Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

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.

Museums, Heritage, Archives and Social Media

Posted on 9th January 2014 by

Today we are in Shrewsbury delivering a workshop for an array of people that work in museums, heritage and tourism from across Shropshire and the West Midlands.  We’re running a session talking about the importance of building social capital and working hyperlocally. The day will be roughly structured as follows:

  • Building Social Capital and making use of it – including time to reflect on how this relates to what you are trying to achieve.
  • Working Hyperlocally, What does this mean and what does this look like? Your examples – are you already doing this? – Show us.
  • Lunch/Social Media Surgery and Networked learning. A practical session with support from Podnosh and learning between yourselves – time to start exploring the tools and concepts we discussed this morning.
  • Where next for you. Group discussion, based on the thing you’ve learnt in this mornings session and started to put together in this afternoons surgery, What is next for you?
These are the notes from the discussions that took place after our presentations

 

Building Social Capital

Nick Booth talked about Social capital – your social capital is the group of people, or the community you build around your cause or organisation.  These are the people you have invested time in and in return they are prepared to invest time in you to get things done/ make a difference / help you out.

Q. But is this bigger than our individual organisations? Social capital can work on a large scale – but also for individuals, and individual groups. Sharing information, being social and useful helps build your social capital and helps you make things better.

Q. But what about the groups what have already – if they are reluctant to use use the internet? It usually only take s one or two people to come on board for others to start seeing the benefits,

To make the best use of your social capital and to see it really work you have to build it in the first place – it’s just like any other relationships – the more effort you put into it, the more you’ll eventually get back out of it.  

Working Hyperlocally 

Hyperlocal is a really messy word to imply something niche and local – this could be a street, a neighbourhood or somewhere larger like a City. WV11.co.uk is a hyperlocal website that covers Wednesfield a neighbourhood in Wolverhampton,  yet Connect Cannock is also a hyperlocal website that covers the entire town and the surrounding areas in Cannock, Staffordshire.

Museums, Tourism and Heritage organisations  are also Hyperlocal – serving areas both big and small, but that are local and niche.

Hyperlocal Blogging

Steph Clarke talked about her Wednesfield Blog =  one of the questions that was asked was around competition – if there are lots of people in an area all talking about that area isn’t that overkill? In short the answer was no. NO because the useful website will outshine the useless ones and on the other hand the more people talking about an issue/cause/place online the more varied and vibrant the conversation about that place will be.

Another question was asked about community and conversation, how long does it take to moderate and how is the community built? Going back to the points that were made about building social capital – in the beginning it took more time as we were building the trust and building the community, Now, on a day to day basis we can keep the facebook page up to date and moderated in around 20 mins a day because we don’t have to moderate conversation – the community help us by managing themselves. Posts to the main website can be scheduled.

Tools

A brief look at some of the tools discussed.

  • Facebook: Pages vs Groups – one is more public than than the other.
  • Twitter: start conversations, join in conversations, look for “local” hashtags ie #oswestry or #shropshirehour
  • Tripadvisor – What are people saying about your venue or attraction?
  • Foursquare – what tips are being left, gamify visits prizes for the mayor?
  • Blogs – talk about what you are doing. Invite others to write for you

Links

Here is a list of links and resources that were mentioned by attendees or discussed in sessions that would be useful to look at and share experience.

 

When it comes to Social Media think “Quality not Quantity”

Posted on 23rd August 2013 by

Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations

I was at the Wolverhampton Social Media Surgery this week when a patient came for some help, who highlighted to me in a practical way somethings I’ve known and we’ve taught for a long time….

When it comes to Social Media it’s quality over quantity is what you’re looking for and being useful is what matters most.

Lorraine had come for some advice with the Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations (WFTA) facebook page. I’d helped her set it up at a previous surgery  and now she’d come along asking for help getting more “fans”, as at that point the page only had 44 “likes”.

The WFTA promotes the interests of social sector tenants within Wolverhampton and aims to ensure tenants and prospective tenants are able to have a say over services and are able to influence them so they are relevant to their needs. The WFTA facebook page is used to share information about the service the WFTA offers, engage with tenants and to advertise events they have coming up, most recently around welfare reform and regeneration. Lorraine wanted more fans so she could reach a wider audience, for more people to see the content  for the benefit of the community but also as evidence to her boss, and the project funders that their social media was working.

Not only 44

She was fixated on that number 44, “only” 44 people were engaged with her page –  “only” 44 people had clicked like – “only” 44 people are seeing my posts And on she went asking should I pay for advertising?  How can I get MORE people to like the page –  So I suggested that before she rushed out to pay for promoted content (something she had asked about) we look at the insights for her page….

We looked at the the reach of the page and the reach of individual posts. One update alone had reached 358 people. Some had more, some had less but that’s the one we focused on, so lets work that out in percentages, ((358-44)/44)*100= 713.63,  rounded up  that’s a 714% increase in the actual amount of people that were seeing the post  to what she had thought were seeing it as evidenced by the number of people that like her page.

So where were the views coming from – how was she reaching so many people when she only had 44 likes?

The Right Content

Lorraine was being useful to her target audience and so in turn her content was being shared.

She could have only had 244 fans and still ended with a a total reach of 358 or maybe even less for that post if 200 of those people were the WRONG people to be talking to and the content was irrelevant.

Those 44 people were the right people for her to be engaged with. They thought the message she was sharing was useful and they in turn were sharing across to their own profiles and pages ultimately it IS the quality of the engagement that matters more than the number of people you think you’re engaging with.