Just like Google, no one knows exactly how Facebook’s algorithm works. But unlike Google where most content gets into the search engine and can be found for years, if no one interacts with your posts on Facebook, they are essentially gone. Once they are off the front page they have essentially disappeared forever. Sure, there’s a chance someone will find and read your old content, but it’s unlikely (get it, unlike -ly?). If someone truly likes you they want to hear from you.

Number of Fans not as Important as Level of Engagement

I’ve seen various figures about what percentage of your Facebook Page fans see your content, but it’s not ever very high. Anything above 10% is pretty good. And the larger your page, the lower the engagement drops.

To find what percentage of engagement your page gets, take the # of likes for your page divided by the number of people “talking about” it. I wish I knew where I got this chart (help, please comment if you know). Once I got my engagement level in the 80% range for a client but I couldn’t maintain it. It’s consistently around 20%. This is why I rarely delete or ignore fans who post frequently. Instead I thank them and respond (unless they are obscene or vulgar). Think about it – controversy sells! Every CEO I’ve worked with wants me to squelch the person who posts something negative. I say most of the time, leave it up! Let your fans come to your rescue. Chime in. Find ways to reward engagement from your fans and ways to build loyalty with them.

Interact with Brands you Like on Facebook

The bottom line is if you want to see content from brands you like, you need to share, like or comment on their posts. Otherwise they won’t show up in your newsfeed and you’ll forget all about them. Same goes for the fans of your Page. If you want to see all the brands you or someone else has liked (which is great for understanding your target market) simply type in your username followed by a slash and then “favorites” like this: https://www.facebook.com/JanetThaeler/favorites Scroll down past interests and you’ll get to all of your likes. I’m not sure why that URL isn’t /likes but not my call.

Go try this on your profile and you’ll see just how many pages you’ve liked but forgot all about. Then go and start interacting so you have a newsfeed full of content from brands and organizations that you really like. It beats having a newsfeed full of drama from your high school friends!

An Effective Way to Get Higher Engagement

What I’ve found most effective (besides large giveaways) for engagement on Facebook and Pinterest (link goes to my Pinterest for Business blog) are quotes that relate to your brand. My client’s page attracted people who want a quick pick me up that will make them feel good and inspire them in their faith. I started out simply typing in a daily quote.  Next I graduated to making quotes into graphics. That really enhanced the numbers of shares, likes and comments.

My best posts have a short question relating to the image and a killer image with a quote. Not too crafty and not too plain. In other words they like quotes that have background images over just text on a colored background. If I keep it short, the quotes also make ideal tweets (I have them tweeted automatically using Hootsuite). Then I use the same quotes in blog posts to get maximum search engine value and I pin the quotes on Pinterest. That’s a lot of bang for my buck!

P.S. I’m always looking for a tool to make quotes where I can add my own image and have choices of fonts and sizes. Let me know if you know of any.

Not All Interactions are Equal

When it comes to Facebook, not all interactions are equal. The share is king because it says you like something so much you’re willing to put your name on it and let your friends know.  These are usually very informative, timely or funny posts. Next important is a comment because that takes more effort than just clicking like (easy). The time of day you post something on Facebook is another factor because then more people will see it. Sound complex for a small business to pull all of this off well? That’s why there’s a rise in social media experts. It’s a lot to keep up with and do well! I invest a lot of time staying current and testing for that very reason.

Support the Brands you Love by Interacting with Them on Facebook and in Real Life

Think of this principle in real life. The longer and more often you “engage” with a store (visit, go inside, talk to the owner or salesperson), the more likely you are to buy from them.  If you simply drive by it frequently it’s not going to help. Example: your local bookstore. You might be glad it’s there. It may add a lot to your community. It has character. People gather there. They bring in authors and have live performances. You really like them. But if you never make time to visit or buy books and instead order all of your books from Amazon.com what will happen to your local bookstore? Yes, exactly what is happening all over America. That bookstore will close. Either that or it will struggle. That’s why I’m willing to spend more to keep places I like in business and why I’m bugged when people only buy what is least expensive (they’re cheap). I’d rather not have a world full of asphalt, chain stores and Walmart!

So on Facebook if you truly like a brand show them! Go out of your way to comment and share their content. It’s a win/win for both.

