You don’t need us to tell you that Facebook is an incredibly important tool in today’s world of content marketing strategy. Along with Twitter – and, increasingly, Instagram – it’s the linchpin of your social media activity.
But once you’ve defined your target market and established your brand tone of voice, how can you increase your reach and grow your like-count to impressive levels?
Unless you’re willing to go out of your way to buy Facebook ads – and that’s not necessarily the best idea for your business – increasing the likes for your page can be a dark and mystifying task, clouded by ever-changing Facebook algorithms and the whims of the online audience.
But whatever happens with the code, increasing your presence on Facebook really boils down to getting people to share, comment and click on your posts.
Here are some simple rules that you can follow if you want this to happen. If you’re careful with your content then you’ll see your total likes rise. Or, at the very least, they won’t plummet as people go searching for the ‘unfollow’ button.
1. Don’t over-post
Facebook demands a delicate balance. Post too little and you won’t get your message out. Post too much and people will soon get fed up with seeing your content. Think about how many times you’ve unfollowed a brand in the past because you were fed up of seeing it clogging up your News Feed.
There’s no limit to how much you can post on Facebook. But if your barrage of posts fails to be seen because you’ve annoyed your audience into unfollowing you, it’s a lot of wasted effort. And if they’re feeling spammed, they won’t click, share or comment either.
So, instead of hammering away at the Post button, follow these simple rules:
- If you don’t have anything good to post, don’t post
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Monitor, measure and plan – find out when your audience is online using Facebook Insights and create a post schedule around peak times
- Don’t post sporadically – regularity is important, otherwise you risk coming across as disorganised and unprofessional
2. Don’t just sell, sell, sell
If you’re Jack Lemmon and you’re in the real estate biz, then ‘always be closing’ is probably good advice. Social media is something of a different animal.
Facebook does indeed present you with an opportunity to directly interact with your customers, but you don’t need to hammer home a sales-focused message post after post.
People use Facebook to be entertained, inspired, challenged and excited. If they feel they’re only being sold to when they’re actually there looking for positive experiences, then they’re not going to engage with your brand.
Of course, ultimately you are selling a product, and that has to occasionally make an appearance in your posts. The trick is to gently interweave this market-focused content into updates with a friendlier touch.
Post content that is unique, humorous, easy to relate to or even controversial – it’ll get people talking and sharing. If you’re looking for comments, ask for your audience’s opinion.
Don’t force your product down your Facebook audience’s throat. Make your content about your fans first and foremost, not about yourself. They’ll then be much more amenable to seeing your sales messages on their newsfeed.
3. Link to the content of others
While you wouldn’t want to link to posts from a direct competitor, don’t enforce a blanket ban on sharing of content by any and all other companies.
As ever, content is king, and while you definitely want to focus on new and fresh content developed in-house, other companies are sharing fun stuff too – and as we’ve discussed, that’s what people are on Facebook to see.
If another site posts something that you think your audience will enjoy, then hit the share button. As long as it’s in line with the overall brand identity, it will only help draw more people towards your Facebook page in the long run.
4. Identify what content works, and run with it
Facebook Insights can be a very useful tool when it comes to working out what is and isn’t working. And – as is the case with most Facebook pages – you’ll likely have already identified images and videos as the most popular of your posts.
People love visual content, and they don’t tend to be on Facebook for long reads, so it’s always a good idea to find ways to condense your social media messaging into simple images. Chunks of texts can be ignored, but an image glanced while someone waits for the bus can have them hitting the share button.
Of course, if this isn’t the case for your brand and you find images and video get the least amount of likes, shares and comments, then it’s not a strategy you should take. For the most part, however, you’ll find that the more digestible you make your content, the more people will return to it for more of the same.
5. Think like a Facebook user
Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s writing a single post or planning a schedule for the coming weeks, ask yourself if the content is something you’d be happy to see turn up on the News Feed of your personal Facebook page. If it isn’t, don’t move ahead. This is really the most important thing to bear in mind when overseeing your brand’s Facebook page.
Ultimately, despite the ads that appear on it, Facebook isn’t a billboard. We all use it as a quick, fleeting time-waster, quickly scrolling through when we’re bored or find a spare minute. Your content must fit into this context, whatever it may be.
Bonus tip: You can have this extra Facebook wisdom for free: give something away. Nothing is guaranteed to bring more engagement and interest to your Facebook page than offers of something valuable. Whether it’s vouchers, money-off coupons, competitions or just a simple giveaway, this is one sure-fire way to get people interacting with your brand.