5 Ways to Market Your Boring Business on Facebook
Even though popularity continues to grow for social media platforms like Instagram, Vine, Tumblr & Pinterest, the granddaddy of them all is still Facebook. I don’t diminish the importance of the other networks in your overall marketing strategy, but the fact remains that Facebook is the most popular in terms of membership and time spent. It goes without saying any business big or small needs to have a presence on Facebook, especially moving forward to the SEO of 2014 and beyond.
But… My business is boring. How do I rock it on Facebook?
An Introduction to “EdgeRank”
Before I go into some specific strategies, I want to catch you up on Facebook’s “EdgeRank” algorithm. The same way Google PageRank pulls metrics to determine where your website shows up in the search results, EdgeRank uses 3 main factors (affinity, weight & time decay) to determine which posts they will serve up in an individual’s newsfeed. Personally, I prefer seeing all of my followed statuses in my newsfeed, but Facebook has crafted EdgeRank in an attempt to serve up what they feel you most likely want to see, and this is how the majority of people use Facebook.
That means that just because you post something, doesn’t mean everyone will see it in their feed. This goes for your personal statuses as well as a brand or company’s page statuses. The key in a single word is engagement. The more people like, comment and share your posts, the higher your EdgeRank will be, and therefore your social reach and impact. I’ve put together this simple infographic to illustrate Edgerank in layman’s terms:
Of course, some small businesses aren’t as visually or socially interesting as others, which is why we as marketers must get creative. The overarching rule of thumb I follow is to think of the kinds of content I would personally engage with, then create that for the page I’m working with. Often times business owners will get this totally wrong. They will post what they want their customers to hear, not what their customers want to hear.
What Not to Do
- Don’t post only text. Imagine your user: Chances are, they’re quickly scrolling through hundreds of statuses on their mobile phone, and your text status is not likely to be very engaging.
- Don’t try to be a salesman too often. The general consensus in my circles is to adapt the 80/20 rule to your content curation. Give 80% and ask 20%. Too often I see people constantly asking for things from their audience, whether it be asking their take on a status, or asking them to buy stuff. Give your audience interesting content, and you’ll win their heart, that way the 20% of the time it will mean more.
- Don’t sound corporate. Too many companies sound too much like a machine, and not like a real person. People like to connect with people, remember, we’re utilizing social networking, not a TV commercial.
- Don’t buy fake “likes” on sites like Fiverr. This technique may have had marginal benefits in 2008, but now, it does more harm than good. It’s actually cheaper to get real fans by running a very low-budget Facebook ad campaign. If you would like help with this, contact me (see footer).
Here are the 5 strategies that help your boring business succeed with Facebook:
1. Broaden your concept of your niche.
Just because your business manufactures ball bearings in Milwaukee doesn’t mean every single post you make needs to be about ball bearings. In fact, that would be the quickest way to bore your fans to death.
Here are types of content a ball bearing manufacturer from Milwaukee could curate:
- Inspiring or motivational quotes
- Interesting news about manufacturing/engineering/machining (think macro-niche)
- Interesting news about Milwaukee
- Videos of futuristic inventions that utilize bearings
- Memes about Milwaukee
- Candid photos around your office (i.e. office pranks)
- Seasonal content (i.e. Acknowledging a major cold front via. a funny meme, that hit the USA)
- Holiday wishes (Happy 4th of July; Merry Christmas; etc.)
2. Post different types of content.
Text updates have the least “weight” of any type of content. That’s not to say to not use text, however, mix it up, and try to stay interesting. Let’s say you’re about to post an inspirational quote. One quick way to increase its’ weight and engagement is to not just post the text of the quote, but post a picture of the quote like the example to the right.
Mix up your content by posting:
- Uploaded Videos
- Embedded Videos
3. Run a small Facebook ad.
By budgeting a very small amount (even a dollar or two a day), you can achieve a steady stream of fans, which will increase the number of people seeing your posts, and therefore engaging with your posts. This will help your EdgeRank, and your social presence overall.
Some tips for running a ‘fan seeding’ ad campaign:
- Post an eye catching photo for your ad.
- Make the headline a question.
- Advertise in emerging markets.
4. Post consistently.
Posting consistently not only helps as far as algorithmically, but also with your credibility as a brand. Often times if you disappear after rolling for a while, your EdgeRank will drop like a rock, and when you try to post an update, very few people will see it.
With Facebook, it’s very easy to schedule posts, so you don’t have to sit there all day, every day posting content. This is an aspect of automation that Facebook doesn’t frown upon, so schedule away!
If you don’t have money for 3rd party software nor do you have time to post engaging, diverse, unique content consistently, consider my social media packages that start at a few dollars a day.
5. Harness memes, ecard images & “caption this” posts.
The fact is, you’re probably not going to sell a case of ball bearings from posting an engaging ecard image. However, you will most likely get more user engagement, which will lead to more social authority, which will lead to higher rankings for your site, and higher trust with your customers, which leads to more sales down the road.
It’s hard to explain the ROI of social to a social media client because of this. The typical business owner wants to see a direct return, traceable to a specific action. That’s simply not the way social media marketing works. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to sell products on Facebook, especially in conjunction with a well managed ad campaign, but the benefits are much more than that. So keep that in mind when posting your content. Your goal is to get people to like, share, comment, and engage with your brand. That’s why fun visual content like memes & ecards are like gold to your Facebook presence.
Content that demands a strong emotional response, whether a laugh, an opinion, a disagreement, or wit, is the kind of content that does best on Facebook.
Here are some free tools to create some of these kinds of images:
- Memes: http://www.quickmeme.com/caption – Create memes or find existing memes that relate to your micro or macro niche or locale.
- eCard Images: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/create – Create images loosely related to your niche!
- Caption This Images: http://www.captionthis.org/ – Post an image and ask your fans to ‘caption this’. Incorporate a contest that gives out a prize for the best caption.
If you found this post helpful, please feel free to share. If you would like to discuss your social media presence, contact me today! (see footer)