Facebook frequently makes changes to its News Feed algorithm, making organic reach a bit more challenging for brands. Of course, it’s only natural for Facebook to enhance its platform to ensure the most relevant content gets to the right people, but that also means marketers need to adapt alongside it. In other words, they need to get scrappy.
To that aim, we asked our community—you—for the best Facebook hacks that make managing your workflow and growing your audience a little less taxing. From organic to paid, here are the top tips and tricks from you and your peers.
1. Keep Ads Conversational
Facebook Ads are a great way to connect with your audience quickly. If you haven’t started exploring Facebook advertising, now is the time start. Once you’re set up, keep your ads as conversational as possible (credit to tipper @plumblegum). At Sprout Social, we often pose questions to generate greater engagement.
Gerry Graf, Founder/Chief Creative Officer of Barton F. Graf 9000, agrees with this approach, touting the power of authenticity.
“Whenever a company or brand speaks, we’ve all been trained from growing up in front of the TV to tune out the message,” Graf told Facebook. “We block out ad speak. Anytime I’m doing an ad, I like to think the way humans speak. When you’re talking that way, peoples’ defenses are lowered. They know you’re not just totally full of crap.”
“Anytime I’m doing an ad, I like to think the way humans speak.”
—Gerry Graf, Founder/Chief Creative Officer, Barton F. Graf 9000
2. Optimize Images With the Right Fonts
Using imagery in your Facebook posts is a good way to increase engagement. But “how about using a good mixture of fonts on the brand message pic?” suggested tipper @socialzyka.
This trick can help you determine what visual tone resonates best with your target audience. To get started, consider this list of the most popular web fonts (backed by data).
“How about using a good mixture of fonts on the brand message pic?”
3. Clean Up Your Images
“When creating an image in Photoshop, make sure your DPI is set to 300,” Villacorta said. “When your masterpiece is finished, be sure to flatten the image. Hold on, you’re not done yet! Open a NEW document with identical dimensions and settings. Navigate to your original document, and drag over the flattened image to the new document window. Once you’ve aligned everything, be sure to saves it as a PNG file and for web and devices.”
If you need to know all the Facebook image sizes, or are having trouble with sizing images across other channels, refer to our social media image sizes guide.
4. Target Locations & Languages With Organic Posts
Did you know it’s possible to target audiences by location and language—at absolutely no cost at all? Here’s how:
- Go into your Facebook Page Settings.
- Under General, enable Targeting and Privacy for Posts.
- After that, you’ll see a globe icon within the field, where you enter your status.
- From there, you’ll be able to target by both Language and Location. Location is broken down by:
5. Create Recurring Content That Keeps People Interested
Give people something to look forward to on a weekly or biweekly basis. A series of posts will build momentum and create awareness around your brand (credit to tipper @itsCaitlinP). Here’s an example of this tip in action with our Meet Team Sprout campaign:
6. Use Ads to Test Your Content
With digital marketing, it’s important to test everything you can. Facebook is no exception. So if you want performance feedback from your Facebook posts, try turning some into Facebook Ads.
You don’t need to a big budget for this either. Craig Glaser (@CraigGlaser) advocates using as little as $1 to boost your posts to a larger audience.
“If a post is not gaining much traction after 24 hours, boost it for $1 for 24 hours,” Glaser said. “It’ll give it a turbo boost and send it sky rocketing for minimal cost.”
Here are some of the content components you can test:
- Ad copy
- Calls to action
“If a post if not gaining much traction after 24 hours, boost it for $1.”
—Craig Glaser (@CraigGlaser)
7. Tag People & Brands
An easy way to spread your reach is to tag other people or brands within your Facebook posts. Thanks to a recent Facebook News Feed algorithm update, tagging another Page improves your chances of reaching that audience as well. Just make sure you have a reason for tagging another Page, otherwise it seems forced (credit to tippers @jesephm and @itsCaitlinP). Here’s an example of tagging other Pages:
8. Write Specific Metadata & Page Titles
When posting on Facebook, you probably sometimes change the title and description in the linked content. The Content Stop suggests taking this a step further with the following advice: “We are noticing a big upswing in engagement rates on clients pages from adjusting the metadata and titles of a post to serve a specific niche (of course the copy is killer as well), then advertising that to that niche through a $2–$3 post boost.”
In a nut shell, personalized posts make people more likely to click through your posts.
9. Engage at Every Level, From Colleagues to Customers
Engagement is key on social. Whether you’re part of a big corporation or independent business, employee advocacy should be fundamental to your social strategy. Start by encouraging your employees to share relevant industry and workplace news on Facebook (credit to tipper @MarinighPR).
Meanwhile, as a brand, be sure that you are not just pushing out content but that you are also actively listening and responding to your fans. With a staggering five out of six messages left unanswered on social, this could be to your competitive advantage.
The right tools will help. A social media management platform such as Sprout enables brands to scale their social engagement efforts and communicate with their audiences more effectively. You’ll get actionable feedback from our integrated analytics on how you can improve your strategy to expand your audience even further.
Kevin King: Kevin King is the SEO Manager at Sprout Social and a film critic turned analytics geek. When he isn't poring over massive Excel files, he can be found enjoying live music, indie films and select craft beers.
loved your post. I am self teaching myself all things digital! i want to learn about SEO. Any cool DIY guides or tutorials would be much appreciated !!
#4 doesn't seem to be the case for my business page. When I go to general settings, I don't see that option. Do you have to have a certain page type to see that? Any help??
@rwc Hi, there. Facebook recently changed the wording of that feature and is now accessible under "News Feed Audience and Visibility for Posts." You can easily turn it on by following these steps: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/352402648173466. Hope this helps!
I'd also recommend getting a high quality cover photo done to your business page. I know for me, once I added my professionally done cover photo, it paid off quick. One of my customers called me to actually tell me how much he liked and it and wanted to get one done for himself - we used designed4impact.com and couldn't be happier with the results.
I'm definitely going to give #6 a try in fact I just did!! We'll see how it works. Thank you for all the great tips. :)
Thanks for the roundup of tips! Can Darryl explain the need for extra steps in Photoshop? Create your image in the correct pixel dimensions (ppi irrelevant), use the Save for Web command, save as PNG 24. No need to flatten or create another canvas. Am I missing something?
@Louise_Myers Hi, Louise. The tip that I provided was a result of many attempts to correct the issue posed to many of my social colleagues who were creating images for social and were seeing portions (if not all) of the image end up blurry – the steps you've outlined are identical to what I've done in the past.
Granted, this wasn't a regular occurrence, and to your point, I've always finished my work by using 'Save for Web' and as a PNG file. However, some images would not render properly when shared. Whether it is a compression issue with certain networks is beyond me, but after experimenting, I found that when taking the steps that I've outlined in the tip, it corrected the issue 100% of the time (ymmv).
I'm all for not having to create extra steps; the tip serves as a workaround to anyone who might run into this issue after exhausting all attempts to correct the issue. Thanks for the insight!
@Darryl Villacorta How very strange! Hard to imagine it would make a difference. Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed reply!
Hey Kevin and team - fantastic post!! Really powerful compilation of tips that are often overlooked but that *really* work!! Sharing with my peeps now.
@MariSmith Thanks for the kind words, Mari! We hope your readers will find value in the post as much as we did. All the best!