Marketing quick tip: think twice before you “share” on Facebook

by on April 2, 2013

I manage several Facebook pages for clients so I’m constantly looking at and monitoring the reach metric (the number of people that see your posts) to optimize both the kind of content I share and when I post.

Just in case you’re not sure how to see this number, here’s what it will look like when you’re on your page (logged in):

Facebook reach text only posts

I noticed something change pretty drastically. Thought it was a glitch perhaps. Kept my eye on it. Tried it on my own page. Waited it out a bit. Tried it again. No glitch.

What was it?

There’s been a MAJOR decrease in reach on shared posts on Facebook. Yup, I’m talking about when you see something in your newsfeed that you love and you click “share” to post it to your page. Turns out you’re not really sharing much at all because very few of your likers are even going to see it.

How much of a decrease in reach are we talking? On my page for example, a text only post will get 10x the reach of a shared one  (text only updates are still going really strong, read more here if you missed the post a few months back), and an image or link post around 4-5x. That’s a huge difference! And I’ve noticed it across the board on the various pages I manage of varying sizes.

It’s too bad since Facebook recently made it really easy and convenient to share stuff from your newsfeed right to your page by simply clicking the share button. It was something I would often recommend to the time pressed small business owner who couldn’t find the time to keep their page well updated. The best part about this share button is that the proper credit to the original source of the content is automatically  generated, meaning when you share it it shows who originally posted it.  And we all know that giving credit where credit is due is part of good small biz marketing karma, even when it comes to simple things like sharing stuff on Facebook.

So what to do?  Never bother sharing anything again since it’ll go nowhere?  Sigh in exasperation and flip the bird to your laptop screen while muttering that Facebook is the most finicky pain in the ass ever? (OK, sorry, that was me just venting. I am getting downright exhausted with the constant changes to Facebook 🙂 Anyone else with me?)

As tempting as it might be to do the aforementioned, I’m here with this marketing quick tip.  I call in organic sharing. Instead of hitting the share button, what you do to get that good reach is you just recreate the post’s content organically… but don’t forget to @tag the biz or page that originally shared the awesomeness! Are you scratching your head thinking “Huh?”  Let me break it down for you, it’s super simple!

The steps to organic sharing

Here’s what you would do if you really liked an image let’s say that you saw on another page. You can also do the same for a link to a useful resource, or a quote or whatever you really loved on a different page. Just copy, paste and credit who shared it.

  1. Right click the image you would like to share to save it to your computer.Facebook "share" not really sharing much at all
  2. Create a fresh post from your own Facebook page using the upload image option to find the image you just saved.Facebook "sharing" not really sharing at all
  3. In the photo’s comment, give a credit to the Facebook page that originally shared this image.  You do this by writing @the name of the person or page that shared it and a link to their Facebook page will pop up automatically.Facebook "share" not really sharing at all


And voila!  There you have organic sharing.  You have a great picture that you have just posted to your timeline that will make it into more news feeds all while giving proper credit to the original poster.

So does this mean that you should stop sharing posts?

No, absolutely not. Sharing still has its value for building relationships with other pages and networking. Or for those times when you’re time pressed. But if you find that a lot of your Facebook content revolves around sharing posts, you might want to consider doing more organic posts from your page so that you can boost your page’s reach and get your page in front of more people. 

Have other hints about getting the most out of your Facebook reach? Share in the comments to help other small business owners with their Facebook marketing!

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