A lot has changed on Facebook over the past few years and one of the big changes has been Business Page visibility on newsfeeds.
Facebook’s newsfeed algorithms have undergone a number of changes and many businesses wonder if they should bother with the platform at all, but with the new Graph Search coming into play, my suggestion would be: don’t give up on Facebook just yet.
First of all, it is pointless trying to keep up with how Facebook determines what is visible and what isn’t because it is constantly being updated and changed. The algorithms used four years ago look nothing like those being used now.
Secondly, if you’ve put all your marketing eggs in Facebook’s basket, and you do nothing else to market your small business, there’s a pretty strong chance you’ll not be as successful at converting followers into paying clients. Simply put, if you’re not doing more to nurture relationships, you’ll not have raving fans at the end of the day.
Facebook was never designed to be the be-all-end-all in marketing. It’s primarily a social network, ie.. a place for people to socialize. If you’re creating a brand that people love to talk about, you’ll do okay, but if you’re treating Facebook like a business directory, it would be wise to take a good hard look at your marketing strategy (if you have one).
The new Facebook Graph Search function will be great for businesses that excel at being the topic of conversation but terrible for businesses that don’t have much activity on their pages.
So, if you make sure you do all you can to create conversation with your followers, you’ll be in a much better position to leverage social media to turn followers into flag-flying clients.
How do you do that?
Well, here are a few choice tips to get you started.
#1 Use Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads is a narrowcasting platform. While traditional ads focus on reaching a broad audience, you want to do the exact opposite with Facebook ads. Narrow down your audience to just a few thousand, and experiment with keywords. You can even use your competitors’ and colleagues’ page names as keywords to encourage their likers to follow you. Nifty eh!
#2 Use Story Arcs
Think of your posts like an episode of a good TV drama. Keep people hooked into what happens next. If you want to know more about story arcs and how they work, I wrote about story arcs in this post a few weeks ago: http://casmccullough.com/how-to-use-story-arcs-on-social-media/. Check out the awesome Doctor Who trailers while you’re at it.
#3 Use custom tabs on your Business Page
New visitors to your page are the mostly likely to check out your custom tabs (the little icons that sit below your cover image and next to your “about” tab), so use them to run promotions and competitions, share indepth info about your business and link to your website. You can set up a custom tab as a landing page for visitors who link through from your website to your Facebook page too.
#4 Create and share strong visuals
Visuals with lots of white space attract the eye. Beautiful and funny things are shared more often. Keep the appeal broad, and the humour to something everyone in your niche can relate to.
Here is an example of an image I shared that was reshared a lot:
#5 Engage with other brand pages as your brand, but don’t be salesy and spammish
Interact, converse, ask questions but don’t sell your stuff.
Here’s an example of a post I did that tagged another business in a non-spammy way.
Go for conversation over self-promotion and you’ll attract people to your page and spark their curiosity, but demand they visit you or promote your stuff on someone else’s page and it’ll just turn people off.
There are many other ways in which you can build engagement on your Facebook page, but don’t get too hung up about keeping up appearances on social media. You’re only human and you only have so many hours in the day as a small business owner. At the end of the day, excellent customer service will be the winner, because it’s when you truly deliver that people will want to talk about you the most.
What strategies have you used that have worked well to create conversation on Facebook?