For marketing your business online, Facebook is perfect because nine times out of 10, it’s where all your buyers are and the targeting that can be done is amazing. That’s why I love Facebook, but it has changed in the last year or so and has made things a little challenging for business owners, hence why I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.
As I explain, I’ll show you some examples with images from my own Facebook page.
Facebook limits your reach.
Before, you could post anything on a fan page, or business page – whatever you want to call it, and everyone would see it. Now, Facebook only shows certain posts to people who it thinks wants to see it. If it seems promotional, for example it includes a link to your website or has text like “buy,” it will limit your reach even more.
Take this post for example. I have more than 6,400 likes on my page, but Facebook has decided to show this post to just 184 people. It’s shared from a very popular page, features the star of a national TV show, includes four tags, and is getting lots of engagement on my page, but still, Facebook makes it visible to ONLY 184 people in my feed. This is the most frustrating part of Facebook as a small business owner and social media manager.
At the bottom of the post, you can see Facebook suggests I boost the post to get more results. That’s why Facebook is not a free platform for these kinds of pages. (And why it’s worth more than 18 billion dollars.) To reach people on Facebook, you need to boost posts and/or create ads. Facebook makes it very easy to target your audience this way. For example, I could choose to boost this post so only people who like the show I Am Jazz see it, to only people who care about LGBT issues see it, or only people in my geographical area see it. You can also choose a budget for as little as $1 a day to much more. When you choose your budget, Facebook gives you an estimate of how many people you will reach. You can play with these factors (audience and budget) to reach a higher amount of people.
In my experience, three kids of posts work best when it comes to the amount of people you reach – pinned to the top, videos, and Facebook live.
- This is an example of two – a video that I pinned to the top of my Facebook page. Normally, posts just appear in a feed, then they are gone. When you pin one to the top of your Facebook page, it will always be seen when someone visits your page, thus increasing your reach.
- Videos get more reach just for the simple fact they are videos and that’s what people want to watch online. This video will automatically start playing when you visit my page. To hear the audio, you just make one click or tap. In this post, you can see the organic reach is the lighter orange and the reach that I paid for by boosting the post is the darker orange. The little orange tag in the top right just shows it’s been pinned to the top of my page.
- This is an example of Facebook live… well, more like a screen grab of it. It reminds me of when I would do live shots in news. It’s just a live recording of what you’re doing at that time. Like a post, you can still check in to a location, type some text, then hit record and create your live video. People who follow you and are on Facebook at that time will get a notification you are live, can watch, and even interact with you by commenting. When you’re done, the “live shot” just stays on your page like any other post.
Okay, now that I’ve described the basics regarding my love/hate relationship with Facebook, let’s get into a little social media management 101.
As I mentioned, it’s important to use tags on Facebook.
(Hashtags don’t work too well on Facebook. I’d save those for Twitter and Instagram.) When you check in or tag another page, it will get a notification and may respond which could also increase your reach. This is also why it’s important to react to every comment you receive on your page. (It’s called social media… so be social!)
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]Hashtags don’t work too well on #Facebook. I’d save those for #Twitter and #Instagram via @MediaMaven_CN.[/Tweet]
It’s also important to have a goal when you create an ad.
You will have a variety of call to action options when creating an ad. In my opinion, the most commonly used are the top four you see on this list. When you choose the option to increase conversions on your website, you can add something called a pixel to your website so when someone visits your site, it sends a message to the Facebook ad to target them again… because research shows that if you see the same thing 6, 7, or 8 times, you will buy it.
Speaking of call to actions, make sure your homepage has one.
You can create a button on your cover page to ask your audience to do something.
This is an example of mine. I want people to sign up for an online course. I also created my cover page photo to show this with an arrow. Many people see this image on a phone, so you will need to make sure it looks centered and works on a phone as well.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]Don’t focus on promoting your business when you post. Instead, focus on entertaining your audience.[/Tweet]
Finally, don’t focus on promoting your business when you post.
Instead, focus on entertaining your audience. I use the 70/30 rule – 70% for my audience, 30% promotional… but it’s all brand appropriate. Take a look at this post. I’m not talking about me or what I do. Instead, I’m sharing some nice pictures of a meet-up I did with others in my industry.
And do you see the great engagement and little reach?! 52 people out of 6,400+. (Come on Mark Zuckerberg!)
…and just when I think I’ve got my finger on it, this one gets a higher than an average reach. It’s a video of Mr. Bean dancing for crying out loud!