Listen, we hate the ever-changing Facebook algorithms as much as you do, but we’re bound by their rules. For many businesses, a large chunk of referrals are coming from social media (check your Google Analytics to see for yourself) (if you don’t know how to get to your Google Analytics, please call me immediately). If you’re struggling to reach the number of accounts you’d like to (and let’s face it, you are), these tips are guaranteed to help!
It’s no secret that social media is a key part of marketing for businesses. More than 60 million companies are utilizing this online strategy, and most are seeing huge rewards. However, this increase in users means there’s more traffic for your brand to compete against and then there is that pesky little thing called the algorithm to worry about. This ever-changing secret code controls what users do and don’t see on their social media feeds, which is hugely important for you because even if you produce killer content, it may not even be seen by your followers. Since the Facebook’s latest algorithm update, business pages are seeing an even more significant reduction in their organic post reach, leading many to start investing in Ads. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Here at Millennial Marketing, we’re all about helping you run the best ads for your business, but it’s never our go-to strategy. Ads should be used to enhance your already amazing content, so the first step is to make sure that whatever content your business is publishing is the kind of thing that Facebook thinks your followers will want to see. In many cases, quality content will boost your numbers without needing to put any money behind it. So what else can you do to improve your organic post reach and get in front of potential customers? Glad you asked.
1. Analyze your most popular posts
Most platforms offer analytics and metrics to help you track which posts have the highest engagement from your followers. Facebook and Instagram especially have awesome on-site metrics so that you can easily see what’s working and what’s not. Take a look at your top performing 5 posts and take notes on what kind of content your followers respond to the most and build your strategy accordingly.
2. Be careful with cross-posting
Cross-posting across your platforms means that you’re using the same content across the board. For most businesses, this works fine. However, be weary of your formatting. For example, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but that would be an insane amount for a Facebook post. Or another that I see all the time, Instagram posts with a link in the caption! Since you can’t click on links in a Instagram caption, it’s clear to followers that this is just a copied post from Facebook. Our firm generally uses the same content across all platforms for our clients, but we tailor each post to the platform it corresponds with. On Facebook, we’ll post the link to the article we want to share and Instagram we’ll summarize the information in the article with a great photo that compliments the content.
3. Post when your audience is listening
Similar to the fist tip- check your analytics. Aside from telling you which posts are performing well, social media platforms will also tell you what time of day your audience is most likely to engage with your content. Most people will be on from 7-9PM after their days settle down, but don’t be tempted to only post during those times! Spread your content out to maximize potential reach.
4. Let your followers get to know you
Our clients hate hearing it, but the more personal your business pages are, the more successful they’ll be. Post photos of the team, your desk at the office, charities your company supports, or some other behind the scenes look at what makes your company unique.
5. Video, Video, Video
Video content is still king, folks. This doesn’t mean that you need to hop on Facebook Live while you’re in your car and talk for 30 minutes (in fact, we’d prefer that you didn’t). Instead, show your audience how you make your products or execute your services. If you’re a painter, try a time-lapse video of a project you’re working on. I know what you’re thinking. “But Malia, I’m just an accountant! How am I supposed to make video content about my profession interesting???” Be creative! Even if it seems boring it could be hugely beneficial to someone, and that translates to new customers. Tell us how to fill out our tax forms or an easy way to organize our receipts.
Pro Tip: Uploading your videos directly to Facebook (rather than using a link from YouTube or another website) will improve your engagement! Facebook likes when you use Facebook.
6. Incentivize Engagement
Social media users are spoiled. Because of the insane number of published pieces of content per day, we no longer go out of our way to engage with a post unless is amazing or asks us a specific question that we feel inclined to answer. Give users a question or answer or an interesting topic to discuss. In real estate? Ask your followers what the best and worst things about house hunting are or what they would have changed about their home buying experience.
7. Let your followers connect to your brand
It’s beyond explanation for me, but some people are actually utilizing a business account but choose to disable their reviews. If you’re that scared of a bad review, you must not have much confidence in your business. There will always be errors, but if you’re doing good business you shouldn’t need to worry about someone saying differently online. Should you get a poor review, handle it graciously and apologetically. In this situation, the customer is always right. Encourage your followers to message you, respond to posts and ask questions! The more they feel like they “know” you, the more likely they are to buy from you.
8. Create a group
This one takes commitment, but I’ve seen it pay off for a number of businesses. Creating a private Facebook group is like inviting your favorite clients/prospects to become VIP members- and everybody wants to be VIP. Your group should alert members of sales before the rest of social media finds out, offer special discounts/giveaways that only they can access or otherwise engage the people you most want to target. Be creative on this one! For example, your group doesn’t have to just target prospective clients. A mortgage lender could create a group targeting real estate agents as referral partners in the area and update them on local housing changes, safety measures, market trends, etc.
9. Make your promotions virtual
Throwing a sign up in your window that you’re having a sale won’t cut it anymore. Run a Facebook- or Instagram-only promotion, instead. Hype up the event all week and then do a Live drawing of the winner or a thank you to all who participated when the sale ends at the designated time. Home remodeling companies could invite followers to tag them in a photo of their house for a chance to win a free power wash, then use the before and after photos as marketing material and require the winner to write a review following service (which can also be used for marketing purposes). The name of the game in social media sales is to get your followers as close to your product as possible, so that they have to have it.
The golden rule of social media marketing: be consistent. Your one week of regular content is great and all, but those numbers will drop just as fast as they rose if you don’t keep up with it. Figure out a plan that you can commit to and then make it a priority for your business. It may seem overwhelming as you get started, but once you make it a habit it’s smooth sailing.