Posts Tagged ‘social media surgeries’

Facebook Reach – How to reach your non for profit / hyperlocal audience for free

Posted on 2nd May 2014 by

Something has been really frustrating me recently about Facebook – and it’s been covered lots of other blogs - the reach that pages are getting with their posts has seemingly plummeted  since Facebook has moved towards a model of trying to get you to “boost” your content – or rather, pay to get a wider audience to see it. But when you’re a not for profit, or a community website paying to promote content just isn’t an option….and as we’ve posted before it may not actually be the best option.

Insights and more importantly reach – specifically how to reach more people is something we get asked about a fair bit at Social Media Surgeries  and when I got asked about it again this week I decided to do some digging to try and work out 1. What on is going on with reach and 2. Can we improve page reach without paying?

The other day I posted a story about young girl Freya Powers, to the WV11 website and facebook page - Freya has not long been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma and her parents are fundraising for the cancer ward she is being treated on. We basically put a call out asking for help with the fundraising. It was a popular post which is why I’ve chosen this one to look at.

This is what the reach looks like on the front page of Facebook:

Freya post 1

22 people liked this content, 38 people shared it and 4,168 people reached - just under 60% of our pages followers

BUT 38 people have shared this and our reach is less that our total page likes? I know from past experience that when you see shares like that the reach is normally way way over the total numbers of likes on a our page, so I looked deeper.

Here is the expanded insights  for that post:

Freya post 1 expanded

It’s still showing a reach of 4,168 put but it’s now showing 42 likes  - 22 on our page  - and a further 20 on shares…. And then I realised something  - on previous versions of Facebook insights you could view a separate figure for viral reach and this wasn’t showing, so I went searching.  I download the full  insights file….

They say this:

  • Lifetime The number of people who saw your Page post in News Feed or ticker, or on your Page’s Timeline. (Unique Users) 4186
  • Lifetime The number of impressions of your post in News Feed or ticker or on your Page’s Wall. (Total count) 12033

But then the figures from “followers” only say this:

  • Lifetime The number of people who saw your Page post because they’ve liked your Page (Unique Users) 2018
  • Lifetime The number of impressions of your Page post to people who have liked your page. (Total count) 4731

So it appears facebook have started to combine  pages organic reach with it’s viral reach in its overview and when looked at like that it’s worse than I thought.

Facebook have delivered our content to 32% of the people who liked our page –  the rest of the figures have come from people sharing the post which is a huge drop in reach to what we were seeing just 12 months ago.

Reach in decline

 

Edgerank Checker  have done a much wider piece of research into this and they’ve noted a year on year decline too

For the typical Page on Facebook in March 2014:

  • Organic Reach per Fan = 6.51%
  • Fan Reach per Fan = 6.46%
  • Viral Reach per Fan = 0.99%

Where were we before this?

Organic Reach per Fan (Median):

  • Feb 2012 = 16%

  • Sep 2013 = 12.60%

  • Nov 2013 = 10.15%

  • Dec 2013 = 7.83%

  • Mar 2014 = 6.51%”

     

Filtering

I Googled to see if I could find an answer for this steep decline and the best explanation I could find was on this Tech Crunch article - The filtered feed problem - Why Is Facebook Page Reach Decreasing? More Competition And Limited Attention

It is well worth a read but essentially it  says – while we add more people and more things to our facebook feed by making friends and liking “stuff”  - the amount of  time we spend looking at the feed stays the same so facebook are working to try and make that time relevant – which means filtering irrelevant content.

Which means followers won’t always see the stuff we want them to see.

It also has a really interesting simplification on the algorithm facebook uses to filter posts.

BUT importantly it also states that all pages are not treated equally

Facebook is penalising pages for link bait tactics and spammy posts.  Post memes or banal “share this if you love your mom” or “1 like = 1 respect”  text and image based content or over share repetitive content you are going to see a sharp reduction in the amount of places your content is seen.

So how do we stay on the right side of facebook’s filtering and increase your reach without paying to boost your content?

Based on the post from Wv11 I shared above we have an average post to followers reach of 32% –  which by looking at all the sites I’ve read through today puts us at the higher end of the scale for organic (non paid for) reach .

Why do I think that is? Well, I think on whole it’s by following  these set of tips

  • Be useful and relevant - is the content something your page followers would want to see – is it the type of posts they are used to seeing? Write about the things you know about and your audience will care about.
  • Accessible content  - Think mobile as well as desktop. Lots of people use their mobile to browse the internet and specifically Facebook , is your content mobile friendly  -When we post links to stories  try and summarise that content for mobile only readers – some people still wont or cant click on on external links from the page, especially those with contracts or PAYG mobiles that include free facebook browsing but not a lot of other data.
  • Photos, photos and more photos Anything we post with an image is guaranteed to the get more love than either text or video.  It takes the lowest amount of effort from the reader to take in the information so they engage with it, which improves your reach. You can also invite readers to tag themselves and friends in photos from events. Videos are also popular but get less views from mobile than desktop. I think this maybe down to the data usage again
  • Timing. Facebook insights are a wonderful thing. They are broken down to such an extent that we can even know when our followers are online – We get a graph that averages hourly visitor numbers over days  - but we can also see data for each day of the week which allows us to post when potentially the most people are online to reach the widest audience possible.
  • Don’t post repetitive content - if we want to re-share something – we reword it or post content with a different photograph so that facebook can see your making an effort to share something new.
  • Don’t spam.

