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17778204_sFacebook has over 54 million business pages, all of which are competing for user attention. The most important metric for businesses on Facebook, therefore, is reach. It is for this reason that your company should maintain a strong presence on the social networking giant.

What if your Facebook business page has a tiny following? What actionable tactics can you employ to grow your follower base and increase engagement with your fans?

 

Here are 6 ways any business can increase organic reach on its Facebook business page:

1.      Make Your Facebook Page Stand Out

When did you last update your Facebook profile? If your profile is outdated you could be sending out the wrong message to consumers. Social users judge the value of a Facebook page in a matter of seconds. You therefore need to grab their attention in as little time as possible.

The first step in creating a great Facebook page is providing as much information as possible about your business by filling out your complete Facebook profile. Include important information such as a short description of your company, your contact information, a link to your official website, the products you sell, etc. Ensure you write a keyword-rich Facebook profile.

As for profile picture, use a photo that represents your business, such as your logo. For the cover page, choose an image that best reflects what you’re trying to convey.  There are various creative ways to use Facebook cover photos.  Keeping the cover photo fresh will keep your followers coming back to your page.

 

2.      Leverage Facebook Graph Search

Companies often have a hard time collecting information about their fans on Facebook. But with the help of Graph Search, you can now learn about your followers and their interests easily.

For instance, consider the Facebook page of Tampa Web Design. To gain insights into our followers we can use Graph Search with queries like: “Pages liked by users who like Tampa Web Design”; “Favorite interests of users who like Tampa Web Design”; “Places visited by followers who like Tampa Web Design and who live in Tampa, Florida”;  and so on.

Using Graph Search with different combinations of queries helps a business get a greater understanding of its followers. Gaining insight into this information can be useful for your Facebook content strategy or Facebook ads.

 

3.      Make Use of  Hashtags

A report published in September 2013 points out that Facebook posts with hashtags actually have less viral reach those without hashtags. But a lot could have changed since then.

In February 2014, Social Bakers published The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags which reported that not a use of hashtags but an excessive use of them could be the reason behind the previously reported negative results.

Ensure you use hashtags in your Facebook posts to gain exposure and generate engagement with Facebook users. You can even brainstorm a new hashtag for your specific marketing campaigns such as contests or product sales.

If you notice that a tag relevant to your industry is trending, include it in your next post. This will give you exposure beyond your follower base because Facebook users will see your post when they search for that hashtag.

 

4.      Post Compelling Content

People don’t come to Facebook to see advertisements. So make sure promotional posts constitute only a small percentage of your content.

Experts recommend an 80/20 ratio, with just 20 percent of your content being promotional in nature and the remaining 80 percent consisting of content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversation.

For instance, an electronics company that posts nothing but advertisements in its status updates won’t get nearly the same response as it would if it posted information about refrigerator cleaning, oven safety tips, or how to reduce electricity bills.

To increase engagement on Facebook, you need to create relevant content. Offering deeper and richer content may make people flock to your page and respond. Engage with your audience by running contests, asking questions, giving tips, sharing ideas, encouraging discussions, or conducting polls.

 

5.      Follow and Be Liked

If your brand has a relatively small audience, you can follow back your fans. Reaching out is a great way to show that you care about your audience. Respond to your fans’ comments on your Facebook posts. You can even ‘Like’ their comments.

These tactics will spark interaction between you and your audience. When the friends of your Facebook fans see you interacting and engaging with them on a regular basis, they too may be prompted to ‘Like’ you.

You should also search for influencers with huge numbers of followers in your industry.  Build relationships with them by following them and engaging with them. Chances are they may follow you back. This can then help you find a whole lot of new fans for your Facebook business page.

 

6.      Post at Times Ideal for Your Fans

If you post at the right time, your posts will get the attention they deserve. It has been seen that non-busy hours are the best time to post. Updating your status at such times will make sure that your fans are free to ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ your posts.

Ensure you post enough content to stay visible in the newsfeed but without annoying your fans. The key to walking this fine line is to know the lifespan of your posts. A post is considered “alive” when it is occupying the newsfeed or is a highlighted story and is receiving a continuous stream of engagement. A post is considered “dead” when its engagement stops growing more than 10% per hour. Never post while another post is alive or you risk losing engagement.

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Channels Connected

It’s important that you keep all your social platforms such as Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn connected with your Facebook account so that your followers on all these sites can also become your fans on Facebook.

Share the fact that you have a Facebook presence on your company website as well as in all your marketing material. Make sure you clearly state the benefits of liking your page. This is an effective way of building an audience. You can also include a link to your official website in your Facebook posts.

If your social media efforts are not bringing you immediate and significant responses, you could be wasting your time. Increasing the number of fans on Facebook or improving your engagement with them is not easy; it takes time. Incorporate the above mentioned points in your Facebook marketing strategy and stick to it to increase your follower base over time.

June 17, 2014

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