Countless schools are using a Facebook page as a way to communicate with parents. Many other organizations use this platform as a way to communicate, and to do it for free.

“Once someone likes our page, every time we post to Facebook, it will show up in that person’s news feed.” Sounds logical, doesn’t it? After all, that’s the whole purpose for the system of “Likes,” isn’t it?

While it sounds logical, nothing could be further from the truth. Facebook has an algorithm that determines who sees your material, and in what amount. Understanding their reasoning can increase your reach.

Facebook argues that just because someone “Liked” your page that one time does not mean that person wants to see everything you post. The more someone engages with your page, the more interested Facebook sees that person, and the more of your posts he or she will see on the news feed.

What does engagement mean?
Facebook looks at four elements:

1. How often does someone “Like” your individual posts?
2. How often does someone comment on your individual posts?
3. How often does someone share your individual posts?
4. How often does someone click the links in your individual posts?

With this knowledge in mind, you can do two things to increase engagement, and in turn, increase how often your material appears for those who “Liked” your page.

First, you can tell your stakeholders what I have just told you. Let them know that even if they read everything you post, it counts for naught in the eyes of Facebook. Let them know that if they want the material to keep coming, they have to engage. If you like, you can copy the URL for this post and email it to contacts who could use the information. You could click the social share links you see at that bottom of this post.  Forward it to your contacts. Forward it to schools or other businesses who are using Facebook as a way to communicate. At the top of the newsletter is a link which will take you to the URL for this newsletter. Copy the link and paste it in a Facebook post if you like.

Secondly, look for ways to write your posts in such a manner that they invite the reader to engage. For example, instead of a principal composing this post…
Game versus Pleasantville Friday night. Come support the team!

…the principal could compose this post instead:
Game versus Pleasantville Friday night. What’s your prediction of the final score?

Here are other examples:
Game versus Pleasantville Friday night. “Like” if you think we will win.
Want to see the complete football schedule? Click here.
Help us fill the stands! Here is a link to the football schedule. Click “Share” to help us get the word out.

With a little creativity, you can increase your Facebook reach and have fun while you are doing it.