Getting the right Facebook audience is tricky. Back in December last year, Facebook estimated that it was home to more than 30 million active small-business pages. That number will have definitely grown since then. That’s a lot of business pages that yours needs to compete with. Do you know what one of the biggest tricks to having a successful, engaging Facebook page is though? A wonderful audience.
Just like the theatre
Have you ever performed on stage in your life? I did a couple of times when I was younger; it was absolutely petrifying. What made it worse was when the crowd didn’t respond – there’s nothing more dis-heartening than thinking that you’re not providing an entertaining experience when your audience doesn’t laugh at the funny bits.
It leaves you feeling unsatisfied, knowing that you gave it your all and no one appeared to appreciate it. Unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose who buys theatre tickets – but you can choose the audience for your Facebook page.
It’s all to a certain extent, obviously, as we can’t control everything that happens online but there are ways and means to make sure you get the right audience for your content.
Who are your audience, really?
As I mentioned in my previous blog post in this series, the content you are sharing could be absolutely mind-blowingly brilliant, fireworks and all. But you might be having second thoughts about it though, because none of your “fans” seem to enjoy it. Well, let’s take a quick look at them shall we?
Do you see a few super-supportive family members listed there? More likely a few friends – even friends’ of friends? Maybe a small handful of colleagues and other businesses? A couple of randoms here and there but it’s mostly people that you know. Now, do you think that they’re going to find your stellar content about (insert your industry topic here) useful? Is it going to teach them something that they wanted to know, empowering themselves with new knowledge to enhance their own lives? If (in the unlikely event) your answer is genuinely yes to that question, then your content is way off point and you’re reading the wrong article.
However, if like most people, your answer is “no, my family and friends are not my target audience for my business and/or my Facebook page” then surely the content you’re working so hard to create and share is just plain boring for them to see. It’s a hard, horrible truth but when you realise that it could be a contributing factor to your lack of success on Facebook, things look a little easier to sort out.
Tailor your audience, just as your audience tailor their newsfeed
There are several methods for growing your audience with the right type of fans. Listed below, I mainly focus on the organic (free) methods of promoting your page but I will briefly touch on a paid method at the end if you’re willing to spend some pocket money.
#1 Promote your Facebook page on your website
This one is pretty simple. Make sure that you’ve got a link to your page both at the top and bottom of your website (header and footer). And pretty much anywhere else on your website that’s appropriate!
If your website features a sidebar then you can feature a Facebook widget that streams your latest posts into the sidebar.
#2 Other social accounts
If you’re online on other networks such as Twitter and Linkedin etc then share your Facebook page with the world. Especially effective if your Twitter has the right followers, it’s a short and snappy announcement that most users are happy to follow.
#3 Guest blogs
This one depends on the line of work you’re in, but if you find yourself writing a lot of valuable content then find a blog-based website that specialises in your topic/industry, a website that your ideal target audience/market would go for answers to a problem they have.
Contact the website directly and politely ask if you can write a post for them. Have a specific topic in mind, and make sure that it’s not already been covered in the existing blogs on their site. This is a fantastic method of exposing your knowledge and your business, but what’s important about this is in your signature/about bio section you can leave a link to your Facebook page. Bingo!
#4 Connect profiles with pages
It’s something simple that you and every employee can do to promote your Facebook page; adding your company’s Facebook page as your current employer in your personal profile’s Work section. This ensures that there’s a link to your Facebook page everywhere and anywhere that your personal profile appears on Facebook, which ties in nicely with the next point…
#5 Join some Facebook Groups
My colleague Alison is a HUGE fan of Facebook Groups (it’s all she talks about sometimes! Don’t tell her I told you though…). Whilst you can’t join Groups as your Page, instead you use them with your personal profile (see why the previous point matters now?) and you use these groups to shower people with your knowledge.
Join groups that are relevant to your industry; you want to be involved in groups that are able to educate you and keep your knowledge fresh and updated, as well as groups that consist of people who are searching for help within your specialised field. This doesn’t necessarily promote your page, but if people really found your help useful, then they’ll check you out and they’ll see the company you work for, therefore linking to your page.
#6 Interact as your page
The majority of users interact with just their personal profile. However, using the drop-down at the top right of your Facebook, you can choose to use Facebook as your page instead of your personal profile. This is where you toggle between your personal profile and your page. Once you’ve selected to use Facebook as your page you can go to other related pages in your industry and comment on those pages’ posts as your page. This means you’re bringing attention to your page and not your personal profile. Try to avoid your competitors though.
Those who enjoy your comment can directly visit your page or ‘Like’ it simply by hovering over your page name in the comment with the little pop-up.
#7 Provide a link in your email signature
This one sounds obvious but it’s a method that’s often forgotten about. You spend a lot of your time emailing people back and forth, they’re customers and colleagues; it makes sense for them to have easy access to your page to ‘Like’ it straight from your signature.
Ok, so we’ve pretty much exhausted all of the organic methods of promoting your page. Always remember though, to keep sharing great content that your ideal audience will enjoy and find useful. A great audience demands great content.
#8 Facebook Advertising
Facebook allow you to create adverts that simply promote your page. Go to the Facebook Ads Manager and create an ad to promote your page. These ads allow you to target your page promotion ads to the specific audiences you want as Facebook fans.
Using Facebook’s powerful audience targeting options, you can target your promote page ad to an endless variety of demographics. Through the use of geography, interests, job specifications, gender, languages spoken and their online behaviours, you’re able to create custom audiences to target your page ad to.
You can also target ads to your email list, leads, customer database and website visitors who don’t already like your page. People who are already familiar with your business’s name are more likely to ‘Like’ your page, so it makes sense to target them too.
Never stop promoting your page
Promoting and posting engaging content is key to growing your Facebook audience. It’s always going to be an ongoing process so it will be time consuming, especially to begin with. Starting out with that expectation will help you and your patience with Facebook.
Share interesting news about your industry, what’s trending at the moment, start discussions on topics pertaining to your niche and tell special stories about your business. Remember to keep your business personable. I always tell our clients that Facebook for business should show the personality of the business, because as much as Facebook for business is about being the go-to company for your industry, it’s also about being social.
Last but not least…
This is my final blog post in my Facebook series and I hope that you managed to take something away from it that you can implement today. Are there any other ideas that you thought of which would be good for promoting a Facebook page? Comment below and share with me, because I’d love to know!
This series will be made into an e-book for you to download and keep, if you want to have first grabs of it then scroll right to the top of this page and on the right in the sidebar you can sign up to our newsletter. You’ll be the first to know when my e-book is out!