I work quite a bit with bloggers both in Facebook group settings and one on one coaching. One thing I hear all the time is how hard it is to grow a Facebook page. Trust me, I know this from personal experience! In fact, I recently became so frustrated with my poor engagement that I removed over 1k people who had liked my page. I know, kind of crazy but most of them had come from Facebook follow threads back when I used to participate in them. So, they were non-organic likes from people who really aren't interested in my page anyway. In other words, those people were just dragging me down!
I am not suggesting that you do something like this to improve your engagement but I will say, if you participate in any type of like for like activity, this is not going to help you. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I highly recommend stopping this activity immediately!
The thing is, the Facebook algorithm can be pretty tricky. Even Facebook agrees that organic reach is decreasing (some project that it will eventually go down to zero). That being said, it is possible to have a successful Facebook page. And by successful, I don't mean a big following. There are Facebook pages, big and small alike, that are achieving their goals on Facebook.
Here are three things you should know about the Facebook algorithm:
Relevant & trending content take priority.
Facebook's goal is that each user's News Feed is filled with content that matters to them right now. Facebook determines what the user wants to see by several factors. A trending topic will always take priority. Again, Facebook tailors the experience to each user, so "trending" can be relative but if your friends and family are discussing a topic, you can believe it will show up in your feed. Also, "relevant" generally has a shelf life. This is why posting on a regular basis is important. But don't worry, if you happen to post something that doesn't get shown in the News Feed because it was not relevant or trending at the time, it can still be bumped. If people suddenly start engaging, it will start appearing in the News Feed. This is why viral posts will sometimes circulate at a much later date than originally posted.
Inauthentic pages have low or no priority.
If Facebook thinks your page is inauthentic, your posts will not be shown in the News Feed. Asking for likes & shares or people unfollowing your page can make it inauthentic. The latter is a very good reason not to participate in like for like. If people aren't interested in your content but are obligated to like your page, they will likely unfollow which can end up hurting your organic reach.
Native content wins.
Native content is anything that is shared directly to Facebook. For example, uploading a video to Facebook vs. sharing from YouTube, or uploading a picture instead of sharing from a linked social media account. With the exception of a native link (the link is shared directly on Facebook rather than shared from the website), native content does not take users away from Facebook to see the content, which makes sense as to why the algorithm favors this. Facebook (any social network, really) wants it's users to stay on the platform!