Think you’re still gaining a lot of traction on Facebook simply by putting stuff into your newsfeed every day? Think again.
This year, Facebook has rolled out with a new strategy to make money, called Promoted Posts, on both your Pages and your Personal Timeline. And while the original premise of Facebook was to allow you to quickly see what all of your friends and followers were up to, the part has now disappeared with the new newsfeed algorithm.
The newsfeed is now controlled by EdgeRank, the Facebook algorithm that factors in a variety of things when deciding what to show in your newsfeed. It looks at how often you interact with a person/page, how many people have liked that page, how many comment on it, and the type of content that is being shown. The higher the interest, the more likely it will be shown.
But even those factors alone won’t get you in front of your overall audience. Facebook itself has stated that Page posts are seen by less than 16 percent of its fans, meaning your chance of regularly influencing your audience is probably a whole lot smaller than what you thought it was.
How do you get your posts seen by more people?
The simplest way to gain traction on Facebook is to plan, create and post great information. If people like it, share it and comment on it, you will be rewarded by being more visible. In that aspect, Facebook is like Google; it wants to showcase popular, helpful, relevant material.
Yet it also is a numbers game. If you have 1,000 followers to your Facebook Page, that means less than 160 of those followers are actually seeing your posts on any regular timeframe. (Assuming the 16 percent actually sees your content.)
And if you have been reading this blog for a while now, you know marketing is all about numbers. And you simply can’t survive in business marketing to 160 potential customers. (And that’s assuming these 160 are really potential customers, and not just friends or acquaintances that are following you for other reasons.)
Organic posting will bring in a fraction of interest. But if you really want to target a lot of people using your Facebook Pages, nonorganic may be a better choice.
Choose your content
While Promoted Pages may not seem to cost a lot, it can add up over time. So like anything, you need to be careful about what you promote and what your purpose ultimately is.
As photographers, your goal is to allow your followers insight into who you are as a person and as a business. You may benefit from promoting an image from your latest shoot or a promotional item for a seasonal event you are hosting. Promoted posts isn’t an exact science; it depends on your audience and what they are looking for.
Promoting is easy. On every post you create on your Page, down at the bottom is a “Promote” tab. Simply click on this button and your Promotion window opens up.
This allows you to expand your reach beyond people who like your page to their friends as well, and also allows you to establish your maximum budget with their dropdown menu. With a credit card on file, you simple “Promote Post” and you’re set to go. It’s that easy.
Facebook does have a few rules. You must run new posts. You can run the campaign for a maximum of three days. You can choose a maximum dollar amount of the campaign. Or simply stop the campaign at any time during the campaign for any reason. The important thing is to monitor your stats and determine how well these are working for you.
When we promote a post, the viewer rates on the post will double or sometimes even triple, depending on how long we allow the campaign to run.
And when we run a campaign, we see our newsletter signups increase on our site – which is one of our goals. So we are accomplishing our objectives.
After your promotion is complete, or you stop it, you can quickly find out your stats by clicking the “Promoted” tab located in the same spot on your post. This provides you with a wealth of Page insights, and includes everything from your click through rate, to how many people liked your post.
If you promote your posts enough, you’ll quickly find what works best for you. A few tips that we’ve found include:
- Images are great for getting your “like” count up, yet do little for action. People simply “like” it and move on.
- Questions motivate people and make them want to share. Your comments will increase, also motivating more people to want to share their own comments.
- Comments are another way of increasing your exposure with your followers. Every time a comment is made, the other commenters in that thread are notified of a new comment. So if you have a heavily commented post, your chance of connecting with people interested in what you have to say is higher.
- Remember, what you see is not what any of your followers see. Newsfeeds are unique to the owner. They choose what they want to see and can block feeds at any time. Facebook is simply a “test and try” site, meaning it’s a site you have to work at regularly to receive any type of results at all.