It seems simple enough. Using social media, you can immediately reach your customers and potential customers through sharing an article, posting a status update, or by expressing an opinion in 140 characters. In a perfect world, social media would allow you to directly connect with your most valuable supporters. And at its essence, social media does achieve this. However, with the continued monumental growth of social media platforms, it is virtually impossible for users to see every single update that comes their way. There are simply too many. Facebook especially is known for constantly adjusting its algorithm, working hard to show users the content their online behaviours suggest they most want to see. Facebook states that their focus is on creating the best user experience. With this in mind, and knowing that the algorithms are becoming increasingly more complex, how can you continue to build Facebook engagement for your business? How do you ensure you get seen by the people who matter?
Here are 5 strategies that can help you get (and stay) connected with your target audience on Facebook.
1. Posting content that isn’t “selling” the majority of the time.
As a business, your ultimate goal is to successfully market and sell your products and/or services. However, social media is not necessarily the ideal medium for doing this. Instead, social media is best used for building brand recognition and trust. A variety of posts which offer valuable, useful content, solve a problem, or serve to entertain users have a much greater impact than pure sales pitches. Users who engage with these beneficial posts and updates are far more likely to visit your website, where they will ideally become paying customers. But the key is to keep at it: “In most cases, social media efforts lead to long term wins” say the pros at Yoast. So don’t focus on selling in your posts themselves, but have a longer-term endgame that gets people connecting with your business.
2. Find the posting times that work for your business.
There are countless articles out there (with firm data to back them up) that declare specific times are “the best” for posting on social media. The truth is, while such information can serve as a guide, ultimately, the efficacy of your post timing depends on your individual business. Take into consideration your time zone, key demographic, and even the type of post you’re sharing, and track what works and what doesn’t. Through trial and error, you’ll determine what times are tops for you to receive maximum audience engagement.
3. Engage in Facebook groups, or create your own.
It is probably not enough to post solely on your business Facebook page. Especially when it comes to small businesses, a key factor to growth is building authentic connections. You might be surprised what a difference it makes when you join Facebook groups relevant to your industry. Many potential customers and other professionals are using these groups, and you can reach them with personal interaction, participating in discussions, offering advice, and more. This strategy will take time, but it lets people get to know you on a personal level, further building trust and confidence in your business. You could also utilise this tactic and create your own Facebook group, inviting your most engaged fans to become a part of it.
4. Try organic targeting.
You probably know that you can target paid Facebook ads. But did you know that you can target regular posts as well? Organic targeting can be turned on via the Settings section of your Facebook page. This feature allows you to control who sees your post based on interests, demographics, and more, enabling you to target content more specifically to reach those who are most likely to be interested in it. This might mean your overall reach is reduced, but those who do see your post will be far more likely to engage, which is key when it comes to boosting sales.
5. Have fun and be visual.
Finally, keep your Facebook page dynamic and interesting. Don’t depend solely on one type of post or status to draw continued engagement; shake things up and offer fresh and fun content on a regular basis. Most importantly, think visual. Studies show that photos and videos tend to perform far better on Facebook, so consider incorporating these the next time you schedule a post to your page.