I don’t deny it’s frustrating to have put the effort in to build and audience of over 6000 to only reach a third of them. But in the short term a third of 6000 is still 2000 more people to connect with than if Facebook didn’t exist and in the long term hopefully as Facebook filtering gets better and spammy pages are penalized by following these rules the relevant, informative pages will see their reach stabilise, or increase.

Cyber-bullying, Internet Safety and Social Media Surgeries

Posted on 26th April 2013 by

Tragedy of Cyberbullying

We’re currently working with BRAG, Bullying Reduction Action Group, supported by the POD and Link2ICT to pilot a project in the Nechells area of Birmingham, working with schools to develop a social media surgery that focuses on skills as well as conversations around internet safety and cyber bullying.

We’ve been working with students from Heartlands Academy from years 7, 9 and 12 to turn them into surgeons and inviting groups of parents in as patients so that they can be taught how to use the sites and tools that their children maybe using, and to discuss any concerns they may have with them using “the internet” with their children’s peers.

We’d held a session at the beginning of the project to identify what the students thought of the  internet, what sites they used and how aware they were of their own and others safety online. We then held the same session with parents and teachers and the differences were vast. The students had identified way more sites they were using than the parents and teachers even knew of , and even if the adults knew of a site or platform they were in most occasions not using it themselves so were maybe unable to properly advise on security and privacy settings to help the students keep themselves safe.

Surgeries

Last night was the second open surgery, where we had a group of year 9 students on hand to answer parents questions and we had 5 patients come for support.  Their questions were varied from “How do I stop my child from using Facebook?”; “How do I set myself up on Facebook”  to “How do YOU keep yourself safe online?”. Answers in short ranged from you “You can’t – but have you thought about coming to an agreement with him like this that I have with my Mom”; “Here let me show you how…” and “Like this…”

Every parent that came in I spoke to before and after the surgery and all of them were impressed by the advice they were given, one even commented that she felt better able to go and talk about Facebook to her own daughter, now she “knew what she was talking about”.   The students had really enjoyed becoming the teacher, and some great conversations had taken place.

We’re just about to move into the second phase of the project – introducing parents from a local junior school to the surgeries, focusing on years 5 and 6, the parents of the students who will soon be looking for their places at senior school,  finding much larger circles of friends and potentially becoming  more active users of social networks themselves as a result.

Learning

I’m really enjoying this project. The students have been amazing and the parents really open to being guided by “experts” much younger than themselves, and I’ve done my fair share of learning too. There were sites the students mentioned and conversations that have taken place that has prompted me to go home and have fairly frank conversations with my 13 year old son. Practically though I’ve also learned a thing or 2 about running a project like this. They are:

  • Plan in advance. Schools are busy places with lots of sports clubs and other extra curricular activities. Trying to schedule sessions around these was hard so plan early and try and get a regular slot.
  • Schools internet access SUCKS! – For someone who is used to open internet access pretty much everywhere I go working with in the restraints of a school building was hard! All the sites we were discussing Facebook, Twitter etc were blocked, so this goes back to point 1. Plan in advance and get the schools network admins to unblock the computers you’ll be working from. (Or do what I did take a  MiFi and my own laptop – although only works with decent 3G coverage)
  • Parent involvement early on is a must. Communicating well to parents what the aims of the project are and how the surgeries would work was really important – That way when they attended the surgeries they weren’t surprised to be sat down learning from someone their children’s ages instead of being talked at my an “expert”.
  • Working with students from different year groups has worked well,  pairing the year 7 students with year 9 & 12 students has helped them to deliver support, and opened up conversations across the year groups – as while the Yr 7 students may have the tech skills and experience, they don’t necessarily have the communication skills the older students have to enable them to get to the bottom of the things the parents really wanted to know.

Using Social Media to Improve Perceptions of Saftey

Posted on 1st February 2013 by

At the moment we are in the middle of a project working with the South Birmingham Safety Partnership. This involves running social media surgeries across communities in South Birmingham to improve civic conversations in those areas, get the communities and local partners talking to each other talking to each and getting their news online and hopefully by doing so positively changing their perceptions of safety.

Yesterday we had our second session in the Kings Norton. Jo Burrows, senior youth worker at the Three Estates Youth Project came along. Jo, by her own admission was a complete novice when it came to social media – she didn’t trust it – and this came through her lack of understanding of the tools that were available. After just one Social Media Surgery with us we managed to change some of those misgivings and set her up with her own blog for the Project.  Here’s what she had to say :