Facebook is easily the most popular social network in the world.
And with 2.27 billion monthly active users, there’s no competition for that title.
So, it’s no wonder that businesses are scrambling to establish a presence on the platform.
Already, 80 million small- and medium-sized businesses have Facebook pages.
But if you don’t do this stuff for a living, like me, navigating the ever-changing environment that is Facebook can turn out to be a total shit show.
Algorithms are forever being updated and new features are constantly being added, to the point where keeping up with all these developments is literally a full-time job.
Ideally, business owners should hire a professional to take care of their presence, but some are just hell-bent on doing everything themselves.
If this sounds like you, then keep reading.
Read our blog if you want to learn about why you should hire experts to manage your social media.
In early 2018, Facebook announced it was modifying its News Feed algorithm.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, the goal was to ensure Facebook is “good for people’s well-being” by inspiring more conversation and “meaningful interactions between people.”
The changes were bad news for business owners, as the News Feed now prioritizes posts from family, friends and groups, pushing content from businesses to the periphery.
In addition, the algorithm now gives more visibility to posts that inspire active interactions, like commenting and sharing, and less to those that only stimulate passive interactions, such as likes and click-throughs.
The idea is that active interactions require more effort from the user, so they’re more meaningful.
Other factors the algorithm considers meaningful include reactions, replies to comments, engagement on shared content, and people sending your content to friends or sharing it with groups using Facebook messenger.
Take the following post from Tim Hortons, for example.
Or this post from EB Games:
These posts have a ton of interactions that Facebook’s algorithm would consider meaningful, including hundreds of reactions, comments and shares.
To summarize, if your content sparks these kinds of meaningful interactions and conversations, you’re going to have more visibility.
However, you shouldn’t be begging your followers to comment.
Also known as engagement baiting, this kind of behaviour is spammy and annoys users.
In addition, Facebook doesn’t consider this a meaningful interaction, so it can actually get your posts down-ranked in the News Feed.
In any case, businesses are going to have to try harder than ever to get people’s attention.
But there are several things you can do to ensure you’re inspiring more meaningful interactions, which leads me to my next point.
The best thing you can do to increase your visibility on Facebook is provide valuable content.
You can optimize your Facebook Business Page until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not offering anything of value, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to gain or retain followers, and you’ll be lucky to get any engagement.
A survey from Fractl asked 2,000 Facebook users what motivates them to share something, offering insight into what kinds of content people prefer.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said the main reason they share content is because they think their friends will find it interesting, and 55 per cent of respondents said they like to share content that their friends will find useful.
Respondents also said they like sharing content that will make their friends feel something (anger, happiness, sadness, etc.).
You don’t want to be too extreme, but whenever possible, you should try to evoke an emotional response with your content.
Below, you’ll see one of our recent posts, which is a great example of this.
The article discusses how web accessibility can make life easier for people with disabilities, which is sure to generate a heartwarming emotional response, especially in people who have a disability or know someone who’s disabled.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have businesses that provide little to no content.
Lazeez, a popular GTA-based shawarma place, is a perfect example.
As you’ll see below, the last time they posted anything was almost two years ago.
It’s baffling to see a well-known business neglecting its Facebook page like this.
As a business with nearly 550 followers, Lazeez should be doing as much as possible to engage these users.
Instead, they’re letting this opportunity go to waste.
In any case, other than trying to evoke an emotional response, you should also try to make your content as thought-provoking and educational as possible.
If you’re not sure what will be fascinating or informative for your followers, ask them.
Create a poll asking your audience about their interests or get in the comments section and stir up some discussion.
Whatever you do, just make sure your content is kicking some serious ass.
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It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses neglect to do this.
Having an accurate, comprehensive page profile shows that you’re reliable and passionate about what you do.
But if your profile is missing vital elements like your address or business hours, it gives people the idea that you just don’t give a shit, and you definitely don’t want that.
So make sure these crucial elements are there, look for opportunities to add more information wherever possible, and do regular checks on your profile to make sure that everything’s working and you didn’t miss anything.
Below, I’ve used Laser Quest as an example of what can happen if you don’t do your due diligence.
Their page is actually pretty good. They post regularly, have several videos and quite a few photos, a detailed About page, Events page and more.
However, one glaring omission is that there are no hours listed on their About page.
Also, if you click on the link to the website for their Brampton location, it brings you to the following 404 page.
If you click on the link at the bottom, it directs you to a list of locations, but even if you click on the Brampton location, there are still no hours listed anywhere.
Remember, people expect to be able to find the information they need, and if it’s not there, many of them will just take their business elsewhere.
So, give the people what they want – the more information, the better.
More importantly, make sure the information you’re providing is accurate.
If you’ve moved or your hours have changed, make sure to update your profile accordingly.
The last thing you want to do is piss off potential customers by sending them to the wrong address or having them show up before or after business hours.
At the very least, you should ensure you’ve included your name, address, phone number, email, website and business hours.
In addition, make sure to add a profile photo and featured image so your page doesn’t look incomplete, and don’t forget to add a call to action button, which will encourage people to interact.
Also, you should customize your username and URL, and include relevant keywords in your page content to make it easier for people to find you.
Completing your profile is easy and offers a ton of benefits, so just take a few minutes and get it done already.
This relates back to my last point, but reviews are vital to any social media marketing strategy, so I want to put a focus on them here.
A BrightLocal survey found that the vast majority (86 per cent) of consumers read reviews on local businesses.
Now that you understand how important they are, the first thing you should do is make sure reviews are shown on your page. You have the option to hide reviews, but you don’t want to do that.
If they’re hidden, people are going to wonder why your reviews aren’t visible and you’ll look like you have something to hide.
So, now that reviews are visible on your page, you’re probably wondering how to go about getting them.
Well, some people will leave unsolicited reviews, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, and you might be surprised how many people will actually write them.
The survey I referenced above also found that 86 per cent of consumers will consider leaving a review.
Once you’ve got some reviews, you need to respond to them.
For positive reviews, just thank the person for taking the time to leave one. This will show that you care about your clientele and you appreciate their business.
A perfect example of this comes from a local tea shop called T By Daniel.
Damn near every one of their reviews is good, and they’ve commented on almost all of them, leaving a personalized response for each, as you’ll see below.
This is the way to do it! Show your customers you care by thanking them for using their precious time to write a positive review of your business.
When it comes to the negative reviews, leaving a response is even more important.
But when you do respond, don’t be confrontational. Instead of arguing or being defensive, simply address any complaints and let people know that you want to do whatever it takes to resolve their issues.
If you feel it’s absolutely necessary, provide an explanation for whatever issue the customer has, but make sure to be professional.
This shows that you’re reliable and you value your customers.
Below, T by Daniel provides an amazing example of the right way to respond to bad reviews.
As much as they probably wanted to blast this person, the tone of the response was very professional, and as a result, the person who left the review thanked them for the response and actually apologized to them, as well.
How’s that for damage control?
According to the survey I mentioned above, 89 per cent of consumers will read these responses, so don’t leave anyone hanging.
Below, Lazeez provides another example of the damage that can be done by neglecting your Facebook page.
What does it say about this business that the first thing you see on their page is two bad reviews with no responses?
Nothing good, that’s for sure.
So, no matter what your reviews say, make sure to respond to them as consistently and quickly as possible.
Anything less can do damage to your reputation.
Did these tips work for you? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing from business owners we’ve helped.
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