I recently posted a shorter version of this post on the Totally Locally Hartlepool business forum. The idea of this article originally came from a bunch of posts I’d seen quite frequently on my personal Facebook feed. I’m sure you’ve seen them, the “please invite all your friends to help me beat the Facebook/Instagram algorithm” posts.
Firstly, I have no idea what moron came up with this! I can only imagine it would be the type of person that shares chain mail because the original post states they’ll die in the next 24 hours unless they do so🙄. But more to the point, this will not help you beat any algorithm and if anything, it’s seriously fucking up your business’s reach and engagement. Let me explain!
Facebook’s algorithm is designed to get rid of all of the crap that clogs up your newsfeed and to deliver content you’ll actually enjoy. Understanding Facebook’s algorithm is a blog post on its own in fact, I could write a full series of blog posts on it so I’ll try to keep this as short as possible. Basically, Facebook will deliver content to you based on posts, videos and websites you’ve engaged with previously. That’s likes, reactions, comments and link clicks. So if you constantly like pictures and videos of cats, you’re going to get more pictures of cats. That’s why you’ll notice “media outlets” posting outrages click bait articles. They’re trying to get you to comment and engage with their posts.
Why Inviting Your Friends Is Damaging Your Facebook Page.
When you invite your friend to like your pages they’re doing it to support you. They’re not really interested in the content you produce or the service/product you provide. Every now and then they might give you a pity like to say “Hey, I’m still here supporting you!”. This makes Facebook believe they’re interested in your content so in turn, it will deliver the content to them more frequently. This then waters down your reach to potential customers and before you know it your Facebook page becomes about as lively as a graveyard.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients some of which who have had over 1 million likes and some that have had just over 100. What I’ve found across the board is that you’ll always have committed fans if the content you produce is great. But when your page audience is full to the brim of fake likes or friend likes, your reach and engagement is going to dwindle.
Basically, if you’re aiming for a million likes and you’ll do anything for them likes (including inviting your friends and buying fake profiles), you’re going to have a bad time…
How To Create An Engaged Audience
So with all these rules set in place how the hell is anyone expected to build a genuine Facebook audience! Don’t worry boys and girls I’ve got a few key tips to follow:
Know Your Audience – Don’t Just Target Everyone And Hope It Works
This is one of the most blatant tasks. Businesses should always know who they’re targeting. Yet, it amazes me how many businesses I deal with who can’t answer this question or worse yet answer with “EVERYONE“. Seriously, when you’re targeting everyone it’s as if you’re trying to throw a tonne of shit at a wall and hope for something to stick. It won’t work.
Post Engaging Content – Start Conversations! that starts conversations- Ask your audience questions, get them excited, drop free knowledge.
Imagine me and you are at a networking event. We’ve never met and I walk up to you and scream “BUY MY SERVICES“. Your instant reaction would be “god, this guy is a dick”. That’s what the average Facebook page owner is doing when they put out the traditional “buy my shit” content.
When you’re talking to your audience on Facebook, imagine they’re an actual person. I mean, I get it you’re typing into a device so the connection might feel lost, but seriously try approach your clients as if they’re actual humans.
Try to start a conversation with your audience. Stop with this “deal” and “exclusive offer” shit. Give free advice, ask your audience what they think on a particular issue, show them that you’re not a robot!
Post Video Content
Video content has greater reach and engagement compared to other forms of content. Using videos on your social media has been proven to generate 12 times more shares than text and images combined. This is no surprise when 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision.
Use New Features As They Become Available!
When Facebook launches a new service they want to collect as much data as possible. For example when LIVE became available some of you may remember the notifications you received on Facebook when a friend or business went live. Now that doesn’t happen. Simply because they received enough data!
Playing with these features might seem like a waste of time, especially if you don’t think it will be sticking around. However, each feature will help increase your reach as Facebook will want as much data as possible on the content type.
I mean this the nicest way possible! Stop inviting your friends to like your Facebook page, unless you know they are interested in your service! Here are some genuine circumstances I believe are acceptable to invite everyone on your friendslist to like your page:
- The earth is ruined, we have no way to breathe and your Facebook page is selling oxygen.
- You have the cure for every disease on the planet and your page is offering it.
- You’ve sussed out Brexit and all your mates are UK based. (lol at every politician attempting this)
- You’re funny! And you post funny content frequently that EVERYONE will like.
- All of your friends on Facebook live in your town and your page is based on a town service that would benefit them.