It always bothers me when people ask, “how do I get a thousand fans on Facebook?” People are always freaking out about increasing their number of fans on Facebook. It drives me mad because the number is not what is most important. If you do the right things like create engaging content and follow the right strategy, fans will inevitably come. You will never reach all of your potential fans, if you do not focus on the things that matter most.

Cat reaching out

Image used under CC from RBerteig on Flickr

Reach

Facebook reach is a measure of how many of your fans see your posts. It does not measure how many have read or engaged with your post, it simply measures how many people scrolled over it in their news feeds. Reach measurement is not a metric of how valuable your content is either. I know many marketers who do not focus much on measuring reach. However, reach is still a factor in your social media metrics. Many people complain that their posts are only seen by 10% or less and that Facebook wants them to pay in order to make sure all their fans see their posts.

Think about this for a second: if only 50% of your fans get on Facebook on a given day and the average user is only on for 30-60 minutes and your post only has an average lifetime value of two and a half hour, having an average reach of 10-15% is actually very decent. Of course, it could be even better, but more on that later.

Relevance

Relevance is a measure of authority and trust. It tracks how information on your subject matter is spread on Facebook through your friends and fans. It measures sharing content that your audience wants to see, engage with, and even share with their friends. And that is where reach comes back in to play.

When targeting your audience, relevance can save money on your advertising expenses as you will target only your relevant audience with engaging content and target customers who are more inclined to buy your product or service. Why target everyone, when you can target people who are ready to buy?

Which would you prefer, reach or relevance? I’m going to offer you both.

Engage. Reach Will Follow

If you are looking to reach more people, then write engaging relevant content for your fans. If you know anything about Facebook Edgerank, then you know that the more your fans engage with your posts (commenting, liking or especially sharing), the greater reach and visibility your posts will attain.

Do you have the right strategy?

If you have a poor reach, you desperately need to look at your strategy. Are you posting at the optimal time when most people are online? What type of content are you posting? What days are you posting? What tone do you use?

Facebook Insights

Facebook offers free analytics for every page with over 30 likes. This free tool will help you gage what content does well and what days are best to post. It can also give you information about the demographics of your audience. Use this tool to help you plan your content strategy.

Final Thoughts

Simply increasing your number of likes should not be a key goal in your social media marketing plan. The plan should be to engage users with relevant content that your fans love to share. If you do, reach will increase naturally. Analyze your strategy: do more of the good stuff and change what is ineffective. Use the free tools that Facebook gives you to create an amazing content management plan.

Is getting a certain amount of likes a part of your social media strategy? Do you prefer reach or relevance? What are your concerns with Facebook pages?