Facebook is the number one social media platform to share stories about your great school. But with the Facebook algorithm controlling what users see in their newsfeed, how can you make sure your posts are being seen by the most people?
The Facebook algorithm really is a great thing for users, but it can seem unfair. If you still don’t understand what the Facebook algorithm is, go back to my blog from last week where I explain exactly what it is and why it exists.
Now, I know I’m biased, but I think the world needs to see more positive stories coming from our schools. Many of your school pages are falling flat in terms of reach on Facebook. We define Facebook reach as the number of unique Facebook users who see your updates.
To see your page’s reach, go to Facebook insights. In the overview section, you’ll see your reach in the last seven days.
The advice I give to schools is that your goal for reach each week is to get at least four times your fan base. For example – if you have 500 fans on your page, your weekly reach goal should be at least 2,000. If you are grabbing more (some of our schools are at 20 times their fan base), that is even better!
So what can we do to improve your reach? Or in other words, how can you improve your rank within the Facebook algorithm calculation? Here are 11 strategies!
- Post regularly – I recommend you should post at least twice per day when school is in session, and at least three times per week when school is out (such as winter and spring break or summer vacation). Our team has posted over 20,000 posts for 30 different school districts, so when I provide this advice, it is with experience! You need to consistently put out great posts from your schools. If you are looking for examples on what to post, check out this free list of 100 ideas.
- Know when your fans are online – Facebook users are on nearly every day of the week, and almost the entire day, but there are peaks in the schedule. With every school we serve, the highest point is between 8-9 pm. Your school is not in session, but delivering posts at this time can help them be seen! Use the scheduling feature and then monitor how well those posts do for reach.
- Share video – Facebook gives video a high priority when it comes to the algorithm calculation. And these videos should be uploaded directly to Facebook, not posted through a YouTube or Vimeo link. When you think of video, don’t think of a perfect commercial or long performances. Rather, capture small learning moments and broadcast them to your community. Videos as short as seven seconds can do very well with reach. Here is a list of 33 ideas for social media videos!
- Reply to comments – If someone takes the time to comment on a post, take the time to reply! At a minimum, you should like the comment (as long as it was a positive comment). With some, take the time to reply back. This helps improve that algorithm.
- Share great photos – The better the photos, the more likely people are to like, comment, and share them with others. There is a recorded webinar on this topic that can be accessed by members only. If you are interested in joining us, learn more here!
- Tag other pages – If you have a local business, future college, or other Facebook page that you can mention in a post for your school, do it! This will help increase the views of the post and make it easier for the related pages to help share the post as well. You’ll want to make sure you know the official Facebook page before starting the post. Then when you type in the update, you must type in the “@” symbol before typing the name of the page you want to tag.
- Add Facebook like box to your website – I love it when a school website page has the Facebook school posts right on the home page. But you could be missing a great chance to grab more fans if you don’t have the like box added to your sight. Overall, the more fans you have, the more potential viewers you will get of your posts. Growing your fanbase is important and your school website is a critical spot to collect people who are interested in your school.
- Promote Facebook pages offline – Never miss a chance to promote your school Facebook page! This should be done every chance you get, online and in person. Explain to your engaged parents (such as PTO or PTA organizations) that the more they interact with your page, the more views you will get from other parents as well. They want to help and this is such an easy way to do it. For more great ways to promote your social media presence, check out this article.
- Encourage comments – Engagement on your posts will help your reach. Active commenting is sometimes tough to come by. If you have a fantastic photo, ask your fans to help caption the photo. If there is a big accomplishment by a student, casually tell the fans to shout out their message of congrats below. You don’t want to do this with every post of course, but using it once a week will be just fine.
- #TBT – Engaging your alumni has never been easier than showcasing your old yearbook photos. Every Thursday, there is this thing called #ThrowbackThursday (or #TBT). Take photos of old yearbooks and share them on your Facebook page. This blog post guides you through the entire process. People love to tag friends, comment, and even share the posts on their page. It is something that many of our communities look forward to every week on the Facebook page. It takes just a little planning and is bound to help your reach.
- Review insights – Finding out what your community really loves is so easy with Facebook insights! You can see what posts have reached the most people by going to the posts tab on Insights. Click the “Reach” column heading and it will instantly rank the posts made over the last three months in descending order of reach. This makes it easy to see what types of posts are doing well on your page. Post more content like this!
Do you have a method that I missed? We’d love to hear it! Comment below.
My best suggestion is, don’t try and do all 11 of these things at once. Grab one or two ideas and see how it works. Then come back and revisit the list to add more strategies. You’ll be reaching more people in no time!