Facebook can be a lot of work for a low return, if you don’t know what you’re doing. The social network often uses its huge membership numbers to attract marketers, but that’s somewhat disingenuous. After all, only a small fraction of the billion users on Facebook will have any interest in your business.
Your job as a Facebook marketer is to bring in the best possible returns for the least amount of effort. Beyond a certain point, your efforts just have a diminishing effect; it’s better to readjust and try something new.
If you’re aware of the 80/20 rule, the goal is to recognize when you’ve reached your 80% results and to stop putting in effort beyond the minimum. Beyond that point, you’re putting in more and more effort for less and less results. Skip it! Instead, try cycling through these methods of growing your Facebook page, putting in just enough effort to reach peak results before moving on.
Okay, so this step isn’t quite as effortless as the title of this blog implies. However, consider it an important investment. Every piece of content you write, every advertisement you run, needs to target a certain type of person. To discover who you need to target, you need to analyze your current audience. Facebook makes this easy with their Insights panel, so just take the time to analyze what you can about your audience.
Your goal is to eliminate, in broad strokes, audiences who won’t possibly be valuable on your page. Do you sell a product you can only ship in the United States? Cut off any other country. Are your products almost always purchased by men? Don’t bother advertising to women. Are most of your fans over the age of 30? Cut out the younger users. You don’t need to go deep into exact, specific demographics and personas, that’s more than your 20% of effort. Just get a solid general idea of who you’re targeting.
Experiment with Posts
Throughout the course of a few months, post various archetypes of posts. What do I mean by archetypes? For example:
- Simple questions.
- Links to content.
These are basic, general post archetypes. You can split them up into more granular types as well. For example, a humor photo, an art photo and a grungy social activist photo all work differently. Likewise, simple yes/no questions, fill-in-the-blank questions and polls all function differently.
The goal here is to try different types of posts and find out what most attracts and engages your users. If your average post receives 23 comments, and you post a few simple questions that only receive 10 comments, your audience doesn’t care about questions. You may as well not post them for a while. Conversely, if you post an artistic photo and find 58 comments the next day, it’s a good sign you should keep posting artistic photos.
What you’re doing is, in a general sense, streamlining the types of content you post. You don’t need to dig any deeper than that, like with split-testing copy on individual posts. Once again, that’s more effort than we’re trying to spend.
Network with Other Content Creators
If your business sells dresses, and another local business sells dress shoes, you can forge a powerful partnership. Look for businesses and content creators – users who run blogs or business pages relevant to your business – and approach them for cross-promotion opportunities.
Sometimes it’s simple to cross-promote for mutual benefit. Just share each other’s content and tag each other’s pages. Users from one page will visit the other, and vice versa, growing a mutual audience.
You can take it one step farther by running contests or promotions together. Any user who buys your dress gets a coupon for shoes, or vice versa. It’s simple and it drums up mutual business.
Share Appealing Content
You know who your audience is; share content they like. It doesn’t matter where that content is from. Most of it, of course, should be posted on your blog. After all, who knows your audience better than you? Supplement your content with content from related businesses or interesting blogs. Anything you think might appeal to your users, share.
What this does is builds trust in your users. They’ll see you sharing content you didn’t create and will decide that your page is a good place to watch for updates throughout your industry. In some cases, they’ll put your page ahead of others and may not follow your competition. In other cases, it just builds the number of people who pay regular attention to your site.
Establish Theme Days
Consider some of the popular, long-running social media memes. Throwback Thursday. Follow Friday. Hump Day. They all remain effective because they establish a theme on a regular schedule. You can do the same thing on a smaller scale.
Pick a day of the week, decide on a theme and determine a medium. Are you going to hold a Monday evening Q&A session with your customers? Are you going to hold a live Google Hangouts on the first Thursday of every month? The only limit to what you can do is your own creativity.
The point, more than the theme, is the schedule. If you say your live Q&A session is going to be Monday night at 8p.m., host it at that exact time every week. The goal is to keep users showing up and engaged; if you miss a day or don’t hold up your end of the bargain, you lose faith.
You can cut a lot of effort out of your Facebook management by curating content from around the web, rather than taking the time to create the content yourself. Share popular memes and news stories relevant to your niche. Keep on the cutting edge of web trends. Show your users that you’re not some stuffy business coming in and trying to stay hip; you’re an Internet user just like they are.