How Can I Use Facebook to Market My Business Online for Free? Let Us Count The Ways
Just not getting the kind of results you’re looking for with your social posts? Facebook is pretty picky when it comes to what they will and will not feature in other people’s newsfeeds. You want your content to be seen by as many people as possible so it can bring you the most business, but how? Here are a few tips on how to use Facebook to promote your business for FREE.
Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of Facebook) wants to stop showing overly branded content and instead encourage more meaningful interactions. This means small business owners have to put more thought into their marketing. Why? Because posts that don’t make the cut will have less organic reach, your fans and followers will not see or benefit from your efforts. Your unseen posts will surely not bring you more business, thereby perhaps forcing you to buy expensive (and often ineffective) Facebook ads and boosts. Here’s how to hack the system.
- Don’t spam
- Avoid clickbait
- Don’t force likes and shares
- Post content people will want to share
- Video posts do best
- Use more Facebook live
- FB live trumps all other videos
- Regular videos trump links and banner posts
- Upload videos directly to Facebook
- Educate, inspire and entertain
- Post organic, trustworthy content
- Teach people something new and exciting
- Post cute/fun/funny/spoof videos
- Post this that spark buzz and conversation
- Know your audience
- Start a Facebook group. Those posts do very well
- Create shareable and likeable content
- Make posts that exude personality
To get more details, read the full article below.
As a small business owner, you have so much on your plate to begin with, so Facebook changing their algorithms is not another problem you need to have. Managing social media accounts and expecting a return of investment (ROI) can be draining alongside filing taxes, cash flow, time management, technology and general marketing. Thankfully, Mappdom International has a crash course on how small business owners can master Facebook’s changing algorithm and actually see money come in from it!
What is an algorithm?
First things first, an algorithm is a formula or procedure that a computer uses to solve a problem. It’s a sequence of familiarity to achieve something. We use algorithms in our daily lives like making a grilled cheese sandwich. Just like how we follow steps to attain something, computers do the same thing, if there isn’t a specific order resulting in an outcome then you won’t receive the results you want. It’s like saying you’re going to save $10,000 in six months but you don’t budget around your savings. For Facebook’s new algorithm, it will not show your page’s content on other people’s news feed unless you follow their new rules – an order of how Facebook’s computer understands what should be viewed by the masses.
Facebook’s new algorithm is important for your small business and returns on investment because it controls the ordering and presentation of posts. It views each user as a case study and determines whether or not based on previous engagement if they will engage with the post you produce. For example, if you’re a natural makeup company, Facebook won’t show your post to a fifty-year-old man who’s a die-hard football fan who only watches sports news and shares game replays on his timeline.
Changes in 2018
Mark Zuckerberg announced for 2018 “One of our big focuses for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. ….Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well being and happiness”.
He wants to stop overly branded content and start meaningful interactions. This also means small business owners have to put more thought into marketing because organic reach will make you visible over boosting posts. The good news is that Facebook has a major return on investment rate for small businesses since it has a huge user base. Don’t worry because it just means you’ll have to be more strategic about the content you post.
Your return on investment with Facebook’s new algorithm is based on likes and page activity. To understand the severity of posting strategic content, did you know that you can get 1000 likes on your page and only 10% of your followers will see your content? Annoying right? The more people interact with your content the better ranking Facebook will give your small business’s page. Facebook is a business tool and the longer users are on their site, the more income they will receive. They recognized through their user’s algorithms that they don’t like being bombarded by brands selling something just like when you’re walking through a mall. Rather their users want to use Facebook for what it’s originally created for, sharing memories, having discussions and laughing with the ones you love.
The Best Advice for Facebook Marketing for Your Small Business
The best advice we can give for your small business using Facebook’s new algorithm for a return on investment is to know your target audience before making a content strategy. As mentioned before Facebook will make your page visible to the masses if you make content that connects like-minded people. Small business owners and entrepreneurs usually create a company to solve a problem whether their audience knows it or not. Think about Apple, who knew they needed an iPod when we had radio and walkmans? They introduced a whole new method of enjoying music on the go. They had to market their business not sell it to implement it into the daily lives of their consumers. The same thing goes for your business! What problem does your company solve? If you’re a barber your angle could be having a shop that’s daddy friendly, a place for dads to bring their young sons and daughters knowing they will be taken care of and still have the experience of having a men’s locker room banter. Not only would you be selling haircuts but also a kid-friendly experience for the children and a man-friendly experience for the fathers who want to discuss cars, sports, and business while bringing their kids along for the experience.
