There has been a tremendous amount of backlash concerning the changes to Facebook EdgeRank, the new algorithm and the semi-valid argument that “I worked hard (and/or paid) for all these Likes and now my Fans aren’t seeing my posts.”
That’s fair, but you have to take a hard look at what kind of content you’re posting.
- Is it engaging?
- Will your fans find it useful, entertaining and welcome in their Feed?
If so, keep doing what you’re doing and your engagement should rise. Do you need a paid ad or a boosted post? Maybe. Maybe not. But you definitely need to put in the effort and be willing to experiment. If two or three well-optimized posts a week aren’t getting you the numbers you need and you have the budget, try some super targeted paid posts to see if you can build it that way. If your content just isn’t interesting, you may really have to think outside the box like Morgan Miller Plumbing, but you don’t have to spend a fortune unless you can afford it and you shouldn’t until you confirm that it works.
That said, what is the value of a new customer for your business? If it’s a lot more than $5, then I recommend you spend that on a targeted Boost. The chances of an acceptable ROI seem pretty good, right? Try it, use the extensive analytics (Facebook calls them “Insights”) to see what is and isn’t working and give it at least a month.
I understand the frustration of seemingly losing a “free” advertising channel, but how long can anything like that last. Engaging content always mattered, but it just wasn’t as crucial until every small business on the planet started clogging up News Feeds with SPAM, crap or SPAMMY crap. The stakes are just higher now and using best practices (and a bit of your advertising budget if you have it to spare) will keep Facebook for Business working as an extremely valuable marketing tool for your business.
- use optimized content (high quality images, 90 characters of text works best, hashtags only when absolutely necessary #justintimberlake)
- post as often as your fans expect/allow (2-3 times a week is a good baseline)
- track your efforts (this can be the fun part and cannot be overlooked for hopefully obvious reasons)
- try to get at least 200 fans, but be very careful about paying for Likes (some Fans will never become customers, but paying $0.33 for a targeted Like of a potential one may be a no-brainer)
- keep a watchful eye on an often overlooked metric “234 talking about this” (over 5% is a good benchmark, 10% means you’re really doing something right!)
- tag people/pages when appropriate and possible
- link to the appropriate landing page of your website (and track the referrals)
Don’t Do This:
- post more than once a day unless you’re still getting adequate engagement
- use mediocre images (if your phone has a great camera, fine, but use a photo editing app. it only takes a minute and the extra effort will show. I use Aviary.)
- my more detailed blog post on the definite DON’Ts
Disclaimer: I am a small business owner and not affiliated with Facebook, Google, Aviary, Justin Timberlake or anyone but my own clients. These best practices are what I have learned from using Facebook for the last six years and may not work for everyone or every business.
I welcome any comments or suggestions because I’m trying to figure this all out just like you.
Three links/resources that I value very highly:
Speaking of Social Media Today, they just posted an extremely helpful
article with some great ideas for your business blog (if that’s your thing).