If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or even a larger corporate you probably understand the importance of having a strong digital presence in order to make business. But what social network should you choose? Where should you focus with your presence? And above all where are you more likely to find your target customers? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. I went through this process myself as I am setting up my own business, a small consulting firm with the aim to help enterprises to become more innovative, but also with the ambition to support these enterprises in growing their business. I have had my landing page for a while now, and I have also started to regularly produce content on LinkedIn. In order to keep the updates regular I also developed a content curation strategy, but I will talk more about that in an upcoming article. Content curation helps me to select, comment and reformat 3rd party content that I find interesting and relevant for my business and for my clients. The current approach works fairly well, and the growth of followers on LinkedIn starts to become organic and I am happy with that development, but I also realize that I might have to boost my visibility a bit more. This is when I decided to start digging into Facebook and setting up a Facebook page. I will share here some of these learnings.
Setting up a Facebook page is pretty easy, but the question is then how do you make sure that you get that visibility that you are looking for. Of course beside the basic information about the site, logo, banner picture and the contact us button to create the page, you need to start producing content that is fresh, relevant, engaging and nicely rendered. Having gone through a few courses on the insides of Facebook, covering in particular the Edgerank algorithm, I have now a rough idea on how Facebook works. In simple words Facebook limits what your followers see based on the freshness of the content, its quality and the response its gets from your audience. Simplified, but probably close to reality. But the key thing to understand is that whatever you do, whatever the quality of your posts, Facebook will always filter and throttle in such ways, that you will only reach a fraction of your followers. There is no point in going into the details of these numbers, but what you need to know is that if your are a star at content it will reach less than 20% of your followers, and if you are poor at this, then it will go far below 5%. One of the first strategies people are then inclined to follow is how do you grow your followers base? You will probably start by inviting your friends, right? But what then?
Promoting your website
Once you have setup your page, Facebook will offer you a to promote your page or to promote the contact us button. I am not sure how the pricing on this works, but what I realized is that this is a damn expensive way of acquiring customers. Of course the result will depend a bit on your targeting, but the question you need to ask yourself, is why would people push that like button? Most likely because they have heard from you before, maybe because they like your logo or have seen content from you before. But when you are a new business, how likely is it that people will like your page? I would assume that facebook doesn’t really give a damn, but I believe the numbers on conversions are likely to be low, very low. From Facebook’s point of this doesn’t matter, they are getting your company in front of the right audience and that has a certain price…
Promoting content is different, because promoting content is about sharing emotions, news, insights, learnings, knowledge that Facebook is more keen to distribute on its network. This is probably why promoting content is done at a fraction of the cost of promoting your page. This is why you really, really need to focus on content and content only. Create great content that people will like. I am sure there are plenty of tips on how to do that, but focus on something that quickly gets a reaction, you want to trigger some kind of emotion. And don’t forget what people see is a feed of posts, so the time you have to capture somebody’s initial attention is a fraction of a second, so focus on images, get people to react and only a minimum of text.
Invite people to Like your page… once they liked an article
You might be wondering why you should focus on content at this stage because nobody will see it, right? You have only a handful of followers at this point. This is where it becomes interesting, because every person that likes your content can also be invited to like your page. You just have to check who likes your content and invite them one by one. So now you can promote the content once you find it of good enough quality. If the content is good people will like it, and if they like it you can invite them to like your page as well. Here also pictures that emit good vibes are likely to give an overall good impression of your company as well, and people are then more likely to push that like button. So this is a great mechanism to get page likes at a much lower cost, but you need to be aware that Facebook has a throttling algorithm is place (the functioning of which is not really disclosed), so if not enough people respond to your page like invite request, then Facebook will stop you from sending more invites. This throttling stay actives for a few days and you get a second chance to invite more people.
Don’t forget to target your promoted content
One thing you have to watch out for as well is the targeting of your content. For many businesses just targeting on gender, age and location might not be good enough. And be careful also not to focus too much on low prices, you might end-up having people from click-banks giving you useless likes. Useless, because these people are also less likely to like your page even if they like the content. I discovered this when pushing a post to an audience primarily based in India and not that well targeted, I used the entrepreneur word as a segment. I got 5000 likes on my article, but less than 3% converted to page likes. I would recommend you create your own audience and select from the interest section the pages of references for your community or even competitor pages, that way you have better chances of reaching your target audience.
Always promote content never promote a page
To convince you that this is real I also want to share some of the results of my own experiments reflected in the graph on the left. I boosted the image you have seen above in this article and 13% of the people that have seen it liked it. It got 1650 Likes and it generated 573 page likes for a cost of 10-15USD. Which means that nearly 35% of people liking the content also liked the page. If I compare this to my page promotion, that one costed me 150 USD and generated only about 60 pages likes, so a cost of 2.5 USD per page like compared to a 2,5 cent per like when I promoted content. So in my case to acquire the same amount of pages likes, it was 100 times more expensive to promote the page than to use this hack. Try this out yourself and let me know what you think. If you want help with growing your business or with your digital strategy, contact me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org. I am looking forward to hear your own thoughts on this, and I hope you can share some of your own experiments as well.