I have been using Facebook for my small business for a few years now, but over the last 2 years it has become more difficult to get the word out. My story is, I started in my Facebook page before 2013 and was able to gain 1000’s of fans with 2 years then Facebook changed about 2 years ago and I have not been able to gain any fans (while loosing about a 1000 in that time). I have been able to maintain the 8,000+ fans over this last year but it has been a lot of work with little to no sales. Personally I love to share my work and my life, post has just become part of my daily life, so I hate to quit now after putting so much into it. I want to share 5 things I hate about being a small business owner on Facebook (this is more about Facebook pages not personal profiles). Keep in mind these are just from my experiences, if you have a different one please share with us, good and bad.
#1 – as we all know Facebook limits post reaches by only showing them to such a small percentage of your fans. For me I have 8,000+ fans and only about 2,000 reaches a WEEK, this is nuts to me that I have so many fans that I can’t reach (unless I pay for ads). With that said, I have a couple ways to help with this, first make sure to post at least twice a day, no matter what. If you leave your page inactive you will have to struggle more to get those reaches back, yes I was inactive for a couple months (it has been a struggle). I like to schedule 4 post a day every 3 to 4 hours during the day (starting in early am, lunch time, afternoon, and one before bed). For me I feel that is the best changes some of my fans are on Facebook at that time, I know I am. Next have small giveaways or interactive posts that are more for current fans (reward them for their loyalty) but also allow/suggest they share to get new fans, make sure to not go against Facebook rules. The key to getting higher reaches is to get more interactions on your posts, hence the giveaways and interactive posts. Like is good, commenting is great, and sharing is the best. There are groups that can help with this, by having members go to each other pages and interact. Personally I like most post that pop into my feed through out the day, I also try and comment because I know the struggle from the other side.
#2 – having to buy ads to get reaches, this one makes me really mad. With that said, I wanted to share beware of ads, I am on Facebook all the time and most of the ads I see are for pages I am already following. For me I am not going to pay for ads (expensive ads at that) so my fans can see my post, which they should already be seeing. Not to say that they can’t work but for a struggling small business I would suggest against it. Try and find a free way to get new fans and more interaction on your page. Organic fans are the best, buying fans can be dangerous and more than likely they are fake and inactive accounts, this is how I lost 1,00’s fans at once. Facebook will delete inactive accounts in bulk which can really hurt your page. A couple ways to get free fans is like for a like, share for a share, ladders, and networking. Try sharing your page on other social media too, like twitter and Pinterest. I have recently started a Facebook board on my Pinterest to see if that will drive fans over. The only thing I warn you from is over sharing on your profile, I am sorry but I hate people that do that, unless the profile is intended for that use only. There is a fine line between a good promoter and spam, you will need to find it for yourself.
#3 – Facebooks giveaway rules, not being able to require liking a page to win. Now I know many pages still do this and that is because the wording makes all the difference. I like to say that the winner should be a fan or it will be easier to know if you won if you are a fan of my page. To help with this only allow 24 to 48 hours for winners to claim their prize and only post it once on your page, lots of times no one will claim because they aren’t real fans. So the keys is in the wording and make sure to not require anything but suggest it, most will follow the suggests because they think they have a better chance at winning. For me giving away a small item is much more rewarding than buying a Facebook ads. If you can find a group giveaway that be in that would probably get a lot more intention for those with a small page.
#4 – Facebook timeline, I know that my timeline sucks these days the same posts are at the top, even if I didn’t interact them. I prefer to have my timeline in most recent order but I hate to have to change it every time I go on Facebook and I am sure I am not the only one. This means that Facebook decides what is most important to you from what I am guessing is you previous activities. Therefore, if someone has interacted on your page before we will more than likely see it again. Also don’t be afraid to remember your fans about this and that Facebook limits post, in case they were wondering why they weren’t seeing your post. Posting can you see me? or some kind of graphic like that helps some reaches back, just don’t post them to often.
#5 – Not knowing what works best, I have not found the best way to get more reaches. I suggest to use a variety of posts: words only, photos only, mixed, videos, and sharing others information. Every day is different on Facebook and one thing might work once and not again for a while, so changing it up is the best option. Please don’t be scared to share others stuff, I have found pet videos or baby videos people love them. So mix it up and have fun and try not to be business all the time.
With all that said, just please be consistent on your post and maybe find a few other small business owners to buddy up with and interact with each other. I had a pack when I first started in 2013 and it was great, we grew together and had many group giveaways, which is where most my original 8,000 fans came from. But over the years many have closed up shop because of the struggles of making money online. Yes I have tried more than a few way to make money online from direct sales to marketing to blogging to small business owner. I found that doing too much is not productive at all.