I don’t know about you, but there has been an awful lot of fuss lately about changes once again on Facebook. It seems the “algorithm” keeps changing and as a business owner, you have likely seen a dramatic drop in the visibility of your posts. Although I understand this seems very frustrating, I am not really all that surprised. Facebook – at its core – is a business just like yours. They are around to make money, just like you. That is why it just makes me laugh when people get so frustrated when things change on Facebook. It has been primarily free for a long time, and still is by the way, but if you want more, you have to pay to play. It is no different with your business. There is only so much you will do for free, then the customer has to pay if they want more. So if you are whining – STOP. Start asking yourself what will you do about it?
The big question that must be answered first: is YOUR target market hanging out on Facebook? Will it be worth a small investment to have a presence on there. More than likely, the answer is yes since it is still the most used platform. Of course there are other major players like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, blah blah blah. But is your target market – the ones with the money to spend on your services – frequenting Facebook? If the answer is yes, than we can have this conversation. So, how much are you willing to pay to play? There really are only three categories to choose from.
I want to stick with using it for free.
Fine. That is your prerogative and decision. So be smart about it. The algorithim has changed. So you have to change with it. Some suggestions I have to get the most out of using Facebook for free are:
- Check your insights.
If you are still on the non-updated version of the business Facebook pages, this will be in the upper right hand corner. If not, it is to the left. Click on the word “insights” in the admin panel of your page. Once there, click on “People”. You will see what the age and sex of the majority of your fans are. Interesting, but then click on “People Engaged” right below that. This may be different than the age group of your fans. Find out who is coming to your page, male or female. How old are they? Once you have done that, click on “Posts.” This will tell you the time of day that those people are on Facebook. This is invaluable. If you have been posting first thing in the morning, but this data shows they are on at night, you are doing it all wrong. The insights are there to help you. So use them.
- Schedule your posts from Facebook. Not a third party.
I agree, this is a pain in the butt. But the truth is, Facebook wants you to be on their site at all times, not Hootsuite or Sendible or something similar. So try scheduling your posts directly from Facebook. Do it for a couple of weeks. Then check your insights again. Did it make a difference? If so, react accordingly.
- Post more often.
Sad but true. If your posts are not viewed as often, than you are just going to have to post more often. But make sure you are posting meaningful content. Remember 80% of what you are posting should be educational and helpful. Don’t constantly post “buy from me” types of status updates. No one likes to be sold to. But everyone like to be educated and inspired. Find great quotes, fun pictures or make your own and link them back to your blog! I cannot stress enough how much you should be blogging anyway for Google to pick up your website, but you can also link them to your Facebook page.
I have a little money to spend.
Awesome. And when I say little, I mean it can be as little as $30 a month. The way to do this is to “boost your post”. There will be a blue button at the bottom right of your post. When you click this button it will give you a bunch of questions to answer. Who is the audience you are targeting? What is your budget? How long do you want this ad to run? Simply answer the questions and off you go. Special note: The only posts you should be putting money behind and boosting are the ones that link back to your website. Ideally to a blog post that has something educational and actionable for them to do. You would be surprised the reach you will get just from spending $30 on a post. Try it and see what reaction you get.
I am willing to invest some advertising dollars.
If you have money to spend, then you should take the time to learn how to set up a proper Facebook Ad Campaign. This can be done just doing a regular ad, www.facebook.com/ads, but if you are investing some big dollars, I recommend using the Facebook Power Editor feature that gives you a lot more options to target the people you are going after. This is more complicated and takes some learning, but you will see great results. If you have no clue what I am talking about, or if you have never used the Power Editor before, I highly suggest getting educated. A great course to learn how to do this is through Socialmouths. They have a great class, Likeable to Profitable that will explain everything step by step with videos. It can get complicated, which is why this is a great course.
The key to this is simply one thing. Test and measure. Track where your clients are coming from, where they spend their time, where they go first to look for the services you offer. What works for you will not necessarily work for someone else. Marketing is a constant state of test and measure, trying to see what works, and then sticking with that until it no longer works and then moving on to something else. If you have any questions, of course you can always just ask me!
So what works for you? What have you been trying lately that is helping you get more business? Post them in the comments!