Hands up if your Facebook page feels like a ghost-town? You know what I mean, right? You ask a question or post a photo and you get…..nothing. It’s like your fans don’t exist. And then you wonder why you even bother (and usually start muttering about stupid Facebook under your breath).
The trouble is it’s a vicious circle. Facebook will show your page to more of your fans if you get lots of engagement (likes, shares, comments) on your posts. But you can’t get lots of engagement on your posts if nobody is seeing them in the first place, right? It’s chicken and egg.
So how do you break this fiendish Facebook cycle and finally get seen?
Well, that can vary from week to week. We all know how unpredictable and fickle Facebook is – something that worked brilliantly last week falls flat as a pancake this week. However, the good news is that there are a few things that stand more of a chance of working, no matter how tricky Facebook is acting.
I want to share 3 things you can do to give yourself and your Facebook posts the BEST chance of being seen by the people who love your business, and without having to pay for ads.
Share Stuff From Big Pages
This might sound a bit odd – you’re trying to get people to see your page so why share other people’s content? Well, there are a few reasons.
Firstly, big pages usually get big because their content works well. They have tried and tested lots of posts and they only use what works, so you’re using proven good content.
Secondly, Facebook seems to give more visibility to a post from a bigger page so when you share it on YOUR page, you kind of borrow some of their popularity. I’ve tried this lots of times and so have my clients and it does seem to work – posts shared from big pages get more reach and get seen by more people.
Why This Works
This works in your favour two ways – it means that you start to get people over to your page because you appear in their timeline due to the ‘big page popularity’ factor and there’s a good chance they’ll stick around and look at your other stuff while they are there. Also, because more people are seeing your ‘shared from a big page’ post, the Facebook pixies think ‘aha! This page is interesting to people, we’d better push it up the queue and show it to more people because it’s popular’. Bizarre, but true.
Won’t It Devalue My Own Content?
If you’re worried that you’re somehow devaluing your own content by sharing someone else’s then don’t. Your page fans want to see content that’s interesting to them. In the nicest possible way, they don’t care about who wrote it – they just want to read good content and they will appreciate you sharing it.
It’s not something you’d do for every post, but one out of five is a good option. If you’re posting once per weekday, then make one day a ‘big page share’ day. The filter needs to be if you find it interesting and useful, your fans probably will too.
Share What Goes On Behind The Scenes
But why do people want to see my mess? I hear you ask. Ha! We DO! Not necessarily your mess but definitely stuff you’re working on, or planning or some ‘before and afters’.
I was teaching 160 florists recently about social media and I explained that we want to see what they are working on. They were gobsmacked. They couldn’t understand why anyone would want to them them in their scruffs working on wedding flowers, or something half finished or even a photo of their flower delivery from the wholesalers. ‘Why on earth would anyone want to see THAT?” they asked. The answer is ‘because we don’t know what goes on and we are nosy’.
What ‘Behind The Scenes’ Stuff Should I Share?
I shared a ton of tips and ideas with them of ‘behind the scenes’ things they could share and I could see the penny dropping and light-bulb moments happening all over the place. Just because THEY work with flowers and see this stuff every single day doesn’t mean WE do. For people like me who love flowers, I LOVE to see rooms full of gorgeous blooms. I love to see artists at work. I would love someone to make a little video and talk me through each sort of flower because I don’t know what most of them are called.
Whether you’re a florist or an artist, a crafter, HR consultant or beauty therapist, there are ‘behind the scenes’ photos and videos we’d love to see and the best thing is, you don’t need to do anything special to prepare for this. If you’ve just scoped out a class you’re going to teach, or you’re setting out the materials or doing a sound check, get some photos. If you’re sorting fabrics or threads, or you’re preparing ingredients or equipment, take some photos. If you’re working on a spreadsheet, take a photo of your computer with your cuppa.
You Have The Curse Of Knowledge
I know it doesn’t sound interesting to YOU but you work with this every day. You have what I call ‘THE CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE’. You’ve forgotten what it’s like NOT to know this stuff but WE don’t know. And we are interested. And it shows you’re human. We like that.
Get Over Yourself And Use Video
Those ‘behind the scenes’ things we just talked about? You can do them on video as well as in pictures. Facebook LOVES video, it gives it preference over text or image posts most of the time and the more views your video gets, the more people it will show your video to and the more your page will get seen.
Facebook makes it super easy to use video, especially as it’s just introduced live streaming too. Live streaming is like doing a live broadcast from your phone or tablet (it’s not available on computers yet). You’ll see a little head with circles radiating out from it when you look at your Facebook app option for a post – that’s Facebook LIVE. If you’ve heard of Periscope it’s the same thing, but for Facebook.
If the thought of live broadcasting brings you out in hives, just record some short videos on your phone and upload them to Facebook. It’s better to upload them direct to Facebook rather than sharing a YouTube video because Facebook gives preference to videos hosted on its system (in other words, they will show it to more people).
What Videos Could You Record?
Exactly what we just talked about. Behind the scenes things are a great option but here is a blog I wrote with a few more ideas for you.
The main thing to remember is that your fans will watch the videos because they want to learn. It doesn’t matter if you think your voice sounds funny or you are having a bad hair day – you don’t have to be on camera. You can buy a little phone tripod for hardly any money and just set it away recording as you demonstrate something or answer a question.
What You Need To Remember
It’s unlikely any of these will create an immediate huge buzz on your Facebook page but they will definitely help and if you are consistent, and post regularly then within a few weeks you should start to see more people interacting on your page.
If that still doesn’t work then it may be you have the wrong fans. By that I mean you’ve been attracting the wrong likes – your fans aren’t interested in what you do and therefore don’t want to engage. If you think this might be the case (and it happens quite a lot) then it’s time to revisit your Super Customer. Here’s a blog that will help you get clear on who you REALLY WANT on your Facebook page.
Is It Working For You?
If you’ve got any more tips that work even when Facebook is being temperamental, I’d love to hear them – pop them in the comments below. And if you use any of these 3 tips above and they work for you, I’d LOVE to hear about that too!
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Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.