Another great question from my contact form. With Facebook constantly changing their algorithm and the new Facebook layout disrupting user experience, I’m sure a lot of Facebook page admins are seeing a drop in engagement.
I have a pretty successful Facebook page with about 5,000 active fans. Over the last couple of months, though, my engagement numbers are dropping, my page likes and post likes are dropping, and I’m wondering what’s going on. I haven’t changed my posting frequency or the type of content, so it feels like Facebook just isn’t helping me reach my fans anymore.
Any thoughts on what might be going on and how I can increase my Facebook page engagement?
Appreciate any insights you might have.
Thanks for the note, Darla. Hopefully the info in this post can help you with your Facebook engagement.
Quick Tip: If you are still trying to grow your Facebook audience and increase engagement, be sure to check out this post with tips on activities that can help you build a Facebook following increase those likes, shares, and comments.
Just a few years ago, starting a Facebook page was the “thing” to do if you wanted to grow your business. Having a Facebook page was seen as important as having a website. The problem was that quite a few businesses didn’t know what to do with a Facebook page.
Fast forward to recent times, having a Facebook page seems more like a hassle, especially if you’re experiencing a drop in fans, likes, and engagements. It’s doubly problematic when your engagement drops on Instagram, as well.
But before you pull the plug on your Facebook page, I would encourage you to take a deep dive and understand what benefits it might offer and how it could fit into your overall marketing activities. Rather than just throwing up your arms and chalking Facebook up as a lost cause, take some time to analyze why your Facebook engagement might be dropping and why your fans might be leaving.
Yes, Facebook has become a land of confusing Facebook algorithm adjustments, constantly-changing layouts, and the battle to actually deliver a measurable ROI from your Facebook page. I believe it can be a valuable resource, though, so keep reading for a practical, yet powerful understanding of why your numbers may be dropping and what to do about it.
Why Is My Facebook Page Engagement Dropping In The First Place?
Even without being a Facebook expert, you’ve probably noticed a lot of changes to Facebook over the past year or so. I hate to say it, but many of these changes actually have nothing to do with you or your business and are more geared to the future of social media overall.
There has been an incredible surge in online users over the past decade alone, with the majority of the traffic showing up on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. What this means is there is a lot more content showing up at one time which meant a much bigger behind-the-scenes system needed to be created to roll it all out.
Basically, new users to the various Facebook platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Oculus, WhatsApp, etc…) are drinking from a fire hose of content. Status updates, photos, videos, stories, Reels, DMs, PMs, it’s just a TON of content to digest. Facebook, as a company, has been buying up companies but the problem is they all operate differently, have different user experiences, and don’t really communicate well with each other.
Add to that, the good ole’ algorithm changes. Often, we think of algorithm changes as positive ways to filter out the junk. But what if you just realized that the algorithm also might be hurting your Facebook page, as well.
Yep, the behavior of the Facebook algorithm controls what your audience sees and, depending on what your are posting, when you are posting, and whether you are paying to promote your content…could be putting your posts at the bottom of the totem pole.
Yep. the Facebook algorithm, coupled with your content, is likely why your Facebook page isn’t getting any engagement.
Before getting into that, here are a few other reasons why your followers, likes, and engagements have likely dropped:
- Users aren’t engaging with your Facebook page any more.
- Top Facebook pages in your niche (aka your competitors) are stealing the show.
- Pages who use paid ads are getting priority because Facebook is a “pay to play” platform.
- Facebook is pushing more content published by family and friends and you haven’t expanded your fan base.
- Facebook groups are seeing preference over pages and are on the rise in the algorithm.
I know, that’s a lot of factors to consider but the good news is they are all situations that can be addressed if you want to revive your Facebook page and turn it back into a growing channel.
So, What Steps Do I Take When My Facebook Page is Losing Fans, Likes, and Engagements?
If you want to get your Facebook page working again, then the most important thing you can do is commit to it. It’s going to take some time and there is not overnight fix. You’ll need to work at it for a couple of months before you start to see results.
If, however, you form a plan, follow it, have some patience, and commit to providing helpful, useful content then you should be able to get your Facebook page back on track.
Step 1 – Form a plan and a timeline and then commit to it
As I mentioned before, all isn’t lost in Facebook’s most recent updates and you don’t have to be quick to cash out on your business page just yet. Just in the past month alone, Facebook has rolled out a new change that actually works in the favor of business page owners.
