Have the number of likes and comments on your business Facebook posts declined?

You’re not alone! If you own a business and use Facebook as a channel to promote it, you most likely will have noticed a decrease in organic reach and engagement over the last few years. Getting your posts out to your followers on Facebook has become increasingly challenging due to changes in the platform’s algorithms and increased demand for user’s attention.

Studies show that engagement rates for posts from business pages have decreased from an average of 16% in 2014, down to 5.2% in 2023. This means roughly 1 in 19 people who follow you will see your organic post on Facebook. In this blog, we’ll talk about what the “Facebook algorithm” is, why it is causing a decline in reach/engagement, and what your business can do about it…

So…What is the “Facebook algorithm” exactly?

The Facebook algorithm is a set of rules that determine what people see when they open their Facebook feed and in what order that content shows up. The algorithm is comprised of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems that work to personalise each Facebook user’s experience, by showing them content that is most relevant and engaging to them, with the aim to keep them on the app for longer. Facebook calls this “personalised ranking” and determines which content is most relevant to a particular user based on three main ranking criteria:

  • Who posted it – You’re more likely to see content from people and businesses you regularly interact with.
  • The type of content – If you spend more time watching videos, you will see more videos, if you prefer photos, Facebook will primarily show you photos. The same goes for the subject of the content.
  • The number of interactions with the post – Facebook will prioritise posts with more engagement, especially from people you interact with.

Now that we know what the Facebook algorithm is, why is this causing a decline in the reach of business posts?

  1. Saturation and competition – Earlier on, if you posted on a Facebook business account, your post would reach a fair amount of your followers – It was a fairly simple process. It’s estimated there are now over 60 million active business accounts on Facebook and competition to be seen is fierce. This statistic shows the sheer volume of noise that businesses must compete with daily, as well as the effect that has on a post’s lifespan.
  2. More focus on family and friends – Facebook announced a key update to the algorithm in 2018 named the “Meaningful Interactions Update”, which saw a shift toward more content from family and friends and less from business accounts.
  3. Increased number of boosted posts/paid social media – Paid social media is becoming more popular due to how affordable it can be in comparison to other advertising platforms, which means your organic posts have more competition – There are only so many posts that can be shown in a user’s feed each day.

So, what are some ways you can work with the algorithm to help your business reach customers on Facebook?

Here are some strategies to reach more people and boost engagement:

    1. Create high-quality, interesting content – Make your posts appealing and interesting enough to encourage users to comment, share, or spend time looking at or reading. Facebook tracks the amount of time a user spends on a post, so the longer someone spends looking at or engaging with your post, the more it will be shared with others.
    2. Focus on your target audience – Know your brand’s niche market and focus on material relevant to your customers. People love to save and share content they find interesting or valuable.
    3. Consider a paid ad strategy – In such a busy, saturated platform – highlighting some of your best or most important posts can have a big impact. Selecting the right campaign, filtered to the right audience at the right time can yield big results from a small spend.
    4. Post consistently – Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience as engaged as possible and aware of your brand. Consistency can help you stay in the news feed of your followers.
    5. Experiment with content formats – Try different types of content such as videos, images, polls, and reels. Facebook currently prioritises video content and diversifying can help increase your reach.
    6. Leverage user-generated content – Encourage your audience to create and share content related to your brand, product, or services. This can help to boost engagement and credibility.
    7. Use hashtags strategically – Incorporating hashtags relevant to your industry or trending hashtags into your posts can expand your reach beyond your followers or immediate audience to others who may be interested in your niche.

The Facebook algorithm is constantly evolving, and the way business posts perform will continue to change over time, but the points outlined in this blog will help you get your content in front of the right Facebook users.

Would you like some help understanding your business’ Facebook performance, help with paid ad campaigns, or help creating engaging organic content?

Reach out to us – We’re happy to help you with your equine business Facebook strategy!