If you have a non-personal Facebook Page for your band or other business, you may have noticed that many of the items you post get far fewer views than you have fans. This seems particularly true for posts in which I share Facebook events like band shows, Craigslist links, and other links. The posts getting far more relative views are usually plain text and photos that do not include links.
It seems likely that Facebook is hoping that you will pay them to “Boost” the posts that probably include information that will make you money or that you really want fans to see. But if you are a band, artist, or other very small business lacking any type of advertising budget, I’ve tested some methods that seem to get around the throttling of “important” posts:
(TL;DR summary: post photos WITHOUT links to events, then give the link in followup comments – but really, read the details to figure out what might work best for your Page)
Use the Post Insights Facebook gives you (top right of your page, click See Insights -> Posts) to learn:
1. What times of day are your fans available to look at your Page?
Looking at the top of the Posts page you will see a count by day of the number of fans who are on FB to potentially view your Page during a recent week, plus a graph showing the average hour-by-hour availability in that period. If you mouse over the graph you can see the count during a particular hour:
But wait, there’s more! Click on one of the days of the week blocks and you will see the view graph for that particular day, which may be different from the overall average:
2. What kind of posts receive (or are allowed to get) the most views?
Looking further down this same page you come to a listing of All Posts Published during the past three months. This shows the post date, the beginning of the posted words, the type of post (text/photo/link), targeting (usually public, unless you deliberately chose a subset when paying to Boost), Reach (how many saw it – click the arrow next to this to see how many were already fans vs non-fans), and clicks/likes.
Here’s a post analysis from one of my band pages:
Prior to 12/15/13, note the types of posts and their reach:
11/01 – link to a Facebook show event – 15 views
11/26 – link to a Facebook show event: 13 views
12/09 – link to a Facebook show event – 17 views
12/11 – Link to a Craigslist ad – 13 views
11/04 – Photo from a gig – 91 views, some non-fans
11/04 – Text saying “thanks for coming” – 87 views, all of them fans
12/09 – Link to a Youtube video of us – 46 views, some non-fans
Use this information to choose the kind of posts that get the most views, at the best times of day/days of the week
In my example:
1. I noticed the 11/26 and 12/09 posts linking to our event on 12/20 got very low views, but the photo posted 11/04 got a lot. So on 12/15 at a high-visit time I posted a semi-random photo (a reference to our band name) and in the photo caption mentioned we had a show coming up on 12/20 but did NOT include any event link. Instead I instructed viewers to look in the comments under the photo. I posted the link comment NOT as my band’s Page (in case that is being monitored), but as another Page I run for my solo music.
Result: Almost six times more views in 24 hours than in two weeks for the others! (see green-circled on above chart to compare)
2. The link post to the band’s Craigslist ad looking for a new drummer had only 13 views in five days. So this morning just before the high-visit peak time I posted a photo (of the band on stage, into which I photoshopped an empty silhouette of a person behind the drums) and captioned “we are looking for a drummer – see the CL ad link in the comments.” After it posted I added the link as my solo persona in a comment.
Result: in the two hours since posting it has had 60 views, over half of which were from NON-fans, probably because a friend reposted the photo, and I commented on his share with the CL URL. (see red-circled on above chart to compare)
Note: I don’t know why the Youtube video link on 12/09 got a semi-reasonable view count compared to the show links. You may want to see how other types of links have worked for you.
My Insights page says my What Betty Knows Facebook page gets a visitor peak around 6pm on Mondays, so I’m setting my WordPress site to post this then – though it will appear a a link on my FB Page and thus probably not get a lot of allowed views!