In the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced that it would be showing users more content from friends and family instead of businesses.
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs felt the sting as they feared their content would get even less reach in the newsfeed.
If you use Facebook - or even rely on it - for your business, this new announcement can feel frustrating. However, it is actually a good thing!
So how should I be using Facebook to grab more attention?
First of all, Facebook business pages never got the same traction as personal posts in the newsfeed. Yes, now it is less than ever, but relying on business page posts as a marketing strategy probably only worked for a handful of entrepreneurs for a little while.
The caveat is Facebook Live, which tends to get pushed into the newsfeed more. People also get notifications when someone goes live.
Even though business pages have seen a decline in activity recently, there are still plenty of ways to use Facebook to reach your ideal clients.
Secondly, we are fortunate to have the Facebook platform as a way to get in front of our ideal clients and be seen as an expert in our field. Before Facebook, we were doing direct mails, putting flyers on dashboards, making cold calls, and setting up lead boxes that collect dust!
I, for one, am grateful those days are over!
At the end of the day, our clients want to feel connected to us. The change in the Facebook algorithm encourages us to give our clients what they want and need - and ultimately grow our businesses.
Below are five ways to use Facebook to grow your business despite the reduced organic reach:
1. Have Conversations
Facebook was meant to bring people together. According to Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook:
Facebook puts friends and family at the core of the experience.
He wants people to stop aimlessly scrolling and instead have more meaningful conversations.
Facebook used to determine how a post would rank in the newsfeed based on likes, comments, and shares. With the recent update, it will also put emphasis on and value real conversations and interactions.
Posts that inspire back-and-forth conversations in the comments and post that people want to share will be given priority in the newsfeed.
Pro tip: Use storytelling to draw people in and set yourself apart from others in the industry. People care more about WHY you do something more than what you do.
You can post conversation-starting posts on your business page (ask a friend or two to get the convo going!), your personal page now and then, and in your Facebook group, if you have one.
Facebook states that users will not use their personal page "primarily for your own commercial gain." I interpret that to mean you can share your business on your personal page but keep it to a limit. Your personal page should not be a billboard for your business - that is what business pages are for.
People want to feel connected and see what their friends are up to. Posting too many business posts on your personal page is a sure fire way to lose friends!Keep in mind, using "engagement-bait" to get comments is actually frowned upon. For example, saying "Comment YES" or "LIKE this if" is considering engagement-bait.
2. Use Live Video
As I mentioned above, live video is still favored over other posts. Longer live videos give people time to tune in.
Live video also often leads to discussion among viewers - in fact, live video tends to get 6x as many interactions as regular videos!
If you've never used Facebook Live, here are some pointers that will help get you started on the right foot:
Another cool thing you can do with live video is interviews. You have to use a third party platform - like BeLive or Zoom - but you can schedule a video which sends a notification to your followers and host an interview right on your page.
If you train in your local community, consider doing this with a nutritionist, chiropractor, or other wellness professional. Not only will you be giving your audience a ton of amazing content and value, but the other person will also hopefully share the interview with their followers.
Here are a few other Facebook Live topic ideas: Why you became a trainer, Frequently asked questions, An inside peak into your life or business, Debunk a recent fad diet or myth, or you can Explain a blog post.
Pro tip: If you decide to post a pre-recorded video instead of going live, shorter pre-recorded videos may get more views than longer ones.
3. Try Facebook Messenger Bots
Messenger bots are a new and exciting way to reach clients. FB messages get opened way more than emails. In fact, there are 900 million people on the messenger platform and 80% of adults use messaging apps everyday.
Messenger bots are another communication channel that offers a wide variety of engagement options. They are still new to the game, but marketers believe those who do not use them will fall behind. It's a big claim and I am curious to see how they play out over the next year.
Pro tip: Since messenger bots are so new, your subscribers may be a bit confused how they work. Keep your campaigns super simple - especially at first - and be sure to let them know they can unsubscribe if they want.
4. Grow Your Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are becoming quite popular as a way for entrepreneurs to stay in touch with their ideal clients. And Facebook likes groups because they are communities where interactions happen.
Not only that, hosting your own Facebook group allows you to make deep connections with the people in your group.
Here's the thing: We want to build an online business to scale. But clients want to feel a connection before they buy. A Facebook group is a great way to scale connections.
You have the opportunity to show up, answer questions, and gain your potential clients' like and trust much quicker than multiple one-on-one phone calls.
If your Facebook group is relatively new, you may feel like you're the only one talking for a while, but there are most likely many people listening.
It is eye-opening when you think no one in your group is paying attention and then you receive a message from someone saying one of your posts really helped them or that they love your group!
When someone joins your Facebook group, they basically go from a cold lead to a pretty darn warm one very quickly.
Provide a ton of value but offer free content strategically. You can run challenges and trainings around specific topics, include a free opt-in related to those trainings, and then pitch a product or service that will continue to solve a problem for your group members.
Pro tip: Link a free download to the pinned post and remind members of it frequently.
When you provide value to the people in your group, you then earn the right to make a sales plug every now and then.
Please note, you should not be spending too much of your time in your free group. You do want to show up, provide value and be consistent but it should not become a time-suck. Here are 30 Facebook post topic ideas for health and fitness entrepreneurs.
5. Test Facebook Ads
Ads are key to reach new people and grow your email list.
The biggest mistakes I see online entrepreneurs make with Facebook ads are aimlessly boosting posts and not having a strategy.
Let's break these two mistakes down.
Clicking that little "Boost Post" button that is so convenient is actually not a very effective way to get more eyes on your post, engagement, clicks, or whatever your intent was.
It costs 3x as much to boost a post as it does to create an ad for that same post in the Ads Manager.
Aimlessly boosting posts leads into the next mistake: having no strategy.
Start with the end in mind. What is your ultimate goal? What do you want to sell more of? Now work backwards and create a great free offer to align with that product or service.
Next, your audience of potential buyers are either cold (they have no idea who you are), warm (they know you and you need to win them over a little more), or hot (they know, like, and trust you and are ready to buy).
You should run ads to a cold audience with the intent to get them to know you. So you may show them a really valuable piece of content or video. You will then retarget those people into an ad that offers your free opt-in. Most of your ad money will be spent marketing your free opt-in to warm leads.
Pro tip: Upload the Facebook Pixel to your website to track who visits your site and then create ads to target them (these are warm leads).
Start with one of these five tips and implement it into your business today.