Remember never make content for your brand, make it for your customers, you aren’t marketing to yourself. Here are some tips:
- Understand your audience intimately, how old are they?
- What’s their income?
- What’s their family situation?
- What do they like to do during their downtime?
- What challenges and motivates them?
- Why do they wake up in the morning?
- What kind of career do they have?
- Who do they love to interact with? What do they care about?
- What’s a problem they have that your product or service can solve?
- Where do they live?
Facebook gives you the option to set preferences and restrictions depending on what your audience needs. The more you narrow down your audience the easier they are to reach because you’ll be making content for them to a “t”.
The Type of Content that Gives Your Small Business High Ranking on Facebook
Now that you know your target audience intimately, we’ll share what type of content and reactions you need to become visible.
You need to have video content, Facebook’s algorithms favour videos over pictures and text. It drives more engagement than any other content. Live video is a relatively new feature on Facebook that allows you to record what’s happening in real-time, almost like Skyping or Facetiming with all your followers at once, however, the videos last for 24 hours. The great thing about Facebook Live is that it notifies your friends and followers whenever you start a video. Another way to integrate video is by using Boomerang and Animoto. Whenever you complete a video always end with a conversation starter like, what’s the funniest story you had taking your kids to the barber?
Everyday People as Brand Advocates
Get employees and members to share their content on their personal pages, messenger and groups they’re in. Content that’s referenced by family and friends rather than brands is 16 times more likely to be read. They should comment on their reactions to the content as well. Telling your friends and family about a brand because you’re genuinely excited about the results is more effective than a sales rep calling your phone.
Don’t Use External Sources
Don’t use external links, just use the resources Facebook has provided for you. Instead of uploading a PDF link or Youtube video, upload the PDF as an image and upload the video to Facebook. If you need customer feedback don’t upload a document, use Facebook’s poll feature. Visual content gives you 87% more engagement even if it’s a GIF or infographic or eye-popping image. And don’t forget to use hashtags! The fewer links the better.
Make Each Post Unique, Like Your Brand
As always, it’s best to post every day. You can post the same thing but use different captions and include different discussions around it. Like if you’re promoting an event, you can put up the poster multiple times but include different conversation starters about it. You can turn a quote from an article into a quote using Canva or Adobe Spark. With Facebook’s new algorithm you’ll definitely need to customize a social media calendar to stay on top of things. Also, stay in the know of what’s trending on Facebook and hop on the bandwagon if it makes sense for your business.
Create a Facebook Group
Create a Facebook group that’s exclusive to your followers and prompt secret discussions, share resources and/or shared experiences. Sometimes creating a closed Facebook group is more effective than making a page depending on your brand.
Get a Conversation Started
Facebook doesn’t support clickbait which is telling your users to make an action like saying yes or no if you like music. You can’t outright ask for engagement or the algorithms will pick it up and denounce your page. It’s considered spam. You can create controversial content but nothing heavily political because that turns away people from your brand and they’re less likely to engage negatively affecting your return on investment.
Facebook ads are positive for return on investment with 93% of marketers using this tactic. Facebook ads give you a lot of freedom, more than any other platform. Creating a video ad is key and so are carousel ads.
Fill Out Business Information
The more fields you fill out on your business page the better so Facebook and potential clients know who you are and what you do.
What You Need to See For ROI
You need to see people engaging with your content by commenting, sharing, reactions (love, like, sad, haha, angry), comment replies, sharing links over messenger with a group of friends, sending articles personally to friends and family and comments on Facebook live. These are the results of meaningful content that Facebook’s algorithms can recognize as trustworthy content.
At the end of the day, Facebook’s algorithm only works for your small businesses if you prove that you’re creating inspirational, educational and/or entertaining content that will get a conversation started. They don’t want their users to feel harassed by ads or clickbait anymore. If it’s not content that they can share with the ones they love, Facebook will not support your page. Once you gain your target audience’s trust, it’s going to be hard for them to resist your products or services. Just like you, busy entrepreneur, you can’t do it all and neither can your audience. Once you understand their needs then they will buy.
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