If you are a business owner on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed something over the last few months: your visibility and engagement has been steadily decreasing. Chances are, you’re getting very little, if any, engagement on your posts unless you’re paying for it. That’s why today we’re going to do a deep dive into how to maximize visibility on Facebook without paying for it.
On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced some big changes to the way Facebook decides what posts you see in your newsfeed. If you missed that announcement, you can read more about it here. In essence, it became clear really quickly that if you wanted to maximize your visibility on Facebook, you had to make some serious changes to how you were showing up there.
The truth is, even if nothing had changed, it would still be harder than ever to get your audience’s attention on Facebook. When Facebook started way back in 2004, it’s user base was limited to people with a Harvard email address, then later expanded to any college or university email address.
Today, Facebook is open to anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address (plus all of the non-13-year-olds that have accounts they hide from their parents.) The average user has 338 friends. As of 2013, the average Facebook user in the U.S. liked or followed 70 pages. (I know, 2013 was a long time ago, but that’s the most current stat I could hunt down on this topic. I’m sure it’s far more by now.) The average amount of time spent on Facebook daily? Just 20 minutes.
So what does that mean for you, the business owner? On any given day, you have just 20 minutes to get your audience’s attention – and you have to do it amongst a sea of pages and friends who are also constantly demanding attention. Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? The good news is: you can still maximize visibility on Facebook without spending a fortune on Facebook ads; you simply need to change your strategy.
I recently teamed up with my friend Becky and did a Facebook Live where we shared a ton of juicy tips for increasing your visibility on Facebook. Catch the video in it’s entirety here.
In January, I shared a few tricks to staying visible on Facebook in my blog. Did you see them? Better yet, did you try them?
Now that we’ve had a couple of months to learn more about and practice what’s working now, I’ve got more tips for you.
Here are 5 of my favorites:
1. Maximize Visibility On Facebook By Becoming A Facebook Live Publisher.
This is an absolute must! On average, live videos get 6 times the engagement of pre-recorded videos. If you’ve never done a Facebook Live before, you need to start!
I know, I know, you don’t like being in front of the camera. Or you don’t think you have the right equipment so you don’t need to do this, right? WRONG!
If you don’t jump on the live video train you are going to be left at the station. Live video is hot, hot and hot and you need to be using it.
True confession: I was terrified the first time I went live. And trust me, I had loooong list of reasons why I shouldn’t/couldn’t do it. However, once I realized how important it was, I made a decision to jump on the train and I’m so glad I did! I’ve conquered that fear of being live on camera and come to a place where I’m no longer freaking out every time there’s a snafu or every time I look imperfect. It is SO freeing! Don’t you want that freedom?
Once you get past your fear, you’ll find that fun, live videos will maximize your visibility on Facebook in a massive way! I posted a ton of great tips for using Facebook Live successfully in the blog I wrote just after Mark Zuckerberg announced the big changes to Facebook’s newsfeed. Be sure and take look back to get all the details but for now, here are a few extra tips to help you get started:
- Figure out what works for you and run with it. Episodic content will always win, so choose a theme for your videos (for example, Becky and I theme all of our videos around visibility in our weekly Facebook Live show “The Visibility Show.”) and post at the same time every week. Rinse and repeat.
- Promote like crazy. Share invites with the people on your email list as well as the groups you’re in. Post links to your lives on all of your social media channels, your blog, etc.
- Remember the cash is in the conversation. Increase engagement by:
- Offer a cool freebie to anyone who posts in the comments
- Set aside time for Q&A or ask people to post questions throughout your video (if you do this, keep in mind you’ll need to answer questions in real time so they don’t get lost).
- Invite influencers on for interviews (this will expand your audience, too, because they’ll share with their audience)
- Create polls
- Do “hot seats” where you help your listeners solve a problem on the spot during the live.
- Spotlight active members – make them feel special. Offer first dibs on hot offers/special promos
- Share like crazy
- Share as soon as you get on live or have someone else share to any groups you manage, your personal page, etc.
- Ask your viewers to share and invite their friends to watch. To encourage shares, you can do a giveaway once you reach a certain number of shares or views.
- Share after you’re off to any other relevant groups you’re in and have permission to share to.
- Share the video a day or two later to your business page, managed groups, and personal page to invite people to watch the replay and connect with you so they don’t miss your next Live.
2. Maximize Visibility On Facebook By Using Groups:
Facebook is prioritizing posts from groups in people’s timelines. If you don’t already have a group for your community, it’s time to create one! To maximize your visibility and ensure your group’s success:
- Engage like crazy
- Interact with people in the comments – encourage conversation as much as possible. Post content that makes people want to interact with each other.
- Ask people to vote on something
- Ask for recommendations
- Offer a cool freebie or deal to group members before it’s available to the general public
- Promote your group like crazy online, at events, and in printed materials. Create a tiny.url link for your group. You can personalize it to your brand, and it will come in so handy for promoting your group (because tinyurl.com/sizzleforceconnect is a whole lot easier to say AND remember than www.facebook.com/groups/SizzleForceMarketingConnections/ … right?)
- Promote in your live videos – Encourage people to get in your group by offering a special deal/freebie to new group members
3. Maximize Visibility On Facebook By Piggy Backing On Breaking News:
Facebook displays breaking news on the right side of your desktop feed. In the mobile app, if you tap in the search bar you’ll see your recent searches, and trending news will show up just beneath that.
- Facebook’s algorithm will always give priority to newsworthy content.
- Figure out how you can tie in with news people are already talking about.
- Use newsworthy hashtags!
- Use @ tags to get the attention of influencers when you post about something they’ve talked about. Use this sparingly – it can be powerful but seeming annoying or spammy and can kill your credibility if you misuse it.
- The more you post on content people really care about or are passionate about, the more you’ll generate powerful comments. The longer the comments, the more visibility you’ll get from Facebook.
4. Maximize Visibility On Facebook Using Facebook Stories:
Stories are a relatively new addition to Facebook. Snapchat put this feature on the map, with their photo/video messages that automatically disappear after the recipient has viewed them. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram so when they launched Instagram Stories in 2016, it was really just a matter of time before the feature made its way to Facebook. Here’s what you need to know:
- Stories last just 24 hours. Then they’re gone. *Poof!* Forever.
- Facebook displays stories at the top of the mobile app feed and the top right of the desktop feed – because of the super prominent positioning Facebook give stories, they are really easy to find and engage with!
- Post when you know your audience is active on Facebook (your page and group insights can help you figure this out)
- Stories are perfect for in the moment “you have to see this now” content – events like parties, speaking engagements, grand openings, performances, trade shows, etc.
- Stories are also perfect for big, exciting announcements—like new products, sales, etc. Consider putting promo codes in stories so that only people who look at your story get it. Encourage people to look at your stories in your groups and on your page.
To hear more about increasing your visibility on Facebook, and to hear several more tips on how to maximize visibility on Facebook from my co-host, Becky, head over to Facebook and watch our Live video in its entirety.
It’s important to keep in mind that everything you do on Facebook is on rented real estate. The truth is, Zuck could decide to pull the plug any time, without notice. Make sure you are doing everything you can to move people from Facebook over to your email list. This is most easily accomplished by creating a lead magnet they really want (learn how in the SizzleForce Marketing Club). You also need to be active on other social platforms. Find out where your audience is hanging out when they’re not on Facebook, and hang out with them there!
To learn even more about how to maximize visibility on Facebook and across the internet, join Becky and I at The Visibility Show every Thursday at noon PST. Be sure to join our group as well to ask any questions you have, and get help and encouragement from our amazing community.