Imagine you posting to your Facebook business page is the same as having letters delivered around your town.

junkSay you have 10,000 people in your town, and you give a load of letters to a couple of spotty teenagers to deliver to each address. You assume that everybody in town should get a letter, but after delivering to around 10% of the population the teenagers get bored, ditch the rest, and go and play on the X-Box instead. You ask them why only 10% of the town received the letters and they say that that’s all they’ll deliver unless you pay them.

Additionally, they’ve decided that the bags are far too heavy to carry around, so they throw away nearly all the stuff that they deem “not that important”. If you look in the nearest skip you’ll find all the junk mail and promotional flyers. They’ve kept hold of just the important stuff, like magazines or newspapers.

Finally you give in and pay them. There’s a big improvement now, and most of the letters, including the junk, get delivered (though still not all of them, but that’s teenagers for you). You’ll probably find that the more you pay them, the more they’ll deliver for you.

As you’ve probably guessed, Facebook is the spotty teenager. If you want more than 10% of your Facebook audience to read your posts, and any of them to read your promotional posts then, just like our teenagers, you’re going to have to pay them.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, and the big one here is engagement. Facebook want you to create content that people want to share (after all, that’s what Facebook is all about), so focus on this. You’ll find that if you can understand your audience and write posts that people like and comment on, your page reach will increase. From our experience we would estimate that a post that is liked and shared will have a page reach of up to 40% compared to a more usual 10% of one that doesn’t – and video tends to do particularly well!