Marketers have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. As the top social networking site with 890 million daily users, its power and reach cannot be ignored. Yet the company has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to gain traction and followers through Facebook company pages without paying to play. If you don’t want to break the bank on Facebook advertising, but still hope to use the platform to market your business, here are five ways to stay in your fans’ News Feed this year.
Use the Trending Tool
On the top right corner of your personal Facebook feed, you’ll see a box entitled “Trending.” This is where Facebook shares stories that are popular at the moment. Use the trending topics to post your own relevant content or share simple status updates. By tying your posts to what’s trending, Facebook automatically classifies that as popular, which will more likely lead to the information showing up in people’s Facebook feeds. This is also a great way to go back into your content arsenal and promote older posts that may be relevant now because of what’s trending.
Use Real People to Help Promote Content
It’s much easier to have your content seen by friends if you’re posting from your individual account rather than a business page. As such, make sure the business page is not the only entity sharing content on Facebook. Use your company marketing staff and brand ambassadors to like, comment on, and share the business posts through their individual Facebook accounts. Personal content-sharing on Facebook is much more likely to be seen in the newsfeed, so use that to your advantage.
Visual Posts Outperform Text
Not all Facebook posts are created equal, and it’s a known fact that Facebook ranks posts with images higher than text-only updates. With that in mind, make sure every status update you post contains an eye-catching image or multiple images. Larger images (think 800 x 600 pixels) are more appealing and tend to receive more clicks than a thumbnail size.
Tag People Appropriately
Another way to gain traction in the Facebook News Feed is to tag other Facebook pages in your posts. This includes celebrities, authors, sports teams, brands and companies, etc. For example, if you’re mentioning Fast Company magazine to share an article, tag Fast Company to its Facebook page. (This creates a clickable link from Fast Company to its page). By doing this, your post will be seen not just by a few of your Facebook fans, but also by the fans of the page you tag in the post. That means you have exposure to all of the fans that follow that particular page.
Consider Boosting Posts
If you’re still struggling to gain exposure on Facebook but don’t want to invest a lot of money into the endeavor, boosting a post may be a good option. A boosted post is a post from your business page that can appear higher up on your audience’s News Feeds. You pay a fee for the boost, but you can set the amount yourself depending on how many people you want the post to reach (the payment depends on the number of impressions the post gets with time). You can actually gain quite a bit of traction with a payment as low as $5. The advantage of boosting is you are also able to target the type of Facebook users that are more likely to engage with your company.
It does take work to assure your business stays in the Facebook News Feed. However it’s the best social network to reach potential customers if your target audience is actively engaged with Facebook. You should also spend time examining your page’s Insights tab where you can see who your audience is and what posts are the most engaging. This will help you as you plan your Facebook marketing strategy for 2015.