Can your Facebook page really succeed without paid advertising?

We’re sure you’ve notice organic Facebook reach had dropped significantly over the last few years and it doesn’t show signs of slowing. It’s likely impacted your business in some way but can your Facebook page really succeed without paid advertising?

What does “Facebook Algorithm” actually mean?

The term “Facebook Algorithm” gets thrown around all over the place now but what does it really mean? According to socialmediaexaminer.com, Facebook’s algorithm controls who sees the content that you share.

Back in day (pre 2009) Facebook showed posts in reverse chronological order, according to wallaroomedia.com. You could share content and it was almost guaranteed to be shown to most of your followers.

It’s now thought that Facebook will only organically show your posts to around 14% of your followers - meaning if you have 1000 fans, on average, only 140 of them will see each post you create and share.

The Facebook algorithm is changing more often than ever and just sharing a post a day probably won’t be enough to grow your following - but there are steps you can take if you don’t have the budget for paid advertising - you’ll just need a little time.

Using Facebook groups to grow your business

Most groups on Facebook now accept businesses to participate and join in the conversion.

Find groups local to you or based around your target audience and actively participate in conversation, offering advice and being seen as much as possible.

Now, if all you do is log on once a week to promote your own business, you’re probably not going to gain much traction. Instead get yourself known by offering help and advice and by being a conversation starter. Use groups to build trust with potential customers by offering value - not just to promote your own business, product or service.

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Analyse Your Top 10

Did you know the Facebook page insights tool will allow you ranked by reach and engagement. This tool is a quick way to see what's resonating with your Facebook fans.

Take a look at your top 10 post and identify any patterns. Are you getting more engagement on visual content? Or perhaps your most popular posts are links to your latest blogs. Identify if certain types of content are performing better than others and make use of this information when planning future content.

Post At The Best Time

Just as you can use the Facebook insights tool to identify your top posts, you can also use it to identify when your fans and followers are online most.

Generally speaking, early morning and evening are usually the best times to post. Most people work during the day but will be on their phones early in the morning and again in the evening after the workday.

Use Your Blog

We said it before and will say again; blogs are important! In fact a blog could be the most important part of your website and marketing strategy.

Content marketing is definitely a topic for another day but while we are here it's worth mentioning you should be using your blog to create engaging content your social feeds. Get into the habit of posting your blogs through to your social media after you've published them. You can even post them several times - check out our post on why you should use your content more than once here.

Use Facebook to Build Your Email List

We will write full post on this another day lets quickly cover how you can use Facebook to build your email marketing list.

You can use Facebook to encourage people to sign up to your email marketing list just by posting about it. Explain how your customers receive exclusive offers and early deals if they sign up.

You could also run a competition which collects peoples email addresses. Don't forget though to offer an opt in or opt out selection box email marketing.

Know Your Audience

Take the time to really get to know the analytics of your audience. You can use Facebooks insights tool or tools such as Google analytics to find out more about the people who interact with your business.

Most Facebook page owners don't really know the demographics of their audience and as the result don't know who they are talking to! Find out if your audience is predominantly male or female, what the primary age-group is and use external tools like Google analytics to find out more about your audiences in market behaviours.

Get Involved

Especially important if your business isn’t just online but has a store or a premises locally. Get involved with local events, news pages and other local businesses. Share their posts to your page and they’ll likely do the same back. Comment on their posts and create connections.

#ShoutoutSaturday is a great way to shout out another local business or loyal customer. They’ll likely share the post to their own page or give you a shout out back.

Facebook Paid Advertising

If you don’t have the time to spend a couple of hours a day on Facebook it could be time to consider running some paid social ads.

When creating a Facebook ad campaign, there are a few key things that you need to consider — such as your goals (sales, leads, brand awareness, page likes etc), your target audience, and the content of your ad. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Facebook ad campaigns can be incredibly detailed and complicated, especially if you’re not familiar with the platform and how it works.

Facebook VS Google Ads

Generally speaking we split Facebook vs Google Ads and their purpose into 2 main points;

Facebook/Social Ads are perfect for brand awareness.

Google Ads are great for generating leads and sales fast.

Why? People on Google are actively looking for your product or service. Looking for a local physiotherapist? You’ll likely go to Google. Google Ads generate leads and sales fast because of this very reason. People are already interested in your product or service before they’ve even clicked on your ad and it cost you anything.

Facebook on the other hand, tends to be better at generating brand awareness. Despite Facebook’s detailed targeting options, you can’t guarantee with as much certainty that the people seeing your ads are actually interested in your product or service. It’s particularly hard to target less generic products or services. For example, if you’re selling a good range womens shoes you could probably target women between the ages of 20 and 35 who are interested in fashion, clothing and shoes and get a few sales. You have a generic product that people will buy even if it’s not something they are actively looking for. Compare that to someone offering physiotherapy services. You’d only go to see a physio if you actually needed one. This is much harder to target. By running ads for this sort of business, you’re creating better brand awareness. You’re putting your message in front of people ready for when they do actually need your product or service.

Boosting Facebook Posts

If you have some spare marketing budget and you decide Facebook advertising is for you, boosting posts may be the easiest way to go about achieving your goals.

By boosting a post you don't have to go through the process of creating an ad through Facebook's ad platform. You can simply run a paid promotion for a great Facebook post you've already created. All you need to do is select some basic settings such as your audience location, age, gender and interests. You also need to set your budget and start and end dates of your campaign. Be aware that Facebook do you you require you to spend at least £1 per day.

If you need any help with your social media or Google advertising feel free to reach out to us and book a free consultation.