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!
Let’s face it, Facebook is a tricky beast.
One week you get great reach and feel like you’ve cracked it, the next it’s like shouting into an empty cave and yet you’ve done nothing different. I get it. It happens to me too and because it happens to me, I’ve learned how to work around this unpredictability as best I can. I’ve come up with 5 ways to get people talking on my Facebook page and one or two of them usually work, no matter what Facebook’s algorithm is up to.
Are You Talking To The Right People?
There is another aspect of this, however, you need to be really clear on and that’s your audience. If you have the wrong audience, it doesn’t matter how many tips you put into practise, you are never going to get them engaged. Before you waste hours of your time and tons of energy trying to liven up your Facebook page, make sure you are talking to the right people. The trick to this is to make sure you’re attracting your Super Customers (here’s a podcast I recorded about it, and here’s another and HERE is a cheatsheet I made especially for you!).
Once you have the right people on your Facebook page, getting them talking becomes waaaaay easier.
So, assuming you’re fully up to speed with your Super Customer, let’s look at some ways to get people talking on your business Facebook page.
OK. Let’s Get Them Engaged
One thing I find works well for me is when I issue a challenge – say around money or accountability, marketing or ‘me’ time. When I issue a challenge it seems to touch a nerve and get people talking. I might say ‘OK, for the next 7 days I want you to get really clear on the money in your business. Every day I’ll post a little task for you to do and by the end of the 7 days you’ll know what your costs are, what your profit margin in, what the most profitable products in your business are, how to track them, etc’ and then I’ll schedule a daily post for the following 7 days. I will tell people to get notifications from my page and I show them how to do it so they don’t miss a post. Then I ask who’s joining me. It never fails to get my fans interested and engaged because it’s a mixure of accountability, peer support and they get real results at the end of it – and people love the competitive nature of it.
So, what challenges could you issue to YOUR fans? What would they enjoy? What would help them? What would be easier for them if they were held accountable and weren’t doing it alone? See what you can think of and test it out.
Something else you need to know- if it doesn’t work at first, don’t write it off, just try it again a few weeks later.
Sometimes I’ll make a little confession on my Facebook page – usually it’s because I’m going through mum guilt or I’ve not been looking after myself, something I know my fans will understand and resonate with.
I recently had a BAD MUM confession because my 7 year old daughter had to have teeth out and I felt dreadful, so I shared that I was feeling dreadful and why. Not only did it make me feel better, it also showed everyone else I’m just a normal mum like them and I got a huge outpouring of support with other mums sharing what had happened to them.
[Tweet “Ditch the ‘professional face’ and show people you’re human if you want to build relationships”]
Showing people that you are a real person and that you’re human like them can go a long way to getting them to know, like and trust you. It’s too easy to hide behind your business brand and be ‘professional’ but remember, people buy people and sometimes showing your fans that they are not alone can make a big difference. I’m not suggesting for one minute that you divulge your deepest, darkest secrets – I’m suggesting you show your human side and see what happens.
3. Make A ‘Rough ‘n’ Ready’ Video
There is nothing like hearing and seeing someone to help build relationships in business- it works far better and far quicker than a page full of words. And don’t wait until you’ve had your hair done and you look like a glamourpuss – just do it! With your hair as it is. With no makeup. Getting your hands dirty and without hours of practise. The best videos I’ve seen are people talking passionately about what they do, sharing fabulous information and not looking like they’ve been in make-up for hours, with perfect lighting and a cheesy soundtrack. The best videos come from the heart.
[Tweet “The best videos come from the heart – ditch your video fears and get one made today”]
Videos are BRILLIANT for engagement and reach on Facebook and lots of other social media platforms, so don’t let your perfectionism stop you becoming a video queen.
Get over your video nerves and stop worrying about what people will think – they just want to learn and if you can show them something they will love, they’ll keep coming back and they will tell their friends about you, too.
4. Ask For Suggestions
If you’re making a decision about what product to make next or you’re wondering whether to offer a particular service, put it out to your Facebook fans. There’s no better way to help them feel involved than asking them for their opinion.
Even better, why not get them to vote on something? I’ve seen this done really well with products and services, where you give several options and ask your fans which one they prefer. If your business lends itself to it, show them photos – make a montage on Canva and put a letter next to each option, to make it easy for them to vote.
If you have the right fans on your page, they will take a second to click and give you their vote – it’s a tiny thing but it gets them engaged and makes them feel that you’re listening AND you get valuable feedback. The times I’ve seen this done best are when craft businesses use it and show photos of the options and before very long, they have orders flooding in as a result.
[Tweet “Making people feel involved in your business is the best form of marketing!”]
5. Share Something Controversial
This one isn’t for the faint-hearted but if you want to get people talking on your Facebook page, share an opinion or ask a question that you know is controversial.
You will certainly get people talking and you might get a few heated words, depending on the topic, but it will also bring another benefit. You will get rid of the people who are not aligned with your views and you’ll turn some of your Facebook fans into loyal tribe members, who love what you stand for.
One of my lovely clients deals with baby sleep issues and her stance is not to let babies ‘cry it out’ and she talks about that on her page. This is a HUGELY emotive topic because every mum has strong opinions on the way they have raised their children so she gets some colourful arguments going on – some people storm off in a ‘virtual’ huff and others stick around, happy that they have found other people who think like they do. You have to be prepared to stand up for yourself (in a lovely but firm way) and know that you will never please everyone – and that’s a good thing. Business that try to please everyone end up as beige and vanilla – they don’t stand out, they blend in with all the other mediocre businesses out there. I’d love you to be Marmite instead (here’s a blog I wrote on this exact topic!).
[Tweet “Better to be Marmite and stand out than be a beige, vanilla also-ran…”]
What You Need To Do Now
So, if you’re struggling to get people talking on your Facebook page, here’s what you need to do.
First of all, make sure you’re attracting the right Facebook fans or you may as well not bother. Secondly pick one or two of these and give them a try – if they don’t work, try mixing them up and give another idea a try. And don’t assume just because something doesn’t work once, it won’t again – it totally might. Facebook is so unpredicatable that you just need to keep trying different things regularly and see which work for you at any given time.
Have you tried any of these? How did they go for you? And which one out of these 5 do you think might work best for you now?
Leave a comment and we’ll see what types of results we’re getting! Good luck!