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Social media is one of the most important marketing tools of the digital age, so it’s integral that you have a solid Facebook outreach campaign in place to grow your followers and expand your audience. But knowing where to start isn't always easy, especially if you're like so many others and are self-taught in the art of social media.
The good news is that there are lots of ways you can expand your reach on Facebook. Some ways include focusing on the right types of content, offering a wide variety of content, using your posts and comments to show the human side of your business, and using your Facebook page as a way to engage followers, build relationships, and expand your brand’s recognition to new audiences. Here are ten expert tips to get you started on expanding your reach on Facebook.
1. Always Lead with Shareable Content
The number one rule of Facebook is choosing relevant, interesting, and fun content that your followers will want to share. Sharing is one of Facebook’s most powerful features because it means information can spread like wildfire across the globe in no time. If you're able to churn out content that’s engaging and stimulating, then your followers will share that content with their friends, who will then share it with their friends, and so on until your reach expands.
Every time somebody shares your post, it exposes you to new people and new prospects, and this will bring in more likes and more followers. Just as importantly, the newer Facebook algorithms are also designed to reward marketers who produce engaging content, which will further increase your reach.
2. Show Your Personal Side
When it comes to the different social media platforms, each one has unique benefits, advantages, and reasons for using it. With Facebook, the goal is building relationships and giving your company a chance to show your human side, and using the platform with that aim will help to increase your reach. Your customers know that you're a business, and if they want to know more about your company, they’ll go to your website. When they seek you out on Facebook, however, they want to know more about the people behind the organization. That’s why Facebook is such a great place for content that involves a behind the scenes look at your office, employee profiles and features, exciting news about your industry, and other posts that will give followers a more in-depth and dynamic view of who you are.
Expert tip: Don’t be afraid to be funny, quirky, and original in your Facebook posts.
3. Use Facebook Insights to Gain, Well, Insight!
Facebook has a built-in monitoring tool for their platform called Facebook Insights, and this is a priceless resource you can use to gain a better understanding of your audience and how they react to your page and your posts. Here's how to do it: log into your Facebook account and go to your page. From there, click View Insights and then Reach to see how your past posts have performed, and what type of content and posts have reached the largest audience. Then, you can modify future posts to be more like your best-performing ones from the past.
4. Change Up Your Content Types
There's a wide variety of content types out there, and it will behove you to offer your audience a variety. Most importantly, you want to make sure that your posts aren't all promotional. In fact, only 20 percen t of your posts should be promotional, and the rest should be social. Here are some ideas for different content types you can explore:
- Native video
- High-quality images
- Livestream video
- Text posts that link to blogs, eBooks, and other content
5. Test and Tweak to Optimize Future Posts
A/B testing is one of the best ways to measure, track, and gain insight into the performance of your posts. By split testing two near-identical versions of the same post, you can get immediate input regarding which one performs the best, implement the necessary changes, and repost the improved version on all channels to improve your reach.
6. Take Advantage of Relevant Pages
Instinct might tell you that Facebook is an every-business-for-itself type of environment, but there are times when it’s appropriate and even beneficial to mention, promote, or link to another business’s page. Here's why: when you tag another business in your post, the post shows up not only on your page but also theirs, meaning you get double the exposure.
However, it’s not appropriate to tag any business in your post just to get the reach, and there must be a good reason why you'd link to or mention the other business. Furthermore, when you do this, there's also the hope of reciprocal tags and posts from other businesses, or you can consider a sort of promotional partnership with other companies in the same niche as yours.
7. Engage Your Audience with Comments and Questions
As mentioned before, Facebook is all about building relationships, and a large part of that is done by engaging in conversations, answering questions, asking questions, and commenting on your own posts and those of other people and other businesses.
This is also an exercise in building brand recognition, because the more active you are in comments and conversations, the more people will see your name. Another great way to engage followers is to pose questions and start conversations of your own because this sparks more discussions and gives you, even more, opportunities to show people who you are and what you stand for.
8. Get Yourself Verified
Have you ever seen that blue checkmark beside the names of some companies or influencers on Facebook? That’s a verification mark, and it indicates that the page is authentic (meaning it actually belongs to the person or company it claims to be). Along with guaranteeing that you are who you say you are, this verification will also lend you higher priority in search results, meaning new followers will be able to find you more easily. For smaller businesses, there’s instead a gray checkmark that offers the same verification (the blue one is reserved for larger companies).
9. Use Facebook Ads
Facebook ads as part of a larger social media marketing campaign are like PPC ads within a more extensive SEO campaign: you don’t want to rely on them exclusively, but they can help you achieve short-term results as part of a larger and more long-term effort. The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can target them so specifically that you're almost guaranteed to reach the ideal audience. Here are some of the ways you can target audiences with ads and promoted posts:
- By age
- By gender
- By behavior
- By likes
- By geography
- By people who have visited your website
You can even input the qualities of your best customers, and Facebook will show your ad or promote your post to a lookalike audience.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Repost
You’ve probably heard people talking about the importance of evergreen content, and one of the reasons it’s so important is because it allows you to repost old content and it will still be relevant. When you do repost, it’s important to choose content that performed well in the past, and that means it was successful at encouraging engagement and that your followers will find it valuable. If necessary, edit the article to update it slightly or make it more relevant for today’s audiences.
Explanatory note: Evergreen content is content that isn't dated, meaning it will always be interesting and relevant to readers. A Thanksgiving article is an example of content that isn't evergreen because it’s only relevant at one time of year.
When you set out with the goal of expanding your Facebook reach, the important thing to remember is that the type of content you share is much more essential than anything else. People don’t use Facebook just so brands can sell to them: they use it to keep in touch, to nurture relationships, and to share content they find worthwhile. If you focus on relevant and shareable content that prioritizes education over promotion, then your followers will respond by engaging with, commenting on, and sharing your posts, and there's no better way to expand your reach. Other important elements to remember include curating evergreen content that you can repost down the road, engaging in discussions through questions, answers, and comments, and using Facebook ads strategically to reach out to people who are part of your target audience.