With the most recent changes to the Facebook algorithm (AKA “Facebook is no longer a social platform but an advertising overlord”) many small businesses are struggling with ways to get their business noticed and capture the elusive 2-6% organic reach (the posts Facebook decides to share on your behalf). So how do you grow your Facebook following when faced with ever diminishing share ability??

The below “9 ways to grow your Facebook following” will certainly help build your audience and establish a solid foundation with your current followers but as far as I’m concerned, and I’m just gonna come right out and say this – unless your a big brand or already have an established loyal following then I’m afraid Facebook is going to be a thorn in your side however you look at it ! Don’t get me wrong, having a Facebook page is still imperative, despite how frustrating it may seem.

Facebook’s SEO properties are still way up there with G+ however the ability to reach your targeted audience and gain traction in increasing your following is not what it once was, so in a nutshell what I’m trying to say – without being a Debbie downer, is don’t be so hard on yourself if your numbers on Facebook don’t climb to dizzying heights overnight. Cultivate the followers you have, provide value and like the snail and the hare you’ll get there. So without further ado  lets get down to business.

1. Know Your Audience

  • Listen, learn and ask the right questions.
  • As well as demographics such as age, gender, and socio-­economic status learn about their interests, problems, desires and goals. Understand your audience beyond the surface so you have something meaningful to connect with.
  • Review current followers/clients, list common problems they have.What solution are you providing? Survey current customers, review your database to discover as much as you can about them. ASK them what they want or what their biggest pain point is and then provide a solution.

2. Give Value

  • Offer something of value to demonstrate to your potential followers that you are worthy of them. Here is a great opportunity to entice them with something i.e a free e-­book, mini course, special service offering etc. *It must be something that they can look at and go “WOW, this person really knows their stuff” if its not wow worthy then its not worth offering!
  • Add custom tabs to your FB page – encourage people to join your mailing list in exchange for your FREE offer.

3. Be Sociable – Establish Relationships

  • Establish TLC: Trust/Likeability/Credibility. Socialising on the web is the same as socialising in real life; strangers aren’t just going to hand you their credit cards without knowing about you , what you offer, what your business is like and whether there is a good fit. It’s a relationship that’s built over time so show them what your all about, share posts that are helpful, insightful, funny or informative and be sure to engage people in conversation wherever possible.
  • Re-post your top posts, at an alternate time to the original (don’t worry too much about your followers seeing double ups, remember only 2-6% will see your post so its highly unlikely they will)

4. Use an Editorial Calendar

  • Plan and strategise the publication of your content.
  • Plan types of content – informative, funny, Q&A, share others content etc. mix up posts and measure which ones perform the best by utilising FB analytics.
  • Spend an hour or two a week to plan out all of your posts for that week or month in advance. (It will save overall time and ensure consistency, meaning you won’t be a slave to your FB page!)

5. Create a Content Schedule or Utilise And External Scheduler

  •  Create a content schedule – Monthly/weekly – whatever you prefer.
  • Schedule posts directly from within Facebook or utilise an external scheduling provider such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
  • Set it and go!”

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6. Daily Maintenance

  • Look for opportunities to interact with your followers – start and continue conversations.
  • Always acknowledge comments and interactions on your page
  • Spend a few minutes a day reviewing your page, check your posts are appearing correctly from time to time to ensure you have scheduled them correctly.

7. Connect With Other Pages & Page Managers

  • Seek out other pages similar to your own and connect with these page owners so that you can cross promote. Ie. Ice cream shop may connect with a restaurant and then share each other’s specials or posts.
  • Follow similar pages and utilise what works for them on your own page – great way to find new content when your short on ideas (especially if they are based in other states) – add them to pages to watch in your analytics.
  • Seek out Joint Ventures – hold seminars/webinars with complimentary companies to extend your fan base.
  • Comment and contribute on pages similar to your own (don’t hijack the page though) just add meaningful contributions, that way other followers may see your comments and also like your page – great way to get additional exposure.

8. Tag And Share Posts From Your Business Page To Your Personal Page

  • There may be friends (or friends of friends) who haven’t liked your page who are interested in your business. By typing the @ symbol in front of the page name when writing a post – people can click directly on this link rather than searching for the page.
  • Additionally typing the full address in such as http://www.facebook.com/pagename it will bring up the image of the business page and allow people to view the page and like it from your profile page.
  • Don’t forget to occasionally share posts from your business page to your profile page (again for the same reasons listed above, it also increases engagement on your posts, which in turn will rank your page higher).

9. Try Running a Contest or Giveaway

  • People love offers, giveaways and a chance to win something, so take advantage of this and run a promo or comp to generate interest in your page. This can be done from within your own page or as a “paid” advertisement.
  • * Sidenote: Fangating or having someone like your page to enter a comp will be against the FB rules as of November 2014 so either make the most of this prior to then or don’t ask for a like to enter after that time.

How do you grow your Facebook following? Any further insights you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below or even better, add a comment on my Facebook page here :o)