As of August 2020, Facebook has incorporated a new control setting that allows users to choose how much they want to see from the pages they like most. Now users can intentionally choose to see more posts, videos, offers, and live content. People know what they want to see and if given the option to opt in for it, they will. Keep that in mind as we navigate through these tips for boosting your page.
So, keep up with the changes, evaluate what Facebook is doing and educate yourself on why Facebook is making changes. Keep in mind that there are two things that guide Facebook’s platform changes:
Money – Facebook is a business. Add to that they offer their platform at no charge to users. That means it has to find ways to pay for their operations, their employee salaries, their data centers, and all of the developers that make Facebook a thing. They do this through ad revenue and data harvesting. That means you need to understand the fiscal drivers behind changes at Facebook. If a change can help them drive more revenue and gather more information…it’s likely going to be a win for Facebook.
User Experience – If Facebook has no users, Facebook has no product…any by product I mean user-data. Keep in mind the old adage “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product”. That means that Facebook needs to make changes that keep their users happy and engaged. The more users, the more data. The more engagement, the more data. The more data, the more revenue.
With that in mind, let’s dig into the actual technical aspects of how Facebook determines whether it should show your content.
Step 2 – Understand Facebook’s trifecta of engagement.
There are three main goals you should set for any and everything you do through your Facebook business page:
Goal 1 – Acquire likes – This includes likes of your page, likes of your posts, and likes of your photos and videos.
Goal 2 – Generate comments – Create content that is interesting enough that your fans want to ask questions, post comments, and share their thoughts.
Goal 3 – Increase share – Provide posts, photos, and videos that your audience feels are worthy of sharing with their friends and family.
These three elements are what Facebook uses to determine if your post is worth sharing to your audience, and it’s within these three things that hold the momentum in whether or not your page grows, stays stagnant, or declines. To get the ball rolling in these areas, take special note of the next several steps.
If that seems a bit backward to you, it’s because it’s all that Facebook has to go on. The Facebook algorithm can’t predict how the content you are adding right now is going to perform, so it uses your past content to estimate whether this one will resonate with your audience.
In other words, the Facebook algorithm uses your audience’s past behaviors to predict whether it should bother showing them your new content. If your earlier Facebook content didn’t inspire your audience to like, share, or comment….then the algorithm isn’t going to show your new content.
This should scare you a bit, because once your page starts down that engagement spiral, it can be hard to stop it. The key is to always look for ways to engage your audience.
Step 3 – Create great content and SHARE it.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. If your Facebook page content sucks, your engagement will suck. If your past engagement sucks, it doesn’t matter how good your new content is, the algorithm is going to penalize you.
So…how do you dig yourself out of the Facebook engagement hole? You HAVE to start with good content. Pure and simple.
To do this, you have to approach things from two aspects: your business and your audience.
From a business perspective – Ask yourself what you want from your audience. Are you wanting to direct people to your website? Do you want them to shop with you? Or, do you want to funnel people to your email list? The answers to these questions will tell you what kind of content you should be posting to yield the specific result.
For example, if you want people to visit your website then your posts should share valuable information by means of blog posts, good videos, and/or interactive graphics.
From an audience perspective– Ask yourself what your audience wants from you. Do they want salesy posts? Do they want informative content? Do they want to be entertained? Do they want to learn more about you and your business? Knowing what they want will help you create more meaningful content.
Only by blending what your audience is seeking with valuable content that is unique to your business can you find that “sweet spot” of content that will inspire your users to click, comment, and share.
Step 4 – Don’t use spam bait.
As tempting as it may be to spam your audience, don’t do it.
It’s a complete rookie mistake (and one that can have lasting impacts) to try to game the Facebook algorithm. Steer clear of using bait words like vote, tag, react, or comment, especially if it’s not in a genuine way.
Instead, research your audience to get to know them and what they’d like to see from you. Pay attention to what they’re saying and when so you can reach them more effectively. Chances are some of their interests may have changed, and you’ll want to accommodate that as well (if possible).
Heck, if you can’t get your Facebook audience to engage then maybe ask them in-person. When a customer visits your location or you talk to them on the phone ask them what kind of information they think would be helpful to share with them via social media.
Who knows, maybe your next in-person customer will give you an amazing content idea.
