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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 1-Feb. 7

January 23, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Sarah Lancaster Hamlin, WSBDC business adviser/Fremont County

“It doesn’t seem like my Facebook posts are reaching very many people. Why is the organic reach of my posts declining?” Stacy, Rock Springs

The simple truth is that more content is being created and shared every day. Based on the number of friends and page “likes” that most users have, it is estimated that 1,500 potential stores could appear in a news feed (the place where Facebook users see content from friends, family and businesses) each time a user logs on.

Because of this, competition for placement in the news feed has gotten steep. As a result, Facebook has tweaked the algorithm the news feed uses to show each user the most relevant content to him or her. Of the 1,500-plus stories a person might see when he or she logs on, the news feed displays approximately 300.

This algorithm looks at three things: affinity score, weight and time. Your affinity score measures how strong your relationship is with your fans. Those who frequently comment on, “like” or share your posts have a higher affinity score and are more likely to see your posts.

Weight refers to the type of interaction these individuals have with your post. For example, a share or a comment has more weight than a “like.” In theory, if your post has more comments or shares, your post will be seen by more people. Time is pretty straightforward -- the older the post, the less it will appear in a news feed.

The question is: How do these changes affect your business Facebook marketing strategy?

Use your tools (things like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics) to learn what types of posts (photos, videos, links to articles, etc.) generate engagement. Use this information to create timely and engaging content for your fans. What time is your fan base typically on Facebook? Are you posting content during these windows? Develop a content calendar that contains a strong mix of photos, video and informational content that is being posted on a regular basis between one and two times a day.

Don't be afraid to invite your friends, family and business partners to “like” your business page. The larger your fan base, the more chances you have for a fan to engage with your posts.

Embrace the change. This may mean you need to rethink your Facebook marketing strategy to include Facebook ads or paid page boosts. These are effective tools for marketing to a target audience. Based on the profiles that Facebook users create for themselves, you can target your ad to include: fan location, age, gender, interests, education, job, life event, page “likes,” purchase behavior, etc. Facebook ads also offer a unique tool called “Lookalike Audiences.” This tool allows you to target a new audience by using similar characteristics to your known audience.

As the use of social media increases, more of these types of changes occur. Like everything in business, it is important to be able to evaluate these changes and how your company will respond.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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