Learn more about EdgeRank

In the meantime, here’s an awesome infographic with insights on how to rock your Facebook fans (link goes to original post about the infographic):

 

13 Responses to “Why Most of your Facebook Fans Don’t See Any of your Posts”

  1. Scott Says:

    I think that you will find PicMonkey ideal for your production of quotes. As you likely know, it’s being developed by ex-Picnikers.

    Here is a post from their Fliker group that talks about how to do something like you are talking about.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/picmonkey/discuss/72157629425315404/

    It will be even easier when they finish their collage tool.

    Thanks for your insights on social media. I just started following all of your Pinterest boards…lots of reading to do.

  2. Online PR Says:

    Scott, thank you! I looked at PicMonkey and it looks like it will do the trick. This is another reason I love blogging, I ask a question and get to tap into the knowledge of people like you. I’m going to tweet this now.
    And thanks for following my boards. Let me know if you have any questions – it could become a blog post.
    Janet

  3. Sarah Says:

    Janet, good post. Even beyond engagement is intent. You could have 100,000 fans all commenting on a post that has nothing to do with your product and who are not converted to even using your product…and then what do you do with those guys…commenting, in the middle of the day and not really interested in your product so much as the community your facebook page just gave them to rant and troll? You have to think about the sales cycle funnel and what you want your fans to really do. Not just engage so you come up in Facebook but convert to your brand, become customers, participate in further marketing. Whatever it is, engagement is definitely part of it, but beyond that is the end goal.

  4. Online PR Says:

    Yes, beyond engagement there is conversion (going to a web site & so you can charge more for ads, direct sales, lead, more listeners, etc). But many times clients judge on # of fans and engagement. Either because they can’t track actual conversions or they care more about the public number that everyone sees than the internal ones (sales). In other words I agree but that’s beyond what most look at. In my experience we’re guessing at conversion – if it’s going up overall we’re happy. Even if Facebook doesn’t sell (search is a better tool for sales because people have an intent to buy rather than coming to socialize), it’s a great place for other things. Like getting feedback and interaction that can bring value to a business in other ways besides a conversion (including exposure to their network of friends).

  5. Lucy David Says:

    Very informative post up! I really good to know that Why most of your Facebook Fans Don’t see any of your post. Thank you so much for kind of information.
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  6. Sue Ann Kern Says:

    Great article, Janet! Facebook has become so frustrating! Why do they make it so difficult for business pages to interact with their fans? People want to see the content, but they may not have the time to respond. The fans liked the page because they are interested in their content, but Facebook has made the arbitrary choice to censor what the fans see.

  7. Scott Says:

    Why should one post directly from their FB page and not use a scheduling service? I’ve seen this suggestion before but I’m not clear on why it is important.

  8. Janet Thaeler Says:

    Sue Ann,
    I agree with you. It’s really frustrating. Facebook would rather you PAY to reach your fans. With ads.
    I also think Facebook wants to show you the content you like best. It uses cues from your interaction to make that decision. If your feed gets crowded out with brands and info so much that you don’t see friends and family posts you might leave. And that is one less person to market to.
    -Janet

  9. Caroll Gulling Says:

    AdWords will not approve an iFrame more than likely.

  10. 5 Pinterest Tools I Love Says:

    [...] letter). I found out about it from a reader of my blog (which is one reason why I keep blogging). Quotes are huge for Facebook. One quote can be featured in a blog post (which can then be pinned), pinned on Pinterest, and [...]

  11. 5 Pinterest Tools I Love Says:

    [...] letter). I found out about it from a reader of my blog (which is one reason why I keep blogging). Quotes are huge for Facebook. One quote can be featured in a blog post (which can then be pinned), pinned on Pinterest, and [...]

  12. Devan Thorne Says:

    I found this post very timely and informative. I did not know most of the information contained in the article. Makes sense on why they hide content being that they are going to charge status updates to reach all of your customers.

  13. Jim Coffis Says:

    Great post, thank you. Your first line is the most important and accurate. I’ve paid attention to the “engagement” % figure you discuss and I’m skeptical of that too. While I’ve been able to maintain a level around 10% (1,050 followers) when I look at individual posts “reach” can vary wildly according to all the factors you mention yet rarely does the level of “engagement” track consistently.