It isn’t news that Facebook changes its platform all the time, which makes the network very challenging for small businesses to work with. The newest addition to the already huge list of modifications is the “Reach Generator,” a feature that allows page admins to pay to get their updates distributed to more people (this feature is not available on all pages yet). Normally, a status update from a Business Page shows up for only 16% of its fans, and this is controlled by Facebook’s complex algorithm called EdgeRank. With the new Reach Generator, Facebook is offering brands/companies the possibility to pay for increased exposure:
Facebook is launching new types of advertising, making the network more marketing friendly.
While this might be a great way for marketers to reach their audience, it doesn’t really help small business owners who can’t afford to spend money on it. So what can you do to keep your updates showing in your fans’ newsfeeds? Here are a few tips:
1. Make sure your fans have the “Show in News Feed” option checked
This option is checked by default when you “like” a page on Facebook; however, it is always good to remind your fans of it, just to be sure they get your updates. A great idea is to create a post about it. See the example:
2. Teach your fans how to create a list
One of the best ways to make sure your fans see your updates is to be on a Facebook list of theirs. A list is a feature that stays on the left hand side of your screen, and when you click on it, you see only the updates from the pages on that list. Facebook automatically create lists for your closest friends and family, but not for pages. Here is an idea posted by Two Peas and Their Pod (a recipe blog):
You can teach your fans how to create a list by adding our link to your post: How to create a Facebook list
3. Post interesting content
This is not a new strategy – it is the core of Facebook marketing. When you have interesting and fresh content, your fans interact more with your page; and if your interaction rate increases, EdgeRank will distribute your posts to more fans. To ensure your content is interesting, put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and don’t only share updates about your business (no selling people!). Make your page resourceful for your fans, and they will come to you for information. This will put your business in front of your customers more often and ultimately, will bring you more business and generate more sales (read it as a loyalty boost).
4. Keep it personal
Everyone already knows this, but it’s never a bad idea to remind ourselves: Facebook is all about building relationships. Fans understand that by having a Facebook page, you are looking for more business — but they see the page as a way to have their voices heard. So make sure you reply to most of their posts, and share information with them that they can’t get anywhere else. Customers don’t like your page just because they want to know about your specials and promotions; they want to feel closer to you. A great way to keep your business page more personal is by sharing photos and stories about your business and employees. If you are a restaurant owner, take (good) pictures of your dishes, for example, or photograph your customers having a good time. If you own a hair salon, post about your customers’ new hair cut. If you have a car wash, before and after pictures will look great on your page. As long as you never forget to ask for permission to post the photos, your customers will love to see that you are not all about making a profit – you care about them too.