Facebook launched its new rival to Googles Display Network last year, to help advertisers reach more of the right by people by extending Facebook ads into other mobile apps.
Facebook ads can be super effective, especially for small businesses particularly in the leisure industry. But once you start using Facebook ads for your page, you will start to notice that there are some limitations. Especially if you wish to create a number of ads in one go or you start finding you wish you could do more advanced targeting. If until now you have been creating your Facebook ads using the Facebook website, then read on.
What is Power Editor?
In a previous article I talked about how Facebook EdgeRank is dead and what implications this has for Business Page owners and Facebook Marketers. I also promised to put together some ideas on how you could get the most out of your Business Page. Now we all love social media, but as a Business Page owner we want to use Facebook as a business tool also and that means getting our message across to the widest audience possible. The more people see our brand message then more chance we have of converting a like into a sale.
So without much further ado, here are my tips for increasing your Facebook Pages reach.
1. Get more likes on you Facebook Page.
The more likes the more potential audience you have. So get promoting your page. I see to many pages that are just built and then left to their own devices. You need to promote your page at every opportunity; make sure its on your website on every page, on your emails, business cards, in store if you have a physical location, on your other Social Media.
Now a word of caution I would advise against using agencies that promise you more likes, they are generally worthless and a waste of money. Having 1000s or 10,000s of likes is no use if its not an audience that is relevant to your business.
Try Facebook adverts for increasing your likes. Its pretty cheap to do a quick campaign. Again its important that you target your Facebook Ads correctly and relvant to your business, Only operate in Germany then make sure you target only Germany. You can segment your ad audience further so a Dive centre should run ads to Facebook users who have interests that include PADI, Scuba Diving, SSI, SDI etc. You can do this easily using the interests filter on the Ad manager. Stay Tuned for a article about this.
Got a mailing list? then check out this article about uploading contact lists to Facebook
Before you start building likes though, check out the next tip as this will help.
2. Post Awesome content.
If you post great content then users are more likely to like your page, and of course once they have liked it and see your great content in their News Feeds they are more likely to engage with your page.
So what is great content? Well take a look at your News Feed, I bet the posts that stick out are the ones that are visually appealing. So quality images are a must not only do they stick out from our every filling News Feeds but they also tend to tend to get the most comments, likes & shares. These comments, likes & shares then increase not only your pages engagement value in the Facebook algorithm but they also help get your posts and brand seen by more people. Its important to review you page and you Facebook Insights to see what is successful and what isn’t, there is no point generating content that you might think is great but you Fans don’t like. Remember its a business tool and not a personal account.
3.Encourage Engagement with your posts.
So now you’re posting great, video, photo or blog content (with an awesome image) but you are still not seeing that increase in comments or shares that you thought you’d get after doing tip 2. Well this is were tip 3 comes in. You need to encourage engagement with your posts. This is very simple. Very simple. Instead of just posting up a great photo of a Turtle and waiting for the likes you also want to add a question – Have you ever seen a Turtle on a dive? Now your page fans will also comment. Now to take that to the next level you would post a photo of a turtle with a question and link it to a blog article or webpage.
Now you’re using engaging content to drive business opportunities, simple isn’t it?
4. Keep Posts short.
Facebook only displays a limited amount of text before it adds a read more link to expand your post. So try get your message dialled so all the important information and the link appear in the unexpanded view. If i’ve scrolling down my News Feed I may not click on the Read More link so that means the important part of your message is lost. If you have a lot of text, try and rework it to keep it short and it might be better to spin the longer text into a blog article and link to that. Google the internet acronym TL DR.
5. Post Regularly.
Your Fans will never all be on line at the same time, so make frequent posts 6-10 a week. Check your insights also as there is a handy report that tells you when most of your Fans are online. If your Business Page has an international audience then make sure you post at times that cover all international time zones. If you can’t post every 8-9 hours then try posting the same content spread over a week at different times. In fact don’t ever be afraid to recycle good content at different times, its not spamming as a lot of your fans will probably not have seen the 1st post anyway.
Don’t worry if its late at night or out of business hours, you can use the schedule post function in Facebook quickly and easily. Just click on the clock symbol on the bottom left of the status update box and add the time you require.
6. Respond to Fans as the Page.
Social Media is a 2 way conversation, don’t use Facebook to just broadcast. Interaction with your Fans is an important tool for increasing page reach as it shows to Facebooks algorithm that you are engaging with your Fans. Its also a great way to build a relationship with your fans. So make sure you check the comments on posts regularly and respond to questions or just like comments that you find are worth it. Also don’t neglect the posts by others section of your page, engaging here is very important.
These are just some quick tips anyone can implement quickly on their Facebook Business Page with minimal effort and will help you increase reach and make sure people read your posts and hopefully become your next paying customer.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments and I will try and respond to them.
