are busy and may have missed it the first time.

Speaking of growing your Page follower numbers for free – you, your staff, and your primary volunteers (anyone who likes your Page, really) can each invite friends from their personal Facebook networks to Like the Page.

Look on the right sidebar on the Page for the link to “Invite friends to like this Page.” Don’t do a mass invite, of course….pick and choose only the people who might genuinely be interested.

Also, make sure that people are encouraged to tag themselves in your Page photos – which of course helps your Page reach their personal networks – and that you have Page permissions set so that people can tag themselves and each other.

Post Great Stuff!

Pretty obvious, we know, but some folks seem to toss mediocre things up on a Page to check a box and be done with it for the day.

Let’s start with photos. Level up your visual game, because people have come to expect brand Pages to not have the sort of dark, blurry, smeared-lens pics that they’ll put up with from Aunt Martha.

Upload quality images; colors, composition, lighting, angle. We’ve been working hard on our own photography skills for the last couple of years, and do pretty well now using only a phone camera.

Post only one or a few photos at a time; people don’t generally respond as well to big dumps of 10-15 photos in one Page post. Remember to include a short description for each photo in a group.

Try Canva or PicMonkey for making professional-looking graphics and illustrations to use in your posts.

Yay for 2016 square checklist graphic by Tourism Currents

Here is a simple checklist graphic that we made on Canva, for our 2016 tourism trends post.

Experiment with uploading short videos of 30 – 60 seconds directly from your phone, using the Pages app. Facebook’s native video auto-play function really grabs eyeballs (for now, at least.)

Reality Check

Finally, yes, it is time to budget for Facebook Sponsored Posts/ads.

You can’t think of Facebook as “free publicity” anymore, but if you think of it as an affordable, very target-able ad platform, it really is superb.

When you see a post take off and do well organically, put a US$10-20 Boost behind it for a few days, to increase engagement.

We like to show our Sponsored posts only to people who ALREADY like our Page; they already know about us, so they tend to respond well to seeing us popping up in their News Feed mixed in with their kids, motivational quotes overlaid on sunsets, and random cat videos. That in turn drives down the cost of each engagement (we often only pay 10 – 20 cents per engagement,) so ad money goes further.

We hope these tips help you get as much mileage as possible out of your Facebook Page. You can use those Share buttons below this post if you want to spread the knowledge around – and thanks!

Want to get this newsletter post via email?  Click here for the Tourism Currents newsletter signup page.


NSBF National Scenic Byway Foundation logo

The scenic byway/heritage highway tribe is gathering together in Iowa on April 4-6, 2016

Do you have a scenic byway, heritage highway, or themed trail in your destination or region?

As the preferred training partner for the National Scenic Byway Foundation, we hope to see you at the 2016 Heartland Byways conference April 4-6 in Council Bluffs, Iowa (right across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska.)

Our co-founder Sheila Scarborough will present two breakout sessions, plus she and Leslie McLellan will host a Tourism Currents “Social Media Therapy Bar” to answer attendee questions during the exhibitor networking session.

Learn more here about the Heartland Byways conference speakers and schedule.

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