Question from a Facebook Follower

Gwen asked: I’m curious on the best way to have my business Facebook posts seen without paying for their advertising?

Facebook relies on algorithms to determine who sees your posts. It is not as simple as you might hope and expect. One would think if you post a message or image, it would show up on everyone’s newsfeed who has followed you. One option is to pay for more exposure, but as a small business or nonprofit, that is not usually a good option. Here are a few of the tips we give to our clients.

1) Post on a regular basis. People who follow you want to hear from you regularly, not 3 posts in one day and then nothing for 2 weeks. Save posts that are not urgent or time sensitive for another day. Facebook can even let you schedule a post for later.

2) Tag people in your posts. If you have a client named Susan who you know loves purple, and you have a new purple scarf in your store, take a photo, write a great post and tag Susan. While you can not tag an individual in your post, you can tag them in a photo associated with your post. So, tag Susan in the picture of the scarf! That makes sure she sees it and also increases the odds that her fellow purple loving friends and followers will see it appear on her page too.

3) Do not make every post a sales pitch! If you go to the snail mail box and get a pile of nothing but junk mail, do you even really look at it or do you wish you could unsubscribe and never see yet another flyer from Company X? Facebook makes it easy to unsubscribe so you need to provide compelling variety in your messages. If you sell gift baskets, post a picture of available gift baskets once or twice a week. To maintain interest, consider posting ideas for who might appreciate a gift basket or what you could put in a gift basket yourself. A potential client might put a basket or two together on their own based on your suggestions and then realize you can do a more professional and economical job and call you for their next basket.

4) Remember, Rome was not built in a day and neither will your social media following. Ask your friends to like your page. Ask them to share an occasional post. Create content that is interesting enough that people want to share it far and wide. If someone shares a post you made, new people will see it and possibly follow you as well.

5) One important thing to keep in mind. Facebook ads can be VERY specific in their targeting. You could specify female mountain bikers between 24 and 29 years old who live within 5 miles of you, are veterinarian technicians and earn between $25,000 and $49,000. Ads on Facebook are very inexpensive considering how specific you can be in who sees them. Consider spending $3 a day for a 3-day ad and see what it might get you. It may open a whole new client base.

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