You’re not alone. Sure, maybe some of your posts are getting ignored by some of the people who are glancing at them. But there’s a more obvious reason for the dip in your Facebook fans’ engagement; as my friend Brad Bush says, “most of your fans aren’t even getting the chance to ignore your posts, because they never see them in the first place.”
Why? Well, Facebook is intentionally limiting the number of fans who see your content. And they’ve admitted that it’s part of their plan to increase those restrictions in an attempt to get you to PAY for further reach (through promoted posts and advertising).
How do you as an independent author get around that? Well, the more frequently fans interact with your content, the more frequently Facebook will show them your posts. But how can you encourage them to like and share your content if they’re not seeing it in their news feeds to start with? It’s a troubling catch-22.
Here’s some advice the very same Brad Bush gave to musicians (who are experiencing the same Facebook frustrations as authors):
I’ve seen a lot of artists encourage people to take steps in their personal Facebook settings to ensure that they’ll see their posts. An easy way to do this? Tell people who have liked your page to take it one step further by hovering over that “Like” button they just clicked and select “get notifications.” I do this with a few bands and brands, and Facebook hits me with a notification – just like the ones you get for likes, comments, etc. – telling me that they posted something. I love it. I’m not positive that it works every time, but as far as I know it does.
You could write a quick note on Facebook, asking your fans to do this so they can stay up-to-date. The key here, though, is to get engagement on that post so more of your fans will see it, which will lead to more engagement, more views, and hopefully more people opting in for notifications from you. Easier said than done.
But you know what you should really be doing about all this, instead of wasting time fretting about Facebook’s goofy algorithms? Building your email list. It’s still the single best way to get your content in front of someone, and your best bet at getting their undivided attention. Is building an email list and crafting messages to your fans a lot more work than shooting off a quick FB post? Absolutely. And that’s why it works. And that’s why it’s worth it.
Have you had any success with getting people to opt themselves in for notifications about your posts? Do you have any other thoughts on the how to get more of your readers to see your Facebook content? Let me know in the comments.
[Picture of Sisyphus from Shutterstock.]