Managing the Facebook page for your business has changed drastically in recent years. The layout and language has changed, but so has the organic reach. That in itself has made it very difficult to use Facebook as an advertising vehicle without paying to promote posts and/or pages.
But that hasn’t stopped plenty of social media sites and blogs from convincing people they can command a large audience by solely being active.
If you have a Facebook page for your business or blog, it’s important to stay consistently active. However, getting the type of engagement you were accustomed to getting a few years ago is a thing of the past — unless you’re willing to make some concessions.
I read an article on Post Planner recently about how people can crush it on Facebook by sacrificing just five minutes a day throughout the course of a week. Sounds too good to be true, right? With that type of enticing title, I had no choice but to see what these tips were.
While they were all helpful and would create habits to make you a better page owner, none of them were groundbreaking pieces of advice:
Monday: schedule one post per day (i.e. staying consistent)
Tuesday – Friday: Reply to comments, posts, messages (any business owner in a customer-oriented business would do this)
Saturday: Check your insights (tracking your progress is a must to see what’s working and what’s not)
A lot of articles similar to this seemingly assume one thing — your Facebook page already has a high number of “Likes,” making it OK to only reach only 10 percent of fans. When a page has a “Like” count greater than five or six digits, this is true.
But not many small businesses or blogs have that kind of following on what’s considered the most effective site to execute a social marketing strategy.
How can pages increase followers enough to justify being active without consistently paying for Facebook advertising? Well, these articles suggest a paid advertisement urging a targeted audience to “Like” a particular page.
Sounds like a vicious cycle.
There are some blogs and businesses willing and able to shell out the money needed to boost their Facebook following. For every five of those, there are 20 that don’t and can’t. Either business is not at the point where owners can justify this type of expenditure, or there simply isn’t any room in the budget — no matter how badly they want to do it.
These “You can still be a rock star at Facebook without paying for advertising” articles are relevant because the tips do work, but it’ll be hard to see a tremendous difference if organic reach is under 100 people per post.
Some make it sound like extra work to get a page to where you’d like it to be isn’t needed, and that’s not true. Unless you pour thousands of dollars into Facebook advertisements, it’s going to take time and effort for your page to reach a level where using these tips and tricks will make a difference.
What are some budget-friendly ways to grow your Facebook audience right now? Well, I’ve already outlined nine different ways here, but I’d like to enhance a couple of them.
Knowing the right time(s) to post —
Similar to Twitter, the peak times for posting on Facebook varies. There are plenty of statistics saying what day(s) and time(s) get the most engagement, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone.
Be sure to check the “Insights” area of your Facebook page to see what types of posts get the most engagement, along with when it happens. When you figure out what works best, don’t think it’ll always stay like that. The world of social media constantly changes, so staying in tune with how your page performs is vital toward long-term success.
Include calls to action everywhere —
This is the most important thing you could do for your social following. Sending alerts to friends on Facebook, email lists or in tag lines of blog articles are great ways to give your Facebook page exposure while going about a normal day.
These sound simple, but they’re necessary. If you’re planning on building a Facebook following without paying a dime of advertisement money, every opportunity must be exhausted.
And finally, a bonus tip: reaching out to more popular pages and ask for a “Shout for Shout.”
What is this? A shout for shout (S4S) is when a fellow Facebook page links to yours in a post, urging its followers to “Like” the page, while you reciprocate. There’s value in venturing out of your industry’s niche, but it’s most effective to reach out to similar pages.
So, is utilizing Facebook without paying for advertising as easy as some articles make it seem? Absolutely not. But can it be that easy if your page gets to a certain point with hard work? You bet. It’s all about the journey to get there.
The article Managing Facebook Pages: Not as Easy as People Make it Sound first appeared on Matthew Musico, M.S.