7 Ways to Increase your Facebook Audience

Facebook has become a more costly and labor-intensive advertising and marketing vehicle due to the much anticipated algorithm changes that were made to increase their revenue. (Hey – Zuckerberg has to eat too!) It was only a matter of time before this affected our marketing strategies.

Facebook Like mosaic
photo credit: Charis Tsevis

If your business is B2C, you can’t overlook the power of the social platform that, according to Facebook’s own statistics, has over 1.35 billion monthly active users, which makes it the largest social media network in the world. Check out these other Facebook stats and you’ll have no choice but to agree, Facebook marketing can’t be ignored.

  • Around 4.5 billion likes happen every, single day
  • 1.12 billion active mobile users
  • Age 25-34 make up nearly 30 percent of the users
  • Every 60 seconds, 510 comments are posted, 293 status updates are made and 136,000 photos are uploaded (Source: The Social Skinny)
  • 16 million local business pages are on Facebook versus only 8 million in 2012

The bottom line is that if you aim to market your business in one of the most direct means available, Facebook has been and will continue to be an advertising force to be reckoned with.

Although the tide is always changing, we’ve identified the top seven current ways to increase your Facebook audience. Try one. Try them all. You’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t for your specific business. The best part is that the results can be tracked rapidly, so little money or time is wasted.

1. Facebook Ads are Necessary

Facebook has changed the algorithms a few times and it’s not like the old days when a viral buzz was more easily attained. If you have something important like a promotion or a message that needs to reach a certain audience, you must use Facebook Ads. Without them, your “reach” is nil, as the algorithm prevents posts’ excessive showings.

2. Share High-Quality Content

If you are looking for real engagement, then you need to get past the regular content types and focus on quality content that solves your target audience’s problems and address their concerns. eBooks, white papers and posts that you have generated or experts in the industry have shared. Highly unique content that is supported with interesting headlines and engaging visuals is what is working at this juncture. Be sure to include a call-to-action in at least 50 percent of your shares/posts, but not every time or you will be viewed as being spammy.

3. Post More Frequently

This is the best way to increase the chances of appearing in more news feeds. Whatever you are doing now, try to increase your frequency for a few weeks and measure the impact through Facebook’s analytics. Notice the statistics and growth to see where your best level of engagement lies. An infographic developed by Dan Zarrella, Hubspot, shows that four to six posts a day is the best number for businesses with active fan engagement. This increases the odds of going viral and getting noticed.

4. User Generated Content

User generated content is one of the main keys to growth and recognition. Facebook and Google both recognize companies that create these types of interactive events so it really helps improve your overall search ranking, as well as fan engagement. Consider developing fun contests, surveys and other unique ways for social engagement and your audience will become a part of the content generation process.

Facebooking at Starbucks
photo credit: naniwa

5. Make it a Press Opportunity

Sharing your noteworthy achievements through Facebook will let your fans know firsthand about the great things you are doing or have accomplished. Let your fans make your news viral – so deliver it in an interesting way. Brands like Starbucks use Facebook as a PR platform even before using regular PR outlets. This has helped them grow socially and reach even more potential customers.

6. Use Facebook’s “Insights” to Tweak

There are two things you need to keep an eye on and nothing will help you achieve that other than Facebook insights. The first thing insights will reveal is the time your fans are most active, so you will know best times to reach them. Secondly, Facebook’s insights provides post engagement reports. When you know which posts resonate more with your fans and what time of the day they are most active, you have the working formula to generate engagement and growth. Market smarter, not harder.

7. Utilize Fan Interaction

First rule is to answer all questions and comments. You never want to leave a comment or a post unanswered. Posts that receive more interactivity will receive more feed buzz, circulation and exposure on Facebook, so don’t waste the opportunity.

Follow any or all of these seven growth-techniques and you will experience a positive difference in your Facebook results. However, remember digital marketing is always changing so check back often to see what other techniques might need to be revised, tweaked or completely reworked.