Some good news from Facebook for Business Page admins that use Facebook advertising as part of their Marketing Mix. A new Ad layout is coming for the traditional right hand side Ads. This new format offers a more visual design and is looking to increase engagement for Advertisers. This is a welcome more as the I have found over the past year that the tradition right hand Ad format has been losing out to the News Feed story Ad format in terms of CTR and even just plain old impressions.
New Facebook Ad Format
The new format will offer more media space so images and video should have a similar feel as the News Feed Ads. This also fits in much better with the new Facebook design that is currently rolling out to make desktop and mobile experiences the same.
Increased Facebook Ad Engagement
According to Facebook this new format is intended to offer a better Ad experience and and increased engagement from users seeing the new design. Facebook are claiming around 3x more from early testing. This probably means early adopters will see the benefit, which I guess will be the Business Pages with a high Ad spend as Facebook starts the rollout later this month. Facebook say that the remaining rollout will be later in the year.
Simpler Facebook Ad Management
To make things simpler for advertisers, and because the new Ad format mirrors the desktop News Feed ads, admins will no longer have to choose separate images for the two types, and the same image will be used for both. Especially useful for those with limited creative resources. Not only that but Facebook will be simplifying the actual advertising product options it has from the current confusing 27 into 3 clear categories. I will update once I know more about this, but it will definitely help small business who don’t have the time or experience staff to understand all the different options.
Better Facebook Ad Call to Action
Another great addition coming to Facebook Ads is a Call to Action button on certain ad types. Page Admins will be able to choose specific call-to-action buttons for their adverts. Facebook will give you a choice from 5 actions: Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now or Download.
These options will be available on the following two Ad product options:
- Clicks to Website: This basic advert encourages people to visit your website
- Website Conversions: For this more advanced option, you can create a pixel to put on your website that tracks conversions, including check-outs, registrations and leads
Life used to be simple for Facebook business users, just understand EdgeRank and you stood a good chance of visibility and organic growth through engagement with your content. Sadly as most Business and personal users have noticed over the past year or more that the content in our News Feeds is continually changing and sometimes it seems confusing why some posts appear longer then others and why you suddenly get lots of updates from someone you only interacted with once, recently. In fact its even worse for Business Page owners as organic reach is now very hard to obtain.
One of the reasons for all this is that Facebook’s venerable and much talked about EdgeRank system (but not always understood) is no more.
What was Facebook EdgeRank?
Put simply this was how Facebook selected and ranked content that shows up in the News Feed using a very simple algorithm. This then determined which of the countless thousands of posts would show up in a users News Feed and ranked them. Hence the Rank part, the Edge part is the name Facebook gave to any form of interaction; a like, a comment, a share, a photo view and so on.
The algorithm looked like this:
∑e edges Ue We De
- U = Affinity – Score between viewing user and Edge creator ie. how close is the relationship between poster and viewer.
- W= Weight – What type of Edge ie. What action was taken, like, share, comment etc.
- D = Decay – Time Decay based on how long ago the Edge was created ie. Older Edges and content falls down your Newsfeed.
So EdgeRank made you Newsfeed relevant to you, liked a lot of scuba diving content, then thats what you would see most of in your News Feed. Your best friends posts showing over those of the guy from work you only accepted as a friend because you worked on the same project.
Now EdgeRank is no more, instead Facebook uses a much more complex algorithm based on machine learning.
Facebooks News Feed Algorithm
First of all you might be asking why did Facebook move away from EdgeRank. Well the simple answer is that things have got more complex and the way we use Facebook has also grown and changed. Nowadays there are around 1.23bn active monthly users using dozens of different devices to view and share content. There are 25 million active Business Pages (and that doesn’t include those businesses still using a profile!) and all these want to put their post at the top of your newsfeed. Facebook has estimated that the average user could have 1500 stories vying for your News Feed at any given visit. This comes from around 338 friends and 60 Business Page likes for the average user. So Facebook needs some process that decides what to display and I’m sure deep down most users want Facebook to do this sorting for them!
Now Facebook isn’t as open about the new algorithm, but we do know certain things for sure:
U,W,D – Affinity, Weight and Time Decay
These have now evolved to look at much deeper signals with multiple weight levels. Whats measured is how close you are to friends and Pages. Though its not just personal interactions now, Facebook takes a wider view. If we take an update that is seen by 100 people but only 2 interact with it then its likely that it won’t show in your News Feed irrespective of the affinity level you have with the poster. On the other hand if 80 users had interacted with it, it would be more likely to appear in your News Feed.
