In this blog I am going to show you 5 things you can do right now to get the Facebook Algorithm to fall in love your page content meaning you can reach more local customers!
As a small business owner, time is often limited so, it is essential that the time you spend on social media has the best results in terms of driving the right customers to your business. Facebook is a great platform for finding local customers with over 2bn monthly users the right customers for your business are bound to be there.
It’s not surprising then that Facebook is full of businesses all trying to get in front of the same people as you. It’s a noisy place to be so how can you cut through the noise and get your message in front of the people who matter?
1. Understand What is the Facebook algorithm looking for.
In order to get the best reach and show up in front of local customers it’s important first to understand the Facebook algorithm and what determines whether you show up in people’s newsfeed. The algorithm does change fairly regularly but as of writing this post in April 2019 Facebook primary concern is driving meaningful conversation and more so meaningful conversation between family and friends .
So what triggers the algorithm? Well Facebook initially shows your post to a smaller group of your followers initially to see how it performs before it shows it to a larger group. Comments, likes, tags and shares all indicate engagement which help with the algorithm but what really drives it, is when people enter longer comments, and then that sparks multiple replies so initiating mini conversations in the thread of the post. It also loves it when people like or comment on posts shared by friends or family. Sharing links within messenger is a big driver for the algorithm as is comments and likes on videos. The algorithm also considers how long people spend on a post so videos work well for getting people to stop and spend longer on your posts. What will reduce your reach though is actually asking for those engagement type actions in your post. Historically the engagement has been abused slightly in the form of engagement baiting where people have posted questions asking you to respond with emojis, comments, share or tag friends in posts etc. If the algorithm detects you have asked people to do any of the following: like, comment, tag, share etc your post will be penalised and you will get a reduced reach. So with this all in mind what can you do?
2. Encourage Conversation and engagement on your Facebook posts.
The majority of pages in the balloon industry are full of photos of balloons. Not unexpected I hear you say!… and whilst absolutely your customers will be coming to your page expecting to see this there is more that is needed to drive people to your page from their newsfeed!
In between your normal product posts you need to be adding in posts that will get conversation and engagement going amongst your fans. When a post gets great engagement not only does the reach increase for that post but Facebook see’s that people are liking your content and so increases the reach of subsequent posts. Therefore, if you post a question or a fun post that gets people chatting, tagging their friends and getting involved, they are more likely to see the products you post in the following days. In addition to this when people interact with your posts Facebook will then show it to their friends who are most likely local also, giving you the opportunity to get more customers into your business.
Consider adding pictures to these type of posts so that it will get people to stop scrolling in their feed and take a closer look. It is also a great idea to share local content, what is going on locally and create conversation around local topics as it will be more likely to get people local to you engaged with the post. Whilst some of these engagment posts will be business related it’s also okay to include some fun, topical type posts that your audience will like. This is why it’s so important to really understand who your audience and your ideal customers are so coming up with post ideas that will encourage them to spark up conversation with your content becomes so much easier!.
As well as finding more local customers these types of posts are important for keeping your existing customers engaged with your page until they have a reason to purchase again. Often customers may have loved their experience of working with you but may not need to purchase again for several months and if they stop engaging then Facebook thinks they are no longer interested and stops showing them your content in their newsfeed. By keeping them engaged it means you will be top of mind when they are ready to purchase from you again 🙂
Creating Meaningful Conversation
Facebook Algorithm 2019
3. Time your engagement posts for maximum exposure
You can use Facebook insights to work out the best time to post your engagement posts so that it will get maximum exposure. This is so important because Facebook initially shows it to a small group of your follower and so you want it to get engagement straight away. When early engagement happens this then triggers the algorithm to believe it is something worth sharing and it distributes it to more people. It is a bit of trial and error finding out what the best times are for your fans. Often the really busy times are when lots of pages are also posting too, so competition will be high, but equally you don’t want to post when your ideal customers are less likely to be around. It’s about working out the best balance for your fans.
Another consideration for timing of engagement posts is that you should aim to post them at a time you are able to be around yourself, ready to jump in and respond to posts as they happen, as this will really help get conversations going and increase your reach.
4. Post consistently and optimise your page
As well as getting people engaged on your page, Facebook likes to see that you are a page that will bring value to your followers. You can do this by ensuring you post consistently. Avoid doing lots of posts and then follow with a gap when you are busy. This type of all or nothing posting can harm your reach and makes it so much harder for you to build up momentum each time. Use the Facebook scheduling tool to spread out your posts and prevent your reach falling off every time life goes a bit mad and you can’t concentrate on Facebook so much. It is also worth ensuring your Facebook page is completely filled out and optimised to the type of audience you are trying to attract so the algorithm knows the type of audience to deliver your content to. Ensuring your page settings reflect your business accurately is also very important, as users are able to search for businesses within Facebook platform itself and many do. Your facebook page can also rank on google if it is well optimised.
5. Regularly include video posts
Videos by far still get the biggest engagement on Facebook. People also spend longer on these posts and they are a media that the algorithm promotes. Live videos work the best as people will join you live or watch later and comment or provide reactions in the form of emojis. Your followers will also get a notification that you are going live so are more likely to pop over and see what you are doing. Whilst without a doubt live is best pre-recorded videos also have great reach too and are a valuable part of your content mix. Interestingly the videos with faces in them get the biggest interaction so make sure to include some of you, your team or customers etc to get fab interaction going on your page. Videos are also a fantastic way to retarget later with facebook ads and get a good conversion rate for orders especially for bigger events such as weddings etc.
Note about Youtube:
Facebook prefers on platform videos to youtube videos so ideally upload directly. If you are trying to promote your Youtube channel you are better to place the videos in a blog and then share the blog or place the link in the first comment of the post. If you are not trying to promote your Youtube channel then the best way is to upload directly to Facebook.
When a post gets great engagement not only does the reach increase for that post but Facebook see’s that people are liking your content and so increases the reach of subsequent posts.
So that is 5 powerful ways to reach more local customers on Facebook! I hope you found it useful!
Facebook is just one of the ways you can build a strong and loyal customer base. If you are looking for more local customers, ready and able to buy from your business, check out my free eBook packed with loads of advice and 20 ways to Market your Local Business.
BUILDING A STRONG LOCAL CUSTOMER BASE IS ESSENTIAL FOR GROWING YOUR BUSINESS!
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Until next time... Stay Amazing!
Hi I am Sonia!
Having spent the last 7 years growing my balloons and venue décor business I am on a mission to help other small business owners grow their local business. I have seen too many local businesses close before they have even got started and it’s such a crying shame. Learning to run your own business is often so much harder than creating the products you sell. With 10 years in sales and marketing coaching I share my experience of the key things that really fast track business growth so that your business can give you and your family the life you dream of!