I get it. You are busy trying to deliver your key services for your business and the last thing on your mind is “doing” Facebook for your business on top of everything else. It always seems so complicated and time consuming!
What if I told you that you only need a maximum of 5 minutes a day to get your Facebook content sorted? Of course, like everything in marketing if you spend heaps more time and money you will get better results. However, this strategy is sort of like the “4 Ingredients” version of Facebook content marketing. It isn’t fancy – but it gets the job done.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that Facebook is where the majority of people in the online world hang out. This makes it the ideal place for businesses to also hang out. After all, good businesses follow the hungry crowd.
The only hassle is that Facebook is in business to make money. The way they make money from small business is through paid ads. It doesn’t make economic sense for them to allow small businesses to have space in their feed for free, which is why your “reach” or the number of people who see your posts, has dwindled to almost nothing in the past few months. This means that getting in front of people who actually liked your page is getting harder and harder.
You have two options. 1) Pay for Facebook ads 2) Try and work out parts of the feed algorithm and work backwards to creating your content strategy.
Learning From Your Own Personal Facebook Page
When deconstructing any sort of algorithm (Google or otherwise), it pays to take a look at how people are using a site, and what actions are being rewarded.
Use yourself as a lab rat for this situation. With Facebook, what do you do when you are on the site relaxing after work?
If you are like most people you share innumerable cat videos, jokes, pithy comments, interesting news snippets, and videos that make you laugh or go “wow”.
Generally you are not there searching out the latest ATO rulings on GST. You go to Facebook to relax, unwind and connect with your friends.
If you find something you like in your feed, you share it with your friends. If they like it, they share it with their friends – and so in in a virtuous cycle.
And that’s what gets rewarded in the Facebook feed. The bits that are more popular appear in your feed. Pages that you haven’t interacted with in ages disappear from your view.
Applying These Lessons To Your Business Page
Knowing this, over the past few weeks I have been testing a strategy first put forward by Ed Dale, and it works brilliantly.
What DOESN’T Work With Facebook Anymore
- Any form of automated posting is not getting into Facebook feeds. Buffer and other apps such as Hootsuite used to work a treat – now they are throttled and content that you share from them simply doesn’t make the feed. By all means continue to use Buffer for Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn to share content to those platforms – but do NOT post to Facebook using any automated tool if you want your post to be seen.
- If you post a link directly into the Facebook update box for your business page, you get very limited views. So if you find a great news article (for example) and you copy the URL, write a few words and then hit share, you will get limited people seeing it.
- If you autopost your new blog posts to your Facebook page using Jetpack or some other plugin, your post will be throttled in the feed into near oblivion.
What DOES Work with Facebook – The Social Proof Strategy
The trick to extending your post reach is to mainly share popular content from other Facebook pages to your page.
So how does the Social Proof Strategy work in practice?
1) You need to stay within Facebook if you want this to work. Find Facebook pages that are relevant to your business and then add them to a new list that you create (that way you can find them easily). For a business page you may choose to “Like” pages for the ATO, Business Gov. ACCC, your local Chambers of Commerce, all the main News organisations, Smart Company, Flying Solo, Fast Company, Heart Harmony Communications – anywhere where you can get content that you personally are interested in.
2) Scroll through the posts that appear on that list and look for posts that have a good number of “likes” and “shares”. The bigger the numbers the better. These numbers are social proof that this particular piece of content is popular. Remember, Facebook uses these figures to work out if something is worth showing in a feed. The more popular it is, the more it is likely to appear in feeds.
> To stay on top of good content, sort the Facebook pages you follow into lists
3) Click on the share button on that specific post and then share it to your page (with a few words added). Don’t create a new post and share the content link via your page. Share the post that already has all the likes and shares directly from their page to your page.
Don’t Do This
Now the bad news – you can’t schedule these shares. They can only be done then and there.
Just A Few Stats To Back This Strategy Up
Like anything to do with the internet, you need to test and measure to see what works. So here’s some of my own stats where I tested out the different approaches.
- Posted using Buffer – 6.2% reach (i.e. 6.2% of all people who “liked” my page saw the content in their feed)
- Posted from Blog using Jetpack – 3.47% reach
- Posted a link to content direct from Facebook – 5.23%
- Posted using the “Social Proof” strategy – 30.1% reach
These are average figures using a number of different posts over a month, and the social proof strategy is the hands down winner (575% increase in reach using the Social Proof strategy).
What Should You Share on Your Facebook Business Page?
The thing to remember is to balance your “on message” industry related content with lighter content.
People come to Facebook to relax and be entertained – they don’t go there to be sold to. This means think about the sort of stuff that you share with your friends – and share that type of content as the priority (although I would personally leave out political opinions or off-colour jokes from my business page).
So yes, that will probably mean more than the odd cat video will make your business page, as well as general good business building content, with just a tiny bit of your own content thrown in for flavouring. After all, you are building a relationship with the people following you on Facebook – not going for the hard sell.
And Where Does The 5 Minutes A Day Part Come In?
As I have been testing this strategy on my own Facebook page, I personally find that I get maximum reach at about 8pm at night. So I sit with my iPad on my lap, scroll through my list of favourite pages, find a nice interesting piece of content that already has a large number of likes and shares and share that content to my page.
I have also been testing this on our social media client’s pages and have received similar results.
With Facebook, recent research shows you only have to share once a day to get traction. More than that doesn’t seem to deliver any better results.
In other words – one post a day, sharing great content that already has social proof = 5 minutes a day.
So there you have it. Facebook content marketing in 5 minutes a day.