Ever wonder why you see every status update from one friend and you never see anything from another? Facebook’s algorithm puts a heavy emphasis on engagement – that means sharing, liking and commenting on posts. The more you interact with posts from a certain friend, the more posts you see from that friend. For example, if you never engage with articles posted about politics, eventually you will see less posts from your friends who post about politics.
Facebook applies this algorithm to business pages as well. This makes it harder and harder for businesses, especially small, local companies, to reach new fans without paying for Facebook ads.
The Problem with Facebook Ads for Local Businesses
Facebook ads work for a very small percentage of businesses out there. Even though you can set your own target audience, Facebook charges you either each time your ad is clicked (CPC) or each time your ad is shown (CPM). So Facebook’s priority is to show your ads to as many people as possible to get clicks. But if you’re a local business, you don’t need to get in front of everyone. You need to get in front of the right people and engage them.
Throwing even $20 into Facebook without a goal and a strategy is a waste of your money. If you’re not ready to develop a paid Facebook advertising strategy and budget yet, here are 5 ways you can get results from Facebook without paying for ads.
1. Entertain, Intrigue or Enlighten
Think about the posts you engage with on your personal Facebook account. It’s usually funny, cool, or informative, right? Post content that makes your audience laugh, shows them something new and different, or gives them valuable information.
2. Get the Timing Right
The trick to getting people’s attention on social media is catching them during their down time. For Facebook, this is generally from 1-4 p.m. on weekdays as the work day is winding down. However, the right timing is different for every industry, so try testing a few posting times to see what works best for your business.
3. Offer Contests or Specials that Encourage Sharing
Sharing is the best way to increase your organic reach. Your Facebook post has the potential to show up in the news feed of every friend of every person who shares it.
4. Capitalize on “Trending” Topics
Facebook organizes posts under popular topics and hashtags. Post your company’s take on trending topics, especially issues relevant to your community, for added Facebook exposure.
5. Ask Your Fans to Enable Page Notifications
This genius tip comes from Stephanie Frasco at convertwithcontent.com. To get notifications from a business page, Stephanie says, “Hover over the “Like” image and click notifications. Once you do that, every time that page is updated, you will get an instant notification. There’s nothing wrong with asking your fans to do the same for your page.” She’s right! Your fans will be notified every time you post something new, making them more aware of your posts and more likely to engage with them.
This isn’t a full-fledged social media strategy, but it’s enough to get you started. When you’re ready to take the next step to market your business on Facebook, Catapult Creative Media can show you how.
Anne LaPlante is a copywriter at Catapult Creative Media. A graduate of LSU with a degree in advertising, she spends most of her free time posting pictures of her dogs and cats to Instagram.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.