Updated: June 17, 2022, 9:15 AM
Love it or hate it, Facebook is still the number 1 social media network in the world!
Why is Facebook so Difficult?
Facebook, because of its algorithm change in March of 2018, made it increasingly difficult to grow a following organically — that is, without paying for advertising to get extra reach and clicks to your website.
Facebook, at the start of 2022, had 3 Billion daily active users (DAUs)!Statistica
Facebook’s Rise in Users
Find more statistics at Statista
Mind-boggling isn’t it?
Zuckerberg’s Goal for Facebook
The whole idea behind the algorithm changes is how you see content on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg wants you to see more posts from your friends rather than posts from the business pages you follow.
Face it, Facebook does want you to spend money advertising. That’s how they keep the lights on. Additionally, Facebook wants to keep users on their platform rather than having them click off to another site.
Videos will be Key in Overcoming the Challenge
Breaking News! Hot off the Presses!
Their vision is to become a “discovery engine”, by giving more reach to VIDEOS.
[Tom] Alison (head of Facebook) says that’s what he wants to turn Facebook into—a place where people can go and get recommendations for content they’re likely to enjoy.
He lists three near-term priorities that will help Facebook realize its vision:
- Make Reels successful.
- Build a world-class recommendations technology.
- Unlock messaging-based sharing.
Turning Facebook into a ‘discovery engine’ simply means recommending more content from accounts users aren’t connected to.1
Have you noticed that on Instagram you see “suggested” posts from accounts that you don’t follow. That’s their Ai — Artificial Intelligence. It’s pulling content that it thinks you may be interested in. (IMHO, it still needs fine tuning.)
That’s what’s coming to Facebook.
This may help the Challenge for those just starting out…
It’s easy to build a following organically on Facebook, especially if you’re just starting. If you’re a B2B business, concentrate on LinkedIn and Twitter. Still post on Facebook to help with SEO, but don’t expect miracles unless you do paid ads. I get into those at the end.
If you’re trying to reach the consumer (B2C), then here are some tips:
- Native Videos. Upload videos directly. Don’t just share a YouTube or Vimeo link. Remember, keep the user on Facebook. However, don’t upload the same video over and over again. Here are some ideas for a video strategy.
- Go LIVE. Facebook wants its users to stay on their site. Thus, they will give more reach and exposure to Live videos. The trick is to engage your customers and followers. Plan it out and promote it well before the event.
- Post to Facebook 3-5 times a day. Alternate the types of posts between your blog articles offering news, tips and advice, a live video, a couple of articles from relevant or related sources (obviously not competitors), and 1 promotional post a day with a Call-to-Action link back to your website.
- Encourage User-Generate-Content (UGC) from your customers. If they post pictures of themselves enjoying your services, products, food, etc. They will tag the location and/or your company page.
- Join groups. Facebook now allows pages to join groups — if the group is open to them. Be aware of each group’s rules and respect them. Do not spam the groups. They will kick you out.
- Post good quality content. Go for quality over quantity always.
- Have a “Like us on Facebook” button and/or widget on several pages of your website — especially your blog — to make it easy for people to Like your page. (This also applies to the other social networks.)
- Like and Comment on other people’s business pages as your page. Long comments carry more weight than short comments. Comments are more valuable than if someone just likes a post. (I can show you how to do this in a coaching session.)
- Invite your friends (personal) to like your page. Furthermore, be alert to those who will only like it because it’s you and have no interest or need for your products or services. They do, however, make good referral sources.
- If you have an email list, send them instructions on how to see your posts first. Take a screen shot of your page with the “Follow” drop-down showing where they select “See First”. Tell them if they don’t what to miss your content or special promotions to do this. (Feel free to use this graphic to make it easy.)
Here are some more Facebook Marketing tips:
- Absolutely use Facebook if you’re a B2C business.
- Have a strategic plan written out before you jump in.
- Check your Insights at the end of each month to see what worked and what didn’t work and to see how your following is growing (or not). Has your reach steadily increased over time?
- Download your posts stats from Insights and see which types of posts got the most engagement, then post more of those.
- Respond to people who comment on your page. The more you do this, the more Facebook will like you and give you more visibility. People are more likely to buy from companies that respond on social media. And that applies to the other networks, too. Social media is about community and building relationships.
- Realize that you own your email list. Facebook owns your FB audience.
- Encourage your happy camper customers to give you a Recommendation on Facebook. No more reviews. FB wants to keep everything positive. Yay!
- Don’t ask for likes, shares or comments on your post. If your content is good, and your audience likes it, hopefully they’ll like it enough to engage with it.
- Check your notifications. If someone liked your post and they’re not a follower yet, Facebook will let you know and you can invite them to like your page. It’s a good chance they will.
- Make sure your “Like on Facebook” button or icon and link is on your email signature and in ALL your promotional emails and newsletter.
Above all, know your audience. Your strategy should be based around who you’re trying to reach.
The Challenges with Advertising on Facebook
Ever since the 2019 elections and Facebook’s increased censoring of content, even doing paid advertising on Facebook is difficult. (Which is one of the reasons I don’t provide the service. I encourage organic (non-paid) content marketing.) However, I recently helped a client setup a Facebook ad. She relaunched a nonprofit and wanted to reach a new market. When she had the nonprofit before, she grew her Facebook likes to over 2000. Unfortunately, since it’s been dormant for several years, we needed to reach those followers.
We noticed that organic posts were only getting a reach of 9. Yes, 9. Out of 2000! That’s why she wanted to do an ad. We went through Facebook’s Business Suite and built a carousel ad with several graphics in a slide show. We picked the audience and sent it off to be approved. It was rejected.
Of course, they don’t tell us WHY it was rejected. They just said it violated its usage terms and gave us a link. We looked at the audience and the text in the ad, took out some people and text that might offend their sensitive algorithm and sent it off again. It was rejected AGAIN.
At that point, it’s useless trying to argue with their computer. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what word or phrase is offending it. I suggested going to their advertising department to work with a live human being. Evidently, they have an employee shortage and don’t offer the ad coaching service at this time.
Now, we were stuck. After some thought, I suggested that she create a post introducing the organization, then boost the post to her fans and their friends. The ad was approved and she did get some click-throughs to the website.
Spending money advertising on social media SHOULD NOT BE THIS DIFFICULT!
Still, it’s Facebook and you can’t deny its usage statistics.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that Facebook is not the only game in town! You can advertise on Instagram without going through Facebook. There’s also Pinterest for the B2C market and LinkedIn for B2B. Likewise, YouTube is a good place to get high exposure for both. You also have the new ones like Gab, Gettr, Parler, MeWe and Rumble. Other digital advertising outlets are popular blogs and magazines that your target frequents.