Step 5 – Make your posts count.
Be methodical in what you post and when you post it. Make sure that every single post has value for your audience.
If your current posting schedule isn’t working, then you need to look at adjusting it. If your current content isn’t working anymore (even if it worked great in the past), then you need to look at changing what you are posting.
The days of posting just to be posting are over. It’s important to give each one of your posts consideration, thought, and meaning. Make sure there is a hindsight goal in mind and then go for it.
Also be mindful of your post frequency. Some would say that posting too much is a bad thing, but in essence it’s all about the numbers.
If posting 5 times a day works for your audience, then do it. If posting just once or twice is all you can do, that’s fine too.
In fact, research shows that infrequent clicks can generate more clicks.
Step 6 – Experiment with hashtags.
Hashtags on Facebook, really? Really.
Facebook is starting to catch up in the world of hashtags, but before you think to start using them, keep these quick tips in mind:
- Don’t try to use hashtags in every post.
- Only use hashtags that are very relevant to your business.
- Reuse hashtags you’re already using on other platforms (this creates brand consistency).
- Create your own hashtag if they fit within your brand.
- Don’t spam your Facebook users with hashtags. One or two every few posts can help expand your reach beyond your current fans.
While this article is about Instagram hashtags, it provides a really good overview of what hashtags are and how they work and the same principles apply to using hashtags on Facebook.
Step 7 – Pull the heart strings of your audience.
Repeat after me. Emotion is the path to engagement.
If you can get your readers excited, angry, empathetic, happy, curious….or any other range of emotions, you are more likely to get them to engage. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof.
I wrote this snarky post about Facebook Messenger privacy a few years back. It was kind of a rant about how people’s lives aren’t as important as they think they are. It triggered a LOT of emotion with my readers. Mostly negative emotions. Mostly angry emotions.
Over time, it has received more than 100 comments. Some of them angry and just telling me I’m an idiot. Others were very helpful commentary about why people need to protect their privacy.
The important thing is that the content of the post engaged people and content that is created to make people think and respond can do really well on Facebook.
Again, this doesn’t mean to skip Internet etiquette, but in fact, Facebook is showing more posts that are conversation starters, personable, meaningful, emotional, and seeking genuine feedback.
You’ve probably noticed this with all that’s going on in the world today. Posts about social justice matters and asking for recommendations are skyrocketing!
Find the content that resonates with your audience and create posts that you think will spark their emotion. The more they FEEL about your content, the more likely they are to engage with it.
Step 8 – Reciprocate engagement.
As you’re looking to increase your numbers, make sure to include your own engagement in there.
Reply when people comment, like a followers page, and share their content (if it’s applicable to your business). While doing this, pay attention to what people are responding to and use it for your benefit.
A few more quick strategies to consider are:
- Go live and include people in your everyday life.
- Start a Facebook group to help funnel interested users into a more intimate space.
- Consider using Facebook ads to boost particular content.
- Work toward getting the blue verification badge, which will help you page instantly rank higher.
- Learn how to read your page insights.
The more you know about your audience and how they respond to content, the better you can tailor your Facebook posts to their needs.
Step 9 – Consider Facebook Ads.
To fix spiraling Facebook page engagement, you may need to pay to play.
Facebook ads can help expose your content to new audiences and maybe even attract some new Facebook likes. You should experiment with a combination of boosting posts, creating native Facebook ads that point to your blog content, and creating ads designed to generate new Facebook page likes.
The combination of the three, with a budget of about $50 per month can make a huge difference.
Remember, Facebook is in it to make money, so they reward those pages that advertise with them.
Wrapping It Up
At the end of the day, remember that using Facebook is all about authentic engagement and place for people to connect.
Think of your Facebook page as a room filled with people who may not know each other. In this case, though, because it’s a Facebook page, they aren’t allowed to start conversations. They can only wait for your to say something and then respond or react to it.
Are the conversation starters you are throwing at them worth their engagement?
To make your Facebook page more visible and increase your numbers, set goals that lead you to post quality content that people care about and will respond to. Find topics that are edgy and maybe a little controversial. Get them talking to you and to each other.
The end result should be a bump in your engagement numbers.
I hope that helps everyone who is seeing a drop in their Facebook engagement. If you have a tip that has worked for you, be sure to add a comment so others can benefit from it.