As small business owners, we use and rely heavily on the power of social media platforms. It’s difficult when that platform decides to change up how it operates. Instead of getting overwhelmed or defeated when a (free) platform changes up its algorithms let’s focus on how we can continue to use that platform to our business growing advantage.
Facebook is changing. Sure, it has been doing so for years, but as many other small businesses have noticed it isn’t driving the traffic or giving you the organic reach we were once used to. In the beginning Facebook was a hub to help small businesses thrive. Unfortunately as all things do, there are changes which make it much harder to compete without forking over the cash. However, there are alternatives and they don’t cost any money.
When we realized that our Facebook Page traffic was next to nothing we decided to take matters into our own hands. These are simple strategies that, with consistency and quality, can outshine the audience growth and engagement you’re seeing (or not seeing) on your Facebook Business page.
Be a Resource Not a Sales Pitch
Nobody likes a salesman. And better yet no one likes listening to other people talk about themselves. Turn the tables, focus less on promoting your business and spend more time listening to what your customers want. Give them opportunities to talk about themselves or share their personal story. Listen to their concerns, struggles and road bumps and then turn the tables and offer solutions. Even though it is tempting to start selling you need to first offer a bunch of solutions… for FREE. Your willingness to share will lead to trust which is a crucial in keeping people coming back for more.
Members Only Groups
Since our Facebook page only generates 4.88% of our monthly traffic our efforts are spent elsewhere. We get people to our site via Instagram and Pinterest and focus instead on providing pure value in our member’s only group on Facebook. We wanted a place where we could engage, chat with and get to know our audience. That group grows daily and the conversations in there range from sharing goals, asking for feedback, sharing successes and so much more. We absolutely love hanging out inside our group, but maybe creating one for your business doesn’t quite make sense. You could try:
- Being an ambassador for one of your favorite groups. This would give you the chance to interact and engage with a particular audience, but without you doing all the work to get one running.
- Being super engaging and value adding in other groups. Become known as the expert in whatever it is you do or offer by always showing up in the threads and comments of other groups.
After managing our own group for a while and being active participants in other groups we’ve gathered up our best tips for you to make the most out of you time. We don’t want you lurking in Facebook groups!
When you are a star Facebook grouper you get noticed. People see you, learn from you and value your input. You increase the worth of the group as a whole by your participation and that comes back, friend. So if you’re still silently creeping along the edges to not be seen here’s what it’s costing you.
When you post or comment often (in a non-spammy way) you get noticed. Other members will start to connect your face and name with what you do and you will become known for it. By not doing this you’ll also be missing out on the opportunity to turn an online relationship into something physical. When you share about yourself you’ll realize that there are probably people in your area that you can meet up with in person. The value of bridging that connection is one of the main reasons we started our very own group. How amazing to be a part of a group that creates and inspires in-person meetups of similar interests?
Getting more sales should never be your main focus for joining a group. It’s most likely heavily monitored how often (if at all) you can plug your own content. The reason for this may seem silly at first, but trust us if you’re a part of a group that is constantly selling to you, you’ll understand. However, just by being an active member of a group (commenting and posting regularly) people will notice what you do. When the time comes for you to share a promo link it will be received a lot more authentically if you haven’t been hiding for 6 months.
The best part of being a non-lurker is getting to work with the people inside the group on a professional level. We’re part of groups that constantly ask the members if they sell or offer what they need before looking anywhere else. We know the power of word of mouth referrals are amazing and there’s no better place to get plugged then a group of your like-minded peers!
Trust us when we say, that most moderators of the groups you’re in are highly knowledgeable and willing to share what they know. For our group specifically we wanted to create a space where you could pick our brains, come to us with questions or hash out your struggles….for free.
We know not all of you are ready to drop down some Benjamins for a strategy session so we wanted to provide something for all of you. If you aren’t posting, commenting or participating you are letting this go to waste.
So how do you remedy past lurking behavior? Luckily for you, it’s not difficult or awkward and it can start to totally change how these groups work for you. Here is a quick and painless guide to be a non-lurker:
- Introduce yourself and your business
- Be sure to include where you're from and some funny quirks
- Make an effort to comment or respond to someone once a day
- Post meaningful/non promo link materials (think articles, stats, quotes, personal stories)
- Share any of your own blog posts or things you’ve learned that might help another out
- Ask for feedback on a new offer, product or service
- Be open and honest about your personal or business struggles (someone can always relate!)
- Respond to your industry related threads like an open book
- Keep your voice encouraging and supportive
By following that guide you’ll add tremendous value in whatever group you’re in. Every moderator or admin wants to see you benefit greatly from the space they’ve created for you, but the only way you can do that is to take advantage!