It’s no secret that the Facebook algorithm–more and more designed to ensure that companies don’t get to advertise for free on the platform–has hit small businesses and pages hard.
The problem is, for small businesses, budget for Boosts and paid ads is likely non-existent (which is likely why you turned to Social Media as a way to communicate in the first place). And after playing with numerous “grass roots” workarounds it’s easy to feel like your page has turned from an effective tool to a nuisance.
But go revisit that page, Small Business Owner, and rebuild it. Here are 5 great tips to “beat the system.”
You’ve already figured out that your page posts will not reach every single person who “Likes” you. By employing tags, you garner new views from people who have probably never heard of you (yet), or have heard of you, but aren’t one of the lucky ones who organically receive your posts.
Tags can involve people, places, and things already available on Facebook, and depending on a user’s privacy settings, go right to the tagged user’s page. It’s like the stationary version of one of those dancing flipboard guys!
We love professional photographers. We really do. But nothing drives a page like Kaitlin–who happens to work for you–and her 40 photos she took with her iPhone of your event, product or service.
People LOVE to see pictures of themselves featured on a Social Media page. And when they see those pop up after attending your event, or interacting with your product, or happily smiling after a completed service, others see them too, which gives your page more views.
Separate albums for separate dates or events are an easy way to direct people to your page. Ask customers to tag themselves or tag their friends to create a fun sense of community.
If there’s any way you can take video of what your page represents, you should definitely do so. Video is the best way to showcase what your brand allows to people who have never experienced what you have to offer.
Pro tip: when it comes to video, the shorter the length, the better. Anything video recorded should be between 6 seconds and a minute. Anything over a minute has the tendency to be overlooked (and yes, you can see if your visitors actually watched to the end of your video, as shown in the stats pictured below).
Before you let out the obligatory groan, hashtags are actually being integrated into Facebook more and more. The problem with hashtags is that they are not always used properly (and that’s probably why you gave that obligatory groan).
Make sure your hashtags are short and relevant to your post. #thisisnotanappropriatehashtag. Example: Search the hashtag #nintendo. Any search done on the internet or internally about Nintendo will automatically be grouped into the search results, giving your page’s post more of a chance to get a “hit” (view). The more clever you are with the grouping of your hashtags, the better.
Before the Internet, there were TV Commercials and newspaper spreads, and then those spread via word of mouth or became a part of the collective pop culture conscious (Cha-Ching, anyone?).
However, people are now entrusting the Internet (and sometimes solely the Internet) to carry their brand message for them. This is where it’s imperative to have a “Gang of Maniacs” (loose term) to be core supporters of your brand online, especially if you’re trying to build a presence on Facebook.
Start with your friends and family, especially if they fit your core demographic and support your mission. Then identify fans that are vocal online supporters. Reach out to a group of 5-10 and specifically ask them, individually, to support and share your Page and its content.
Many times you won’t even need to ask, but you’d be surprised by just how much this “Gang of Maniacs” wants to help and support you and your efforts online. And each time they Like and Share, they create more exposure for your Page, thereby short-circuiting that pesky algorithm.
No matter which tactics you employ in your overall Facebook marketing, make sure to monitor your analytics and adjust accordingly. Also remember that consistency is absolutely key on the platform, so no matter how you approach content, pick a frequency and stick to it.