Answers For Your Facebook Frustrations
Are you frustrated with Facebook? Yeah, me too. Are you tired of putting time and energy into posts and not seeing results or growing your fan base? I hear ya! A few weeks ago we shared a blog post about more changes that were coming to Facebook and we received a ton of feedback and frustrations that many of you have been dealing with.
We are often asked by authors what social media platform we recommend and what we have seen the most success with. Without question it is Twitter. But this answer seems to scare some authors because they feel too overwhelmed by Twitter or they are more comfortable using Facebook because it is familiar to them.
So I wanted to address some of those frustrations while giving you a guide and some practical steps to deal with these Facebook challenges, along with offering some additional options.
FRUSTRATION #1: My Facebook Page isn't growing - at all
Truth be told, the best way to grow your Facebook Page with your target audience is to buy ads. That's the only way to really see tangible and swift action with Facebook. But know that an increased number of "likes" doesn't ensure that everyone who follows your page will actually see your posts, which ultimately is the point of it all.
I want to challenge you with this: How are you engaging and building up your current audience on Facebook? Many times we are so focused on increasing our numbers that we don't stop to nurture the audience that we already have. Which leads us to the second frustration...
Frustration #2: Very few people see my posts
Below your posts you will see a notification that says "X number of people reached" which shows how many people have actually seen your post in their newsfeed. This number has gotten smaller and smaller for more people. Why? Because Facebook's algorithm decides who sees what in their newsfeed.
Here's the deal: If people aren't liking, commenting, or sharing your posts, Facebook's algorithm notices that your particular post isn't resonating with your audience, and consequently stops showing it in people's newsfeeds.
These first two frustrations go hand in hand because when your fans like, comment on, and share your posts, not only will more fans see your posts in their newsfeeds, but people outside of your fan base will then see your posts. This is how you organically grow your Facebook Page. It's not the fastest nor the most sexy way, but it works! Which brings us to the next frustration...
Frustration #3: How do I get shares and comments on my posts?
First you will need to take off your "I'm an author and I want to sell more books" hat and put yourself in your fan's shoes. How would you respond if you only saw posts pushing for you to check out an author's book? Or if you saw the same post over and over again? You'd ignore posts from that author, right?
We've adopted the crazy idea that constantly talking about our books and pushing for people to "check them out" will make social media work for them. It's the exact opposite.
Social media was created for relationships. So instead of only talking about your book, ask questions that have nothing to do with your book or subject, and that require quick and easy answers. For example, "What's your warm beverage of choice: tea, coffee, other?" or "What was the best Christmas present you ever received?" Questions that require quick, simple answers are best.
The purpose of asking simple questions gets the ball rolling in having people comment on your post. When there are comments on simple questions it will show Facebook that people are active on your page, ensuring that more people will actually see your posts. So when you have something important to say - like a book release - you know more people will see it.
All three of these frustrations blend together. If the people who already like your Page aren't engaging, then your posts won't be seen. And if your posts aren't seen, then your Page won't grow.
So how do you deal with these frustrations?
Here are three options:
- Change your approach to Facebook.
- Buy Facebook ads.
- Ditch Facebook and focus on Twitter and Google+.
If you want to stick with Facebook but don't want to buy ads, here's how you can change your approach.
Create a Plan
A map gives you directions and shows you where to go. The same goes with a plan for your Facebook Page. We have a free workbook that walks you through how to create a social media plan on our website, so be sure to download that.
Read your insights
Facebook has fantastic insights giving you the information you need to know when your audience is online. This helps you know when to schedule posts, what they respond to, where they are from, and so on. Every Page has access to insights (while Profiles do not), so check it out and use the information to create posts that will resonate with your fans.
Visuals are incredibly important in social media. Not just any image but captivating images that your fans will want to share. When an image is used engagement is dramatically increased.
Create shareable content
Your fans want to share information, pictures, and quotes that make them look good. They want to be the one that shares something insightful, funny, or beautiful with their friends. Whether it is a great blog post, an insightful quote, a funny/cute picture, or video, post content that fans will be eager to share with their friends.
The truth of the matter is that there isn't one blanket answer to any of our struggles on social media. There are general guidelines and strategies that we can tap into that will work, but social media deals with the most unpredictable element of all: humans. Your audience is unique - a group of people that is unlike anyone else online. It's your job to get to know them, see what they respond to, and create content that blows their socks off.
And most of all, this takes time. Even if you have a couple hundred followers and then change your approach/strategy, it will take time to make the change effective.
TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, share one tactic that you are taking to improve your Facebook Page. Are you staying with Facebook or are you focused more on Twitter, Google+, etc.?