Why your most important Facebook fans are the ones you don’t have

“How many new fans did we get this week?”

A question that is by many in the world of social media. Even though you may have heard not to concentrate on gathering page fans for the sake of it, you aren’t sure why.

Firstly, let’s get something straight – you need fans. You need people to like your page if you want to reach them organically – without paying. But here’s a warning: even in the best case, this is going to be around 10% of your total fans.

For brands, it’s an expensive way to push ads disguised as posts to consumers.

For publishers, it’s essential. The 10% of fans you do reach will help put your posts in front of those that matter most:

Consumers of your content who are not your page fans.

Why is this group so important? What makes a non-page fan more important than a page fan?

Let’s break it down:

Page fans who see your content directly from you on their timelines make up your organic reach.

Consumers who are not your fans but see your content make up your viral reach.

Viral reach commands 3-4 times the clickthrough rate of organic reach.

In a nutshell this is because users see your content from their friends liking, commenting on and sharing your content, and people trust their friends. By leveraging this trust you are opening the door to your articles going viral more often.

How do I get more viral reach?

Viral reach requires that you get the right page fans – the heavy engagers – who are active on social media and help Facebook decide what the more passive users see. When you can identify and target Facebook users that behave in this way, you can convert them into page fans that are super-effective at getting your content delivered to other people’s newsfeeds.

The benefits are two-fold:

  1. Greater viral reach
  2. Increased clickthrough rate

Not all reach is equal. You can pay to be seen by a million people, but even if those people are well targeted, you aren’t going to come close to the level of clickthroughs from viral reach.

Remember: when your content appears because someone liked it, shared it or commented upon it, it is delivered to their friends with a personal endorsement attached. That’s powerful, so use it.

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