How to get more reach for your important Facebook posts
Tips from your friendly neighborhood social justice sorcerer who worked at Facebook for 4 years.
The Facebook news feed algorithm can be mysterious, and there’s a lot (like … a lot) of misinformation about it, even from self-proclaimed marketing and social media experts.
Below, I’ve written up my best practices on how to help your important Facebook posts, and friends’ posts, reach the most possible people.
These tips come from my own data-driven observations about what works best, as well as years of synthesizing other research and findings from industry experts. The advice here isn’t based on proprietary information from my time working at Facebook, though my industry knowledge has helped me understand and contextualize the trends.
Though these strategies may apply more broadly, I’ve written this piece with social justice, activism, and organizing social media posts in mind.
What kind of posts get the most views on Facebook?
- Text posts are the best for reach. Use the colorful backgrounds if it’s a short enough post.
- Keep it as short as humanly possible. Add info in the comments if need be.
- Photos, memes, videos, and gifs also do well. Videos from Facebook Watch or videos you’ve uploaded yourself do much better than YouTube links.
- No links: links typically have the lowest organic reach. Try to put links in the comments if you can, and/or add your own commentary to the post so it isn’t just a link share.
- Fundraisers and donation posts (the ones with Donate buttons) have fine visibility and reach in news feed, but they often don’t end up with much engagement or click-through. People often skip right past them, and don’t want to like or comment because they feel guilty if they can’t or don’t want to donate. Because people pretend not to have seen them, they don’t receive engagement, and the algorithm may down-rank them accordingly. The same goes for links to Patreon, GoFundMe, etc.. The issue isn’t Facebook throttling these posts; it’s a people problem.
- Share the post from your personal account, not a Page, if possible (unless you plan to boost the post with a paid ad).
Are shares or original posts better?
- Original posts have more reach
- Sharing posts others have made boosts the reach of that original post. It will likely not give your post a lot of reach, but that’s fine if the goal is a signal boost of the post you’re sharing.
How can I help important posts from other people “go viral?”
- Like, react, comment, and share to boost the reach of others’ posts. Shares are the best, but every interaction is helpful.
Any other tips on effective social media strategy for activism?
- Don’t waste your effort reinventing the wheel.
- Share, or copy paste with permission, existing resources from people who already have credibility and a good following, and/or are actually from the marginalized groups they’re speaking about. Preferably both.
- Social media activism, and activism in general, isn’t about our own egos or individual reach. It’s about efficacy, and standing with people, not speaking for them.
Please do leave any questions or feedback about these tips in a Medium response, or tweet me at @evagantz.