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The quickest ways to grow your Facebook page

The quickest ways to grow your Facebook page

Let’s face it: everyone is busy these days. In the marketing world in particular, there are many things that we ‘should’ be doing but there just aren’t enough hours in the day to make them happen.

So surely in the fast moving world of social media (where viral hits can travel the world and back in a day) there must be some way for the time poor to instantly boost their Facebook following?

Well yes … and no.

As the title promises we’ll share with you some quick and easy ways to boost a Facebook page, but heed our warning: these quick action tips work best within a stable long term plan. Yes you may drum up likes and followers quickly but if you want to do anything useful with them (including retain their interest) you should also put some time into making a robust social media strategy.

What is Facebook organic reach?

Organic Facebook reach is quite simply the number of people who see your posted content through means other than paid distribution. Typically this means people actively seeking out your content by searching your page, following you or receiving your content shared by friends.

If you’ve been following social media news at all, you’ll know that there’s been a growing fear around the decline in companies’ organic Facebook reach. This is a result of changes to the ranking algorithms that determine what people see in their news feed.

There are two main reasons that this change was made:

  • Facebook’s mission, which is to provide relevant content that produces quality person-to-person interaction. The platform therefore rewards content the appeals directly to user interests as well as produces connections between users. In a platform that is designed to connect friends, it’s not surprising that advertisers are going to struggle to achieve this.
  • Content production has grown exponentially, so there is no longer the space to publish everybody’s post on everybody’s news feed. As a result ranking has gotten more selective.

Should you go organic?

There is no real doubt at this point that Facebook is pointing the way towards paid advertising over organic. There have even been some suggestions that organic reach could reach zero per cent (a severe fall from the pre 2012 golden ages of above 16 per cent) in the future. However there is still a compelling reason to keep an eye on building your organic platform alongside paid search:

Successful organic reach is lead gold dust

Authentic organic conversations drive real tangible results for businesses. If people are genuinely engaged with your brand and find you through organic channels, they are highly likely to become converted customers.

Essentially organic reach is lead generation at it’s best and it’s where social media has a real USP over normal advertising channels. When done right an organic strategy builds two-way relationships with customers and is an invaluable source of information and engagement, To add a further incentive, it’s also much cheaper than most other forms of marketing.

Though your organic reach may be lessening, the people you do succeed in reaching are well worth it.

7 quick action wins

Facebook is an real time  platform that works in the moment so there are some great ways to tap into people’s interests in a short time frame.

1. Interact with followers

Facebook is designed to make connections and build relationships – which makes it perfect for developing trusting bonds with your followers. The easy to use reply function means that you can instantly respond to any comments on your wall posts and build a rapport.

However, use discretion in your replies, even when deciding whether to reply at all. As a general rule it’s best never to get involved in confrontation or anything that could damage your brand’s reputation.

2. Hit on a viral trend or follow on the coattails of one

Nothing finds eyeballs in the digital world quite like a viral hit. Take any example of a social media craze and you’ll see that it and some successful imitations became known worldwide in less than 24 hours. But how on Earth to go viral is a challenge that plagues even the most experienced social media marketers and there are doubts about whether it is even possible to preempt.

While aiming to go viral is probably not the most sustainable of goals, making sure that your content is creative and engaging still hugely improves the chances that an audience will be interested, and hopefully share it with their friends. Similarly, keeping an eye out for viral posts and jumping in to get involved can mean that you get some of the benefit of a viral hit without having started it.

3. Hold competitions

It may seem cliche but people are always interested in bagging free goodies. Within the current rules of Facebook you can now hold contests and run promotions with the aim of giving out free prizes through your page. Followers generally take part by commenting on the post, entering them into the lottery to win.

Here’s a suggestion for you: Ask your followers to leave creative responses as their entry into your competition, for example “best dad joke”. Pick out some of your favourites and hold a public poll for your followers to choose their own winner!

4. Promote your Facebook page

People can’t engage with you on Facebook if they don’t know that you’re there – so tell them, in every form possible. Make sure you mention your Facebook page in all your other outlets, be it your website, business cards or other social media accounts.

Another useful string to this bow is having company employees sharing your Facebook posts through their own social media accounts, or in their email signatures.

5. Ask questions

Building relationships is as much about listening as it is about talking, and fortunately people love giving their opinion – especially online. Using your posts to ask engaging questions that seek people’s viewpoints on recent events or products not only encourages interaction but it can also be a really useful insight into your target audience.

The key here is to work out the best question, which very much depends on your brand voice.

  • Example: A light hearted company that make soft drinks is probably less likely to ask people’s opinions about the current economic state. But for a magazine that writes about economics this would be an obvious conversation starter.

When thinking about good questions it’s again good to stress that staying out of controversy (however much engagement it gets) prevents any potential brand damage.

The phrasing of the question should also be carefully considered. You will want to avoid closed questions that only require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Equally, short, snappy questions are often better suited to the fast-paced-scrolling mind frame of a Facebook audience.

6. Share comments

If you’ve put the effort in to gather interesting opinions, why not share them? Not only does this drive up interactivity within your community, but good comments can be really useful as customer reviews or authentic, trustworthy promotion of your product.

7. Have a poll

Facebook polls are a quick and fun way for people to share their views without leaving a wordy comment. It is often a useful way to get people involved who are less likely to directly chime in with their views.

What not to do

Just as there are ways to quickly drum up a following, there are ways that can just as quickly lose them. Here are our top activities to avoid:

  • Only talk about you: Don’t be the worst person at a dinner party. The one who just won’t shut up about themselves. We get it, you’re on Facebook to market your products or service but that alone will not win you dedicated customers or leads that could turn into customers. Remember that social media is designed as a social network between friends. Obvious advertising or click bait type posts will annoy people very quickly and you could end up unfollowed or even reported.
  • Automating everything: It’s cost and time efficient and does the job just as well right – wrong! Brands need to be creative and have the all important human touch. Noone wants to be bored with templated updates when they could be cooing over pictures of their baby niece.
  • Buying likes: The black market is rife with quick leg-ups to perceived Facebook success, but don’t be fool enough to cheat your way there. Facebook, unsurprisingly, tries very hard to curb these sort of practices and their detection could range from simply deleting your bought likes to removing your posts altogether.

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Cathy Breed
Cathy Breed About the author

With a degree from Downing College at Cambridge University and experience as a Marketing Executive in London Cathy comes to the Castleford Blog with a reputation for deep research and high-level subject-matter expertise. Her current writing portfolio covers artificial intelligence, financial services, the property sector and not-for-profits. Clients include Stackchat, Surf Life Saving New South Wales, Fiserv and Investa.

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