Despite what the kids may say, Facebook isn’t just a social network for your parents or as those same kids call them ‘Boomers.’ Yes, they are on there, but it’s an amazing platform for both brands and individuals to gain fans or followers. And there are plenty of ways to do it without spending a dime on buying any or targeting ads. Yes, there are still ways to capture an audience without reaching into your wallet. So let’s get into why you should be shifting even more focus to it.
We’ll start with a quick overview of what Facebook really is and isn’t in 2020. There are still plenty of users who are in it for sharing life updates, posting pictures and in general, staying in contact with friends. And guilty author note: it’s also a great place to make sure it really is Aunt Becky’s birthday before sending her that annual text.
But it is so much more.
Who’s using Facebook?
It’s where brands and individuals are doing business, while growing their consumer base and fans all at the same time. And the real reason you can’t ignore the platform when drawing up your marketing plans: With 2.41 billion active monthly users, it’s outranked only by Google and YouTube as the world’s most frequented website. Everybody’s on there!
And when you dive into the demographics, according to Hootsuite, 71% of American adults use the Facebook platform, with 75% of adult women compared to 63% of adult men. We don’t want to clog your brain with too many numbers, but just a couple more from Hootsuite & Pew Research:
- 25-29 year olds lead the way with 84% being Facebook users
- Not surprisingly, only 45% of 65+ year olds use the platform
Your brand’s next biggest fans are waiting. They are already spending time there – the working-class adults (a majority women, who make many household spending decisions!) with some spending money, no less. That’s because 74% of high income earners use Facebook – a number higher than any other social media platform except for YouTube, according to Pew Research.
Content that resonates on Facebook
Before we get into a few specific tips on how you can build your Facebook audience, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about content. All of the demographic breakdowns in the world won’t help if you don’t pull them in with something interesting and/or different. Posting a picture every day, maybe sometimes tossing in a blog post, isn’t going to move the needle when it comes to growing your following, and in turn increasing engagement with fans. It takes a variety of content to do that – there’s plenty of room for pics and blogs – but let’s not forget how important videos can be. The oh-so-important platform algorithm loves them.
And another important thing about content. It doesn’t have to just be about the next Hashtag Holiday or a specific event. Creating evergreen content – posts which don’t pertain to a certain moment in time – is a great way to have your followers and future followers be able to engage with you, even if they don’t see it right away. There’s nothing wrong with longevity, as long as there’s no ‘best by date.’
A couple more tips for content: don’t post all the time. That’s what content calendars are for – to help you space posts out. Make sure there’s a reason behind every one of your posts, with appropriate content to go along with it. Posting for no reason could be one of the quickest ways to lose fans. And finally, don’t get too caught up in the tangled web of contests. Yes, they can work, but we don’t need to be giving away a piece of company swag every week. Make them purposeful and your fans will remember them, and in turn … YOU.
How to grow your Facebook following
Here’s a look at a few ways you can grow your Facebook audience (Note: It takes more than just one to reach desired results!)
1. Build A Presence
Understanding who you are as a brand (both for a company and an individual) is needed first and foremost for anything pertaining to marketing. But establishing some specific traits on every platform can go a long way. You’ll hear a lot of people say “establish a voice” – this is where that comes in. The best brands communicate with their followers like they were any friend. It doesn’t have to be quirky, but it should make sense to your business or personality. What matters is that you build enough authority to command your audience to action. This means that they will engage with your content more favorably.
2. Understand the Facebook Algorithm
We touched on it above, but we’ll go into it a bit further, taking into mind there are hundreds of factors. In short, Facebook gives a score relevant to your interests to every post on its platform. And when you think about the hundreds of posts that could be in your newsfeed, this is how Facebook figures out what to show you. Included in the number: engagement, who posted it, how old it is. Facebook will show new posts to a small group of people most likely to like it. If they do engage well with the new post, Facebook will then show it to a larger group.
One of the reasons to not buy followers has a direct connection to this algorithm. When followers that don’t exist don’t see your post, it’s not going to help your engagement. And another thing to keep in mind when we mentioned posting in a cadence: quality over quantity. When you have one post which performs well, it will do a whole lot more for you than 10 average performing posts.
3. Promote Engagement
If you’re not skimming along, you’ll know that engagement is one of the most important things when it comes to the platform’s algorithm. So, cater to it! Ask a question, do a poll, tell users to interact with that piece of content your team took a week to create. Remember that a call to action is going to have a whole lot more success than just a link to your website. And it probably goes without saying, but catching a follower’s eye while they scroll through hundreds of posts is more than half the battle in converting them into a sale. As we said above, content is still king … and likely will always be!
4. Videos Are Worth It
This isn’t 2015 when you needed a whole production team to get one piece of video content onto your social media platforms. Videos can be made so easily on just about any of your devices, you’re doing a disservice by not posting them. The content with the highest average engagement are videos – quick hitters – not even a digital short (there’s a time and place for those).
5. Content Calendars
In order to make sure you’re either not posting too much, or not posting enough, stick to a content calendar. Whether it’s you or your team, have a 2-4 week look-ahead when it comes to what you are posting. It will help during hectic times, and should help you be able to weave a story together. Remember, at the end of the day, posting content is a way to tell a story. Think about what the story you want to tell and plan it out with at most one Facebook post per day. Those with a larger team of content producers will need something like this in order to achieve the best, engaging content. Everyone, including your followers, will appreciate it.
6. Grow From Off Facebook
It may seem obvious but we have to say it anyway. Make sure to include Facebook in other marketing collateral. Let your business associates, your customers, or prospective clients know Facebook is a place to engage with your brand. That’s why you’ll see a Facebook logo on so many business websites, email signatures, and even on your personal social media channels.
7. Post Timing
It matters when you post content to Facebook. It doesn’t take a fancy analytical program to tell you the right time to do so. Test when your followers are most engaged with your brand by posting at different times throughout the day. Look at the results and start to optimize and cater your posts to when your fans are locked in on the platform. If you post at times nobody is around, will anyone know you did?
To wrap things up, there’s nothing to really respond with when your boss or client asks you to go make ‘some viral Facebook’ posts. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but all we can do is optimize and maximize the opportunities to break through the clutter that can be a very noisy newsfeed.
7 ways to grow your Facebook followers;
- Build your presence
- Get to know the Facebook algorithm
- Always promote engagement
- Create video content
- Use a content calendar
- Leverage off Facebook channels
- Time your posts correctly
Growing your Facebook page will take time. Staying active and engaging with your consumers, fans,and followers can do so much to help. Some say a Facebook follower is worth somewhere near $8-10 per like, but they can be invaluable. As your audience grows, the more traffic your brand will receive, which can lead to increased sales. It’s a nice pipeline to secure. And if you’re not a classic brand, but you’re wanting to use Facebook to increase your personal brand, making sure you follow some of these tips will lead to opportunities. Those brands are also looking for other avenues to get their message across. Show them you know what you’re doing and the offers will come.