Facebook brand pages were launched in 2007. Since then the way those pages function and look has changed dramatically. In the beginning, it was easy to gain thousands of followers. Today, however, many business owners find it difficult to gain traction on Facebook.
As a result, you may be looking for practical ways to promote your Facebook page. If so, you are in the right place!
But, before we look at how to create an effective Facebook page promotion, let’s look at how Facebook for brands has evolved over the past few years and, in particular, address why these changes are actually good for businesses. (Though they are frustrating.)
Why Is Facebook So Hard for Businesses?
In the beginning, Facebook was a business owner’s dream. All you needed to do was create a page, post regularly, and maybe spend a hundred dollars on like ads, and you had easy access to your target audience. Theoretically, at least.
Then came the newsfeed update, which reduced the reach of unpaid posts by businesses. Then came a series of algorithm updates, which systematically decreased organic reach even further.
Many business owners were, understandably, upset. They had spent a considerable amount of time ‘earning’ likes, and now Facebook was making it more challenging to reach those fans.
However, these changes are actually good for business pages. Why?
First, those fans were never really yours. Facebook makes money, primarily, by selling access to their users. Today, your Facebook fans will only see a small portion of your posts unless you pay to promote them. Facebook could change their algorithm at any point and further reduce your visibility. Since you don’t own the connection, you are at the mercy of Facebook. Just like Google, Facebook is constantly updating their algorithm to show their users the most relevant information.
Second, many of the accounts who ‘liked’ your page may have been fake. Facebook actually disabled 583 million fake accounts earlier this year. Those accounts that are real might not be engaging with your brand. Creating a new, and more effective, campaign gives you the chance to attract fans who will actually be interested in your brand.
But first, the critical question.
Does Facebook Still Matter for Brands?
Absolutely, yes. Just because the way brands need to market on Facebook has changed doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective platform. Consider this: Facebook has more than 2 billion daily active users and 32% of those users interact with brands regularly on Facebook.
No matter who your target audience is, there is a very good chance they are on Facebook and willing to interact with your brand there.
“No matter who your target audience is, there is a very good chance they are on Facebook and willing to interact with your brand there.”
View the changes to the way pages work as an opportunity to rebuild your fan base with more engaged people and get permission to contact your fans outside of Facebook (hello, email list) so you own the connection and aren’t as reliant on Facebook.
How to Build an Effective Facebook Page Promotion
Now that we’ve covered why Facebook can be so challenging, and why it is still worth pursuing, let’s look at how you can increase likes and engagement through a Facebook page promotion. There are dozens of types of promotions you can run, for example, you could host a quiz or an instant giveaway. You could ask people to submit their favorite photo or create a funny caption for your photo.
The following tips will help you get the most out of whichever promotion you decide to leverage to increase your Facebook page.
People browse Facebook to see family photos, see local events, or chat with friends. To be social. The best strategy for a successful page promotion is to make your Facebook page promotion more engaging and hence more social. You can do this by creating a user-generated promotion.
For example, pet supply company Gemma hosted a cute dog photo contest to drive likes on their Facebook page.
Entrants were encouraged to like Gemma’s Facebook page before submitting their photo. Since winners are chosen based on votes, the campaign also encouraged entrants to share and ask other to engage with Gemma’s Facebook page. This format gives the brand double the exposure and, besides, who can resist pictures of cute dogs?
Here are a few other engaging Facebook promotion ideas:
- Hashtag photo contest: Ask users to share photos using your product with a branded hashtag for the chance to win a prize. A laptop company might ask users to share where their office is today, for example.
- Video contest: Ask users to share a story that loosely relates to your brand. For example, a pet brand might ask users to tell how they adopted their fur baby
- Get creative: Ask users to share the most creative use of your product. A clothing brand might ask users to share their favorite outfits that include their products, as an example.
Tweak these examples to fit your brand and your audience.
Really Get to Know Your Audience
You likely already have some demographic data. However, you may not be fully leveraging the data Facebook provides about your audience.
Before you create your promotion, take a look at who your current customers are and how they interact with you online. You can do this right on your Facebook page by going to your brand page and then Insights > Posts.
You can see when your audience is online and increase engagement by posting your promotion during that period.
There is a ton of information about your audience in Insights. For example, click on Insights > People. There you can see gender, location, and age range. Use this information to create a more targeted Facebook promotion. Here are a few ways to use this information:
- Post when you know your audience is online
- Use Posts to see what type of content your audience engages with and post similar content
- Pay attention that works for your competitors at Insights>Posts>Top Posts From Pages You Watch
- Go to Insights>Reach to see when you get the most organic reach
To learn more about all the information you can find in Facebook Insights, I recommend this post from Buffer.
The most effective marketing messages make us feel something. Think about the last few viral campaigns you have seen. For example, the turtle with a straw up its nose, the #Aeriereal campaign, or the Dove Real Beauty Sketches.
What do these campaigns have in common? They inspire an emotional reaction. Remember, people get on social media to be entertained, get informed, or to interact with friends–not to be sold to.
“What do these campaigns have in common? They inspire an emotional reaction.”
Try to post content that appeals to your audience on an emotional level. Inspire them to take action, make them laugh, or leave them in awe. Using emotional triggers in your promotion is a sure-fire way to increase engagement with any promotion or post.
Tell Them What to Do
On Twitter, posts that specifically ask for retweets are 23X more likely to be retweeted than those that don’t. In most cases, people want to help and will complete a task if asked directly.
Facebook did implement a penalty for posts that ask for likes in an attempt to reduce spam, however, this should not apply to paid promotions. However, Facebook does not reveal who has liked an entry. Therefore, it cannot be tracked who has voted in the campaign using this method.
One way to leverage this is through user-generated contests, such as photo contests where the winner is based on who gets the most votes. Or, you can make a specific task a requirement to enter your contests.
You could ask for:
- Email address
- Referrals from their friends
- Sign up for your loyalty program
The point is to actually ask for the results you want. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Offer Something Your Audience Values
What does your audience value? Do they prefer experiences over physical goods? Do they value their time? To get engagement on your Facebook promotion, you must offer something your audience will appreciate as a prize.
Here are a few offers to consider:
- Coupon or gift card to shop at your store/website
- Free services related to your brand, like house cleaning, dog walking, or pool treatment
- Branded prize package (just make sure it is something really exciting)
- A new technology item, like a phone or a laptop
- Tickets to a concert or amusement park
Choosing a targeted reward also limits entrants who are just looking for a freebie and increases the likelihood of attracting people who will actually be interested in your brand.
Final Thoughts on Growing Your Facebook Page
The way brands use Facebook has changed, but due to its ubiquitous nature, Facebook is still a highly effective platform for most brands.
These strategies will help you increase the effectiveness of your Facebook page promotion. For long-term effectiveness, however, make sure you ask for permission to add entrants to your email list so you can directly contact them outside of Facebook.
Ready to build your Facebook page promotions? Create a free account at Woobox, and you can easily create instant giveaways, quizzes, photo contests, and more. You pay nothing until your Facebook page promotion is ready to launch!