Post Content Behaviours
We’ve always known that post type is important. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures drive engagement. But now Facebook treats post types with much more granularity. Users who often interact with Video will see more Video posts in their News Feeds and those that like and comment mainly on pictures will see more picture post types. Its no longer global affinity that matters but the individual user.
Non News Feed Behaviour
Its not just about your behaviour on your News Feed, but also on other timelines. You know that person you just had a look at their Facebook time line (not stalking I hope!), and then you start seeing their posts.
How you interact with Facebook Ads can also influence what then appears in your News Feed. But it is worth pointing out that the algorithm that decides what Ads to show you on Facebook is different to the one that decides on your News Feed
For each of your Friends or Pages that you have liked you can amend the relationship settings. Add a friend to the Close Friend list and you will see all their posts and even get notifications. Add them to Acquaintance and you get nothing. With Pages you can also select to “Get notifications” or “Receive updates” and you can also determine what types of posts you get.
Hide Post / Spam Reporting
Although Facebook puts in a lot of effort to make sure you recieve relevant posts in your News Feed, you can always hide or report as spam those that you don’t like. This is then factored in to your News Feed future. There is an element of decay with this though, newer hides will carry more weight then something that you may have hidden a few weeks ago.
What device you use to access Facebook is also factored in; App, Mobile site, Desktop site, Ipad or older feature phone all affect your News Feed. So for example on your super fast MacBook you will see more Picture and Video content, but if you access your account from your mums feature phone via a slow Edge GSM connection then you may see more Text updates.
One of the two newest additions. For me Story Bumping is also one of the most annoying, it takes an old post and gives it a 2nd chance if there is still interaction on it. So if you see a post from 2012 from a friend in your News Feed its probably because another friend has liked or commented on it recently.
The other new addition Facebook tracks a users most recent interactions, in fact its the last 50. These are given more weight when it decided what to display in your News Feed. All this is weighed with a time decay, so the value assigned to the 50 declines once you the user make another 50. A good example of this is a newly accepted Friend Request, you’ll suddenly see there recent updates in your News Feed. Though if you then don’t interact with this person while continuing to interact with others then these posts will rapidly drop away.
Hopefully this gives you a good insight into how Facebook’s News Feed works and how its evolving. In a future article I will look at ways you can as a Business Page get your posts to as many users as possible.
If you have any additional insights to add, I would be happy to hear and update this article.
New Facebook Function for Admins
Facebook is rolling out some new functionality on the 20th Feb which will be a great help to businesses that have Facebok Pages with multiple admins. Facebook will add the name of the person who posted a status update below the name of your Page, with the comment Posted By. Also if an admin comments on status update or post to your timeline the name of that person (admin) will be listed below the comment with a Comment on by note. Also your Page’s activity log will display this information for all posts (as soon as its rolled out to your Page, it won’t be back dated though) including all scheduled ones.
This information will only be available to other page admins and not your fans (yet – I’m guessing) For those businesses or admins that don’t use Social Media Management tools this will be a great help in being able to audit and account for each comment or post made by the Page admins. I think this is a great and simple new asset for all Page managers.
For any business getting your marketing message out to as many people as possible is of vital importance, after all these could be your future customers. As a business using Facebook you probably want to increase your likes, in fact its one of the most frequent questions I get asked the most by business owners. Now I can talk all day about engagement and reach strategies, but this article is about a simple and quick method to boost your likes – Now.
Boosting Facebook likes with Contact lists
So every Business that I speak to has an email list, and this is what we are going to use to boost your likes. Facebook has a build Audience function that allows us to upload email addresses if a our page has under 5,000 likes. As long as the email address on the file matches the email address used to sign up to Facebook then the Facebook user will either receive and email or see a small ad in the suggested pages section promoting your page. Yes its that simple. It takes maybe 10mins if that, and the beauty is that as they are already on your opt in mailing list then its okay to use this method. Obviously only ever use data that you have consent to contact, which is why mailing lists are so good to use. I’ve uploaded a 3000 member mailing list for a Dive Center and gained 80 new likes in 24hours – for 2mins work and no cost.
6 Steps to more Facebook likes
1. Create a CSV file of all your email addresses and save it to your desktop
2. Go to your Facebook Page from the top right of the admin panel click Build Audience. (Remember only pages with under 5,000 likes)
3. Select invite email contacts
4. You now have a whole list of options, but in this case we select upload contact list (a maxium of 5,000 contacts is allowed)
5. Choose the file from your desktop, and make sure all are selected in the invite box (also make sure the correct language is selected if uploaded more than one file for PADI resorts with multiple lists for instance)
6. Click Preview and check that all is correct, then check the confirm box and then hit send.
Now you should see some additional likes coming in for minimal or no effort. The only other thing I would add is that you make sure before sending this out that you have a few interesting posts on your page so the users see its worth liking the page.