If Facebook is your preferred platform for connecting and engaging with your customers on social, you may have noticed that it’s not always straightforward to grow your fan base. Growing your Facebook Page takes time and persistence.
Facebook seems to change the rules fairly regularly, making it hard to keep up with who is seeing what from your page. Their paid advertising represents pretty good value for money if you are looking to grow your page and its reach: we’ve recently demonstrated the great results you can achieve growing your page with Facebook adverts for a local Pembrokeshire outdoor business we’re working with. However, if you’re looking to invest time rather than money to grow your Facebook page, here are some tips to follow:
- Set up your Business Page correctly
- It’s business – not personal: We’re still coming across businesses who are using a personal profile as their business page. This means that a number of functions that could help grow your fan base won’t be open to you: options such as reviews and check ins. Facebook are also getting wise to this, and are taking action where a personal profile seems to be for business use. Not to mention, a personal profile looks unprofessional.
- Fill in the gaps: Make sure your business page is properly completed with as much information as you can include. Remember that Google will index the ‘About’ section of your Facebook business page, so it’s worth making sure this has plenty of key word rich information. Use the tools Facebook gives you to optimise your page.
- Post regular content
- Communicate news and engage with your followers: Just as you need to market your website, so you need to post to your Facebook business page. The beauty of Facebook is that it allows you as a business to communicate with your customers directly – to post news and to receive feedback and engage. If you don’t post, you are wasting this brilliant opportunity to engage with your audience.
- Give people something to ‘Like’: An out of date, neglected Facebook page reflects badly on your business – visitors are less likely to hit ‘Like’ on a page where the last post was 2 years ago… And if there’s nothing on your page, there’s nothing for visitors to share with their friends.
- Post interesting content
- Beating the Facebook algorithm: In the words of Facebook itself, “To help people have a good experience on Facebook, we try to show them the most relevant stories in their News Feeds. This means that as the amount of content shared on Facebook continues to grow, your Page posts will be competing with more stories to appear in News Feed.” Your content needs to be interesting so that your page followers will ‘like’ it – the more your content is ‘liked’ the more Facebook’s algorithm will rate it as ‘relevant’…
- Engagement equals visibility: Again, in the words of Facebook “When people like your Page, they’re eligible to see your most engaging posts in News Feed. When people like or comment on your posts, their friends may see stories about them engaging with your Page, which can help expand your audience”. So posting not just content but good quality, interesting content which people engage with equals more visibility for those posts. Experiment with different types of content to see what works with your audience. Video content is a great tool for social media – short videos which don’t require sound to make sense tend to outperform other content types.
A recent viral video from Pembrokeshire featuring 360 degree video
- Remember your audience!
- Make it easy: We’re a lazy bunch, us humans. We like things to be easy. Make it easy for people to like your Facebook page by using a page plugin on your website. If visitors to your website like what they see, a plug in makes it easy for them to like your page and share your content, which in turn should see other people liking and sharing, growing your Facebook page all the time.
- Be social: Use your business page to like other business pages – perhaps not direct competitors but others in related industries or just things that will be of interest to your audience. Growing your Facebook page means getting it out there to others! Share other posts from time to time that might be useful to your audience. Keep the hard sell to a minimum – some suggest as little as 20% promotional content to 80% non-promotional.
- Use Facebook Insights
- Analysis pays dividends: We’re back to ‘interesting content’ again. Facebook suggests that high quality content includes photos and video, Facebook Offers, and questions which encourage interaction, but putting your finger on what exactly presses the buttons for your audience – and for Facebook – can be tricky. Our own experience shows that you can spend hours (well, minutes, certainly) crafting a series of Facebook posts that are barely visible above the parapet, yet a picture of something as simple as new office wall paper gets seen by hundreds of people.
- Identify your most successful posts: Facebook Insights gives you information to identify which of your posts are the most successful – how many people saw them, the ‘reach’ a post achieves – and you can use this to analyse what works for your audience and what doesn’t. It’s not necessarily a straightforward exercise but one that can reap rewards and stand in you in good stead for future posts.
Understanding the inner workings of Facebook is something of an art form – it certainly isn’t something you’ll achieve overnight. On the other hand, Facebook is a hugely useful tool, particular for B2C digital marketing, where engagement with customers is vital in today’s highly competitive market. Taking time to keep your page active and interesting, responding to comments and messages and posting regularly will all help to boost your page and grow your audience – and customer base.