I recently spoke to the coordinator of a local networking group who needed to use social media to grow their membership. Here is the 5-step plan I gave her that you can implement today to grow your Facebook following with relevant fans who want to engage with you.
Pro Tip: This works whether you have 13 followers or 200 followers.
Step 1: Create Your Cool Kids Club
Make sure everyone related to your business, organization or group likes the page. If you’re a solo shop, now is the time to coerce the people who love you most, i.e. your mom, your friends, business partners, board members, fellow business owners, and key clients/fans to like your page.
You can give this group a special name – Ambassadors, Cheerleaders, the Cool Kids. Maybe they get a special discount or offer for being in the Cool Kids Club.
Step 2: Change the Following Status to "See First."
Facebook has an algorithm that filters out content from people and pages. This is why, in your personal News Feed, you may miss the funny meme your mother posts and you barely see content from the friend from high school you haven’t engaged with on Facebook since you first friended each other.
Facebook has two options for how you see content from a page in your News Feed: Default (the whim of the algorithm a.k.a. never) and See First.
To ensure that the Cool Kids always see your page’s content, have them change their following status of your page to “See First.” You can share these step-by-step instructions on how to change the following status so they know how to do it.
Step 3: Share, Share, Share.
The Cool Kids need to like your content as much as possible and, more importantly, share your content. If you scroll through your Facebook Feed these days, you’ll notice that you have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll before you see a native post (the original post) from a page.
However, you will see some content from pages while you’re scrolling down. What content will this be? The content from pages your friends have shared.
This near total lack of native page content in the News Feed is the result of the algorithm change Facebook made in January 2018 that disfavors content from pages.
Creating shareable content has always been important for going viral. Now sharing is essential just to be seen in people’s News Feeds. When you change a page’s following status to “See First,” it ensures you will see that page’s content, but in order to reach new fans or the fans who haven’t changed the following status, you and your team of cheerleaders have to share the content.
How often should they share? Ask if they’ll commit to sharing content 2-4 times per month. You can email them the link to the post you’d like them to share to make it even easier for them.
Step 4: Put some money behind it.
The days of free social media that turns your business into the hottest place in town are gone.
Just accept it.
Create the most shareable content you can, and then put some money behind it. Give yourself a budget of $100/month to get started. Boost the content that gets the most engagement organically at least 2-4 times per month.
Create a Custom Audience for people who have engaged with a post or ad. Create a Lookalike Audience from this Custom Audience.
Boost a post a week alternating between these two Audiences. The Post or Ad Engagement Audience is a dynamic audience, so as you continue to produce shareable content and boost your content, this Custom Audience will grow and become more representative of your ideal client. And as the Custom Audience grows, the Lookalike Audience based off of it will become more accurate.
Step 5: Invite People Who React To Like Your Page
Each week, invite people who react to a post to like your page. To do this, go through each post, click on the names of the people who’ve reacted, and click "Invite" next to their name.
Do you need help getting started with Facebook ads? Check out the 7 Tips to Effective Facebook Ads.