To grow a Facebook audience from scratch without paying any advertising can be tricky. However, it can definitely be done! Once you’ve set up your Business page properly (see 5 Essential Tips to Start a Facebook Page from Scratch), the next step is to put a bit of effort into creating great content. Here are some simple tips to set you up for success and great organic growth:
The best way to grow your page without paying for advertising is to post relevant content that your audience will relate to, and to post it on a regular schedule.
You can post articles about your products, your services, the industry, seasonal topics, etc. Or you can post photos of your operation or a customer’s finished job. You can post helpful reminders or tricks. You can also post youtube videos relating to your product, services, or industry. Great content is more than just sharing articles from other sites. It’s a combination of community, personality, service, education, inspiration, and fun. People are on Facebook to be social. Ask yourself “Would I share this with my friends?” for the ultimate test of how interesting, relevant, or helpful your post is.
Use images as a staple in your content strategy. Captivating and relevant images are a great way to boost engagement and reach with your posts. For some more in-depth instruction on this point, see The Small Business Guide to Social Media.
Use subtle marketing.
Marketing is best received when the recipient feels like you’re trying to help them for free (like free tips and insights), but then you remind them you offer a service that can help them if they want it. For example, if you’re a firewood company and you post a video of a great technique for stacking wood, you can then put in the caption or comments something like: “If you don’t have time to do this yourself, we can help! Contact us today to see how easy it is to get firewood delivered to your door and stacked where you want it.”
One important thing to remember about Facebook: Facebook is meant to be a place where conversations happen in a casual tone.
So when you are writing posts, avoid making overt sales posts or promotional posts. (Don’t post: BIG SALE THIS WEEKEND!) It violates their rules and is just bad Facebook etiquette. Facebook won't show your promotional posts to your followers if they're obnoxious. Keep the tone casual and informative.
Be strategic about your posting times.
There are a lot of different opinions of the optimal time to post on Facebook. The truth is that it varies for each business. Facebook offers this incredibly helpful tool called Insights that will show you the optimal time to post. You can find the Insights tab up at the top next to the Notifications tab. You’ll have to experiment with posting at different times and on different days to find out when your posts seem to get the most engagement.
Always respond to user comments with at least a like if not a written response.
Nobody wants to post a comment on a Facebook page and get silence in return. Instead, they want to feel special and like they are being listened to. People want to connect with real people. When you reply to their comment or at least like it, you show that you are approachable and real. Once they know you are listening, they are much more likely to engage with your content in the future.
Finally, the most effective way to grow your page is via advertising.
Facebook advertising can be relatively inexpensive (when compared to print) and is a quick and easy way to reach the customers in a very targeted way. Best of all, you can use a small daily budget to test what works and can stop and start at any time.
The reality of a properly managed business Facebook page is that it requires consistency and planning. Facebook pages for a business can be very effective, but they are a lot of work. They require careful planning, creating original content (articles and graphics), and understanding and then acting upon the stats to continue to improve the page and engage with your audience. While some businesses are good at doing this themselves; others don’t want anything to do with it.
We’ve successfully managed and grown Facebook Business pages for many of our clients. If you’re one of those who don’t want anything to do with managing your Facebook Business page, contact us today to find out how we can help!