Author: Cynthia Chen
When choosing between multiple social media platforms to promote your business, why does Facebook stand out? According to Buffer’s State of Social Report, today 93.7% of businesses have a Facebook page set up. Compared to the second most used channel, Twitter, Facebook is still far ahead in terms of business adoption.
While some may consider Facebook to be a dying platform, it continued to maintain 2.32 billion active users in 2018 with an average daily view time of 35 minutes per user. According to Pew Research, 68% of Americans use Facebook, and 51% of them open the app more than once a day. That being said, the most significant advantage of promoting your business through Facebook would be its exceptional ability to reach a broad audience.
Facebook provides a system for marketers to reach a considerable audience that may not otherwise see your digital campaign. Now that you know your potential is of growth on Facebook is virtually limitless, let’s take a look at how to grow followers on the platform.
1. Set Logical Goals
You should not start a business without a plan, as is the same for your Facebook page. Whether your goal is to increase sales, brand awareness, grow strategically, etc., make sure that your plan is well thought out.
Although almost every business’s ultimate goal is to increase sales, we highly recommend you not set it as your only goal in this process. Over advertising is not going to cut it in 2019. Due to the overflowing social media platforms and content, audiences have started developing antipathy towards generic campaigns and are now looking for authenticity and originality. Most importantly, they are looking for a purpose-driven brand – brands with a story or mission that inspires individuals above transparently trying to just push a product.
A successful local bakery’s marketing director, Tarah Boyleston, explained, “No one wants to follow a brand that is only trying to sell them something. We share personal stories, family recipes, and behind the scenes imagery of our lives at the bakery”. Eventually, you’ll have to build a community around your brand in order to develop a stable relationship with your customers. So first you should focus on increasing awareness rather than getting into a dead-end with setting sales or traffic goals for every post. Secondly, make sure your message is clear and meaningful. After all, the objective of using social media is to interact with people online. You want to post content that can spring a conversation so you can gain visibility. Lastly, keep in mind that building a community takes time. We suggest you keep your brand value authentic and consistent. Keep your customers happy and be patient.
2. Know Your Target Audience
There is no way that you can efficiently market a product without knowing your target audience. First, you should understand the general demographics that use Facebook. If your target audience is not in line with these demographics, you should consider switching your focus to other platforms that may resonate better.
After making sure your target audience uses Facebook frequently, you should start to analyze your Facebook Page Insights or other data tracking apps and revise your marketing plan in accordance with these insights. Besides data tracking apps, you can also effectively gather insights from surveys, emails, interviews, conferences, etc.
3. Publish Engaging Content
You cannot possibly ignore the fact that video content has become one of the most popular types of content to attract views in 2019. Analyzing from a total of 777 Million Facebook posts, BuzzSumo found that video content had the highest engagement rate with audiences in 2018.
If you are wondering which type of content can bring the most impressions and engagement to your channel, data showed us that the most popular reactions on Facebook are LOVE and HAHA.
Apparently, the general audience prefers content that is either funny, heartwarming, inspiring or a mix of all the above. Despite what some sources may say, don’t be too stressed about hitting all your goals for every post. Remember that a person’s reaction towards a post is subjective. A post that receives many “HAHA”s could be considered sad to other people. After you have determined which posts are the most important to your brand, Facebook provides an option for you to pin it on top of your feed. This way your viewers will be greeted with the specific post when first visiting your page.
Another effective way to stimulate engagement with your audience is employee advocacy. From the data that SpoutSocial gathered, 72% of users experience more trust and connection with a brand when employees show their support.
Scheduling the right time to publish content can be daunting. Below is a Facebook engagement graph from SpoutSocial for you to take into consideration when posting content. Since the chart applies to Facebook’s general users, we strongly encourage you to look into your page’s insight to study your target audience’s most active times.
No matter what, you should continue to regularly research the current trends to beat the ever-changing digital media landscape. Don’t forget to look back to your own posting history to reflect on whether you are presenting what you really want the public to see.
4. Paid Ads Have Their Place, Too
In most of the cases, we strongly encourage you to reach your goals organically for a more stable relationship with your followers. However, if your brand has a time-sensitive deadline, a paid advertisement can be a shortcut. After all, Facebook and Google are currently the largest channels for online advertising. In the case of Facebook, marketers have struggled to gain organic engagement since their algorithm for users’ feeds has changed to mainly focus on personal related content. In return, the platform does reward paid campaigns heavily. A benefit of using the platform’s ads manager is that it allows you to track your performance in detail so you can make adjustments if needed. We do want to warn you that while paid advertisement may sound convenient, DMR’s study showed that out of more than 4 million paid Facebook campaigns, the average click-through rate was a mere 9%. The main reasons behind the low click-through rate are from its competitive nature and in need to advance targeting audiences and setting your correct objective.
5. Analyze The Data
The most efficient way to grow your Facebook audience is to reflect on and learn from your mistakes. Refusing to analyze your campaign is like throwing away the feedback you received on your highschool paper. It’s wasted insight. A successful campaign has to be repeatedly analyzed and adjusted. It is always useful to research successful content as well as your competitors’ to see their success and to compare to yours. After doing so, you will be able to pinpoint new strategies you can adopt.
Facebook’s constantly amended algorithms may make marketing difficult on the platform. Nevertheless, the channel maintains a huge potential to help you achieve your desired reach. To do this, you need to ensure that you are consistent in establishing a clear plan and making improvements from you and your competitors’ data. Moreover, don’t forget to add your company’s social media links in emails and send them to all of your professional contacts in order to further encourage impressions and awareness.
Did this article help you gain information that you don’t already know? Comment below to share your favorite tip for growing your following organically on Facebook!