One of the first things we are taught about Social Media is how fabulous Facebook is as a way to drive traffic to your website. But if you’ve been managing a Facebook Page over the past few years you’re likely to have noticed a decline in reach for organic link posts.
While images and native videos (with or without a link) tend to draw in far more attention than they used to, link posts with a generated preview aren’t fairing so well anymore – often falling by the wayside completely.
So, what’s causing this shift? And can it be fixed?
Facebook has acknowledged that there’s far too much content for users to consume and so they’ve introduced algorithms (learn everything you need to know about this here) as a way to cope with distribution and visibility. The idea behind this is to only show people content that is relevant to them, as opposed to surfacing all that is available out there.
Changes to Facebook’s algorithm are made regularly (an estimated average of 2-3 updates a month, at current), which means it isn’t always clear which signals are being used to filter through content and why. In the case of link posts, experts are putting 2 and 2 together and rumour has it that Facebook simply doesn’t want us to leave the platform – like – ever!
It’s easy enough to keep this in mind when posting to the platform. Just more pics and vids and less ‘hey, look, visit our website’, right? Right…but what about the times you want to share your latest blog post or product listing?
Luckily we’ve discovered a way to beat the algorithm with a few simple tweaks to your link post format. Here’s what to do instead of copying and pasting your URL into Facebook’s status section:
This could be a stock image, one you’ve taken yourself or something you’ve created on Canva. Uploading an image before inputting a link will ensure Facebook doesn’t create its own link preview. Facebook link previews are exactly what we’re trying to avoid in doing this.
Then comes to the content of your post. Try to make it relevant to the image you’ve uploaded and use positive language for best results.
Paste your link into a URL shortener like Bitly or https://goo.gl/ and then embed the shortened link in your status. If you want to be extra savvy, try to surround the link with text, so it doesn’t standout on a line of its own.
And there you have it. Three simple steps to increasing the organic reach of your link posts on Facebook.
If you’ve been struggling with the visibility of all your Facebook posts in recent months though, it may help to ensure you’re operating optimally for the updates. Take a look at these top tips circulating among industry experts right now:
Have you been affected by the changes to Facebook’s algorithm? Has this article helped you overcome some of the pitfalls? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting them to @thwmarketing!