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September 14, 2016

Building Your Facebook Audience

Since the inception of Facebook in 2004, the number of users has grown to 1.71 billion people as of the end of June 2016. The proliferation of users has no doubt caused a problem in the size of each user’s news feed. If you have 2000 friends on Facebook, there is no conceivable way to read every single post and comment by your friends. Because of this, Facebook developed a system that helps users see what they are likely to be most interested in and the things they are least likely to be interested in are filtered out. That may not be fair but that’s just the way it is.

There really isn’t enough time in the day to read every single post, comment and like that one of your Facebook friends posts. Truthfully, do you really even care about that person you sat on the plane with back in 2013 and decided to befriend? The good news is, their posts are not likely to show up in your feed if you have had no further communication with them on Facebook since that time.

This is one reason that you should check your Facebook page at least once daily and like or comment on things you find enjoyable. It allows Facebook to learn more about you, who your friends are and what you might like seeing.

If you use Facebook to connect with clients or potential clients, this concept of social media engagement filtering could be bad for you. That is, unless you learn how to beat the system. Estimates show that less than ten percent of your friends will see anything you post. That means, 200 friends might have your post appear in their newsfeed and likely only half of them will actually read your post. With 2000 friends, your message is likely to be seen by a mere 100 friends.

Here are some tips to help you beat the social engagement system and increase your Facebook audience size.

Make It Interesting

When your friends open a photo, post a comment, share or like your post, Facebook counts this as something you posted that must be interesting to your network. Therefore, you need to post things that will make potential clients take an action. Whether it is clicking a link to your website in your post or opening a photo or video, it must engage the user to take an action. Liking and sharing also count as engaged.

Avoid Text

While you may want to share your story, your products, your sales and promotions, with words, statistics show we are a visual society. We love photos of puppies. We love videos that are exciting to watch. We love graphical statistics. Even a survey is better than just pure text. Make your posts pop with color and graphics.

Pass It On

Remember that every like and every share is considered an engaged post. Ask people to like or share your post right in the body of your text. If you offer them something for doing it such as a discount or freebie they are bound to do it. Don’t worry about making them prove they actually shared it on their own Facebook page. That isn’t the spirit. If you get your haircut at Sport Clips (a national chain) they give you $2 off just for checking in on Facebook. This is a simple example of getting your clients to help build your audience.

Boosting A Post

Everyone loves the fact that Facebook is free. But, if you really want to reach your audience you will have to pay. It’s still so much cheaper than conventional ads on radio, television and billboards. For $20 you can have your post “boosted” and show up in the feeds of people you select by demographics. If you get them hooked on a boosted post you are likely to get them to look for your posts in the future. Remember, make it interesting.

Summary: Don’t get discouraged by Facebook’s social engagement system. It can be beat. You must use it as a tool to get more likes, more shares and more engagement. Just keep it interesting enough to make people want to interact with your posts.

 

 

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