Facebook is a tricky platform in a lot of ways.
The moment you think you are getting the whole thing down, they go and change a key element that you were exploiting as your primary social strategy. What is worst is that they have a policy of straight up not caring about the average opinion of their users; everything is done to further pushing profit and ad revenue.
A fairly recent change that was a blatant attempt to squeeze more out of Facebook ads was promotional post reach. Under the guise of “better content for users”, they have made it virtually impossible to share anything that directly promotes a brand. They even stunt the reach of posts that aren’t directly promotional, using a shaky algorithm that doesn’t always know the difference.
This has caused a lot of trouble for smaller brands, which have a limited budget and can’t compensate with hundreds or thousands of dollars per day on ads. But given how this has boosted Facebook’s net worth, it is doubtful that it will change any time soon.
Getting creative and trying new things is your only real way forward. These experiments in photo and video sharing can help you to optimize your efforts again.
Experiment #1 – Emotional Triggers For Viral Video Status
UK brand John Lewis is well known for their annual Christmas tear jerk ads. In 2015, they really outdid themselves. The ad, titled Man On The Moon, told the story of a little girl with a telescope who sees a lonely old man living on the moon. She does everything possible to share the Christmas spirit with him.
On YouTube, which is only one of many places to see the ad, it was viewed more than 23 million times. That single source of the video was shared on Facebook more than 600,000 times. That doesn’t tally other links on YouTube, other video sharing sites, or John Lewis’ website itself.
Emotional triggers are a simple and effective way of getting a video shared on Facebook in particular. The same can work for photos, with context providing a intense feeling in the people who see and share it.
Experiment #2 – Increase The Number Of Photos Per Post
Studies across the board have shown that posting more than one image (between two and four) on a single post is more effective by far than posting one. Now, that doesn’t mean you should spam just anything. The images have to be directly related, possess the same general look, and follow by the same rules of image sharing as a single photo.
The burden of quality is much heavier with these types of multi-photo posts because they end up telling a story. The order and message has to be right, or you are going to confuse your audience.
If you want to know just how effective this can be, Jon Loomer presented a statistic that someone he knew saw a 262% increase in reach using this method. That doesn’t even factor in the insane post click increases the same guy saw (seriously, check the article out, you’ll be shocked).
So this isn’t a weak suggestion. Uploading more photos per post, and doing it in a way that gives a message or tells a story, is going to give you a massive boost in results. Try fiddling around with the idea to see what works best for your particular audience.
Experiment #3 – Employ Varied Calls To Action
Calls to action that are actually effective can be hard these days. People are used to ignoring them, and while they still provide a way to direct people to do what you want them to, the effectiveness can wane. Which is why you need to do some AB testing in order to find what works for your own audience.
Trying multiple forms of CTA’s and then measuring results against one another will give you a solid call that bring results. That includes the Facebook CTA button, which they have hyped up like crazy in the last few months. For many brands, post CTA’s are going to prove a more effective route to success.
Experiment #4 – Take Advantage Of Existing Viral Trends
Finally, we have the trickiest of all of the experiments: existing viral trends. Cracked did this video about the most embarrassing attempts to cash in on viral trends, and it is definitely cringeworthy. It shows how this tactic can backfire spectacularly.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work. USA Today recently used the Back To The Future Day meme to their benefit. They posted the cover that Marty reads in the film as their cover on the day. It remains sold out months later.
Do you have a tip for a Facebook experiment? Let us know in the comments!
By Jessy Troy
Jessy Troy is the blog writer and editor, stay at home mom and hopefully a new book author!