First the bad news: When you post to your business Facebook page, only a fraction of your followers will see any specific post. Facebook now recommends paying for boosts to make your posts visible to more people.

The good news is you can improve the exposure of your posts without boosts — if you understand what Facebook wants. You give them what they want, and they let more people see your posts for free.

What does Facebook want?

Facebook wants engagement. Facebook wants people to post content that get shares, comments, and likes (in that order). Posts that get a lot of engagement raise your “Facebook score” and let your future posts be seen by more people. Posts with low engagement lower your score and limit who sees your next posts. And posts that link to outside sites (like most of our business posts) are especially bad, Facebook wants to keep people on the platform.

(This explains why all those cute kitten and puppy videos do so well. They get lots of shares, likes, and comments, and they don’t link off to other sites.)

If all of your posts are business posts (buy now, read my latest blog post – outside link, come to my event — outside link) then your engagement score slowly declines. Those posts get limited engagement, and usually pull people off Facebook, so Facebook slowly throttles your exposure, and instead shows cute puppy and kitten videos to your friends and prospects.

Posting your own engagement content will let you improve your Facebook score, get more engagement from your followers, and get more results from your social media, without paying for boosts.

Additionally, engagement content will help you hold followers who may not currently be in the market for your product.

What is engagement content?

Engagement content is something that your target audience will share, comment, or like regardless if they are in the market for your product today.

Bad Strategy: A realtor posts a new listing every day on Facebook. Each listing links off to her website.

Good Strategy: A realtor posts daily tips and tricks for homeowners, interesting stats about their city, ways to make buying or selling a home easier — and then, every once in a while, posts a new listing.

In the bad example, you have no reason to follow that realtor unless you in the market for a house in her area today.

In the good example, she provides good information for homeowners continually, giving value even to people who aren’t currently in the market. BUT – as these “not in the market” people engage with her content – by sharing, commenting, or liking – their friends are now seeing Good strategy posts and can follow her. Eventually, when they are in the market, she will be their old friend!

Meanwhile, Facebook sees the extra engagement from the Good strategy and shows her content to more of her followers each time she posts.

A winning strategy

In summary, Facebook will penalize you if your content doesn’t get engagement. After that you are forced to pay for boosts for your own followers to see your posts. To prevent that, you need to post more engaging content.

  1. Your target should be 80% of your posts are creating engagement.
  2. Limit posts that link off Facebook.
  3. Identify content that your target audience will value, even if they are not buying your product.
  4. Post at least daily.
  5. Offline, encourage your friends and family to engage with your content, but do not ask for likes or comments inside the post (that is against Facebook rule).

Summary

The Facebook rules and engagement formulas change regularly, but building high-value content that gets shares, comments, and likes from your audience will be a winning strategy long term.