How Business users can get results from Facebook without spending a fortune on ads
An article by Lilach Bullock Socialable Ltd
l thought Facebook ads are great, businesses need to get their posts in fans’ news feeds if they want to get better results from Facebook in the long term. A staggering 95% of Facebook users only look at their news feeds when they access the popular social network, so just posting for the sake of posting will not bring in great results for your business. There is a real art to great posting on Facebook, and unfortunately it’s not always easy to master.
Studies have also found that only 35% of commercial wall posts actually get in people’s news feeds, which goes to show how much hard work must be put behind a great Facebook strategy.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, in order to get the best results, your focus should be on getting your posts in news feeds. A vast majority ofpeople will never visit your Facebook Page regularly, at least not unless you offer them some kind of incentive, such as offers and promotions. So how do you get your posts in news feeds without spending any money? Facebook uses an algorithm named Edgerank to decide which posts go in news feeds, and how high up so understanding it can help you create better posts. You can read an explanation of Edgerank and the way it works here.
Although with the new Facebook changes there is a “following” tab in news feeds where users will be able to see only the updates from the Pages they are following, that still does not guarantee you a top spot in news feeds or that people will even check that tab regularly.
Here are some of the best ways to get in news feeds and get more results from Facebook without spending money on ads or promoted posts:
1. Understand how the News Feed algorithm works
In the order to get the in news feeds, it’s important to understand what can help you get there. There are several factors that make the ‘decision’ on which posts go where in news feeds, including:
– number of comments
– type of post (photo, video, text only, link, etc.)
– who posted the update
As you can see, posts that have lots of comments and likes are more likely to get in news feeds. The trick to getting people to engage with you is for you to engage with them in return. Spend some time daily interacting with people on Facebook, liking their posts and especially commenting.
It’s also very important to respond to everyone who comments on your posts – this “trick” helps you get more comments and will determine more people to join in the conversation.
3. Start a poll
Polls are great engagement boosters, and thankfully there are lots of free Facebook poll applications that you can use. It’s very easy to do and only takes minutes of your time yet can yield some great results. Think of a poll that both relates to your business and niche, and that will also make people interested in voting and seeing the results. There are lots of great poll apps, but I recommend you try Poll.
4. Post great content
Link updates might not always get you in news feeds, but they can still generate lots of engagement and traffic back to your website. Share your best articles on Facebook, as well as in relevant groups that allow you to and encourage people to leave comments and likes. I recommend the free version of RSS Graffiti to help you save time when posting your blog posts.
5. Add a contact form to your Facebook Page
Lists are any businesses’ most import assets, so why not take advantage of your Facebook audience to build yours? There are lots of free apps that you can use to easily add a contact form to your Facebook Page, such as Contact Form.
6. Join groups and be an active group member
Facebook Groups can be an amazing source of engagement, traffic and even leads. Look for and join groups that are related to your niche, where its users are active and start engaging with them on a regular basis. Post your content, ask questions and engage in conversations – make sure however that you check the conditions for posting in each group.
7. Post photos
Visual is all the rage at the moment – there are entire social networks dedicated to images, and Facebook users are no strangers to this phenomenon. Photos are the most successful types of posts, gathering a staggering 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs (Kissmetrics). Posting a great image can be sure-fire way to get more engagement and to get in top news feeds.
8. Facebook Hashtags
Although Facebook has only recently introduced clickable hashtags as a feature, they have great potential to help reach more people. Try to include a maximum of two relevant hashtags in your posts, but make sure to also do some research to see which hashtags are popular. You can also take advantage of this feature by using appropriate hashtags in your posts when there is a major event going on somewhere in the world – just like on Twitter, people take to Facebook to talk about these types of events (such as a sporting event, a piece of news that has millions of people of hooked, etc.).
9. Ask questions
By asking a direct question in your posts, you are more likely to get an answer in the form of comments. In fact, question posts on Facebook get 100% more comments than regular posts (Kissmetrics). Try asking questions that are in some way related to your business or niche and that would also make your audience interested enough to actually answer.
10. Keep it short
The same infographic from Kissmetrics reveals that posts with less than 80 characters actually get 66% more engagement than longer posts.
11. Post at the right time
The time when you post can also have a great influence on the results you get from that post. Studies have found that Facebook is at its most active around 3 p.m. on weekdays; this means that if you post during these times, your post has more chances to be noticed and the more people notice it, the better your engagement levels can get. However, there is no magical time for everyone – rather, I recommend trying to post at different times during the day and night to see when you get the best results. This can be quite time-consuming, but you can use a tool such as PostPlanner to schedule your updates.
To be honest, getting results from Facebook is getting harder and harder, especially if you aren’t spending money on ads or promoted posts. However, fortunately, there are still some ways to get more engagement and traffic from the social media giant. What do you do to get better results from Facebook?
An article by Lilach Bullock Socialable Ltd