Over the past few months, I’ve seen a lot of business owners complaining about Facebook as a marketing platform…
In particular, I’ve heard a number of business owners wanting to engage more of their fans on Facebook, but struggling to do so as a result of the constantly changing Facebook EdgeRank.
Incidentally, if you’ve never heard of Facebook EdgeRank, here’s how Wikipedia defines it:
“EdgeRank is the name commonly given to the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what articles should be displayed in a user’s News Feed.” – Wikipedia
Most small to medium businesses are being prevented from appearing in their users’ News Feeds. The main reason is EdgeRank. Facebook gives more credit to businesses that are constantly growing their fan base.
If you’re not reaching as many of your fans, it’s because you’re not growing your fan base consistently.
The way to appeal to more people? It’s as simple as running a Like campaign.
‘Hang on a second Matt, isn’t the number of Likes you have just vanity?‘
No, my cynical friend, not at all.
Don’t get me wrong, it used to be. Back in the very early days of Facebook, you could have accused it of being mostly about vanity and ‘look how many fans we have’.
But not any more. Now, the business of getting Likes can really help build your business.
Obviously, I have to start any appraisal of Facebook Likes by talking about something that Dr. Robert Cialdini refers to as ‘social proof’ in his excellent book Influence.
Cialdini’s findings on proof were essentially that the more people like you that you see doing something, the more likely you are to do it.
He cites a number of interested (and some downright shocking) examples of social proof in action in the real world. It counts double online.
In the case of Facebook, this means that your prospects are more likely to Like your page and engage with it if they see their peers liking your page.
If you run a Facebook Ads ‘Like’ campaign, you can target your campaign to people whose friends like your page. That way, when they see the ad, they see that their friends have liked the page, automatically making them more likely to give it their own thumbs up.
All of this leads to the ultimate social proof: The fact that your business has thousands of people liking it. If a business has 10,000 fans, it has more kudos than a business with only 10 fans, simply because of the number.
You may have noticed that Roar’s numbers are rising daily as I’ve implemented a campaign to increase the reach we get on Facebook. Even at the early stages of that campaign, we noticed an immediate rise in the reach of our organic posts, thanks to the paid campaign.
A good ‘Like’ campaign will attract more people to your brand who want what you provide. Naturally, in order to be as effective as possible, your content marketing strategy would need to work for your market.
However, the benefits don’t stop at social proof.
If you have more than around 300 fans on Facebook, you can use that audience as targeting in your Facebook Ads.
People who have already liked your page will convert at a higher rate than ‘cold traffic’, simply because they know and like you.
The best thing is, you can set an ad to target the people who like your page, even when they only number a handful of fans. As your fan page grows, your audience for that original campaign will grow, meaning that all the new fans will see the ads meant for them.
Plus, this now means that you have a captive audience for your brand, products and/or services.
Once you’ve started growing your Facebook fans, you’re essentially growing a subscriber list of people that you can market to over and over again. That alone is reason enough to start a Facebook like campaign.
Once you have a decent number of fans (1,000+) on your fan page, you can ask Facebook to take its data and apply it to your list of fans in a very clever way.
First, a quick bit of background:
Facebook is mining thousands of data points on each of its users. If you were to download the data that Facebook has on you (which you can do legally), it could run for as many as 1,200 pages over 57 categories, like this guy’s data.
Without getting all Big Brother on you, this means that Facebook can easily find people who are like your fans in lots of ways and target advertising to them.
For you and me (honest, ethical marketers), we can get Facebook to use this data to assemble a Lookalike Audience – A group of people who are just like the people who’ve liked our page.
Just as the people who already like your page will be more engaged by your posts, a Lookalike has a far higher chance of containing people who will Like your page because they’re just like your fans.
As a result, you can build that captive audience faster.
What About Fake Accounts and Likes?
OK, let me address this point as there’s been a lot of people talking about it on social media…
It’s true that there are places and people online that will sell you ‘Likes’ for your page at a far cheaper rate than you’ll get if you use Facebook Ads.
However, if you use them to build your page, thinking that you’re getting a responsive audience of true fans, you’re being naive to say the least.
These people have created thousands of fake profiles which they run using either software or teams of outsourcers, who run them as if they’re real people.
The crucial part of that last sentence is ‘as if they’re real’. They have to do that because they’re not actually real profiles of real people at all. These ‘Like’ farms will (for a fee) send you a ton of new likes from all over the world, none of them from real people.
Obviously, I shouldn’t have to tell you that it’s a dreadful idea to use them, or that it contravenes a number of Facebook’s terms and conditions of service.
But there’s a more important point here:
What if your Facebook Ads targeting targets those fake profiles? What if those fake profiles like your page, thus wasting your ad spend and giving you a fake fan?
Well, it is possible… If you don’t target your ads properly.
You can avoid the vast majority of those crappy accounts by doing the following:
- Target your region (your country or even your city) specifically
- Get Facebook to optimise your campaigns for you via oCPM targeting (Facebook’s revenue and share prices are negatively affected by fake accounts so you can be sure they’re doing as much as possible to counter them)
- Use both Lookalike audiences and specific targeting to ensure you’re only getting the most targeted people on your prospect list
Facebook Like campaigns work to grow the potential audience for your business.
They allow you to engage with more people who could become customers and they give you a potentially huge boost in credibility with prospects. More importantly, they allow you to maintain and grow your engagement levels once you’ve started the campaign.
This can lead to more organic engagement and ultimately more people to market to that have already qualified themselves by ‘Liking’ your page.
If you want more guidance on Facebook, you can still download your copy of our Facebook Leads Report and get the chance to secure some 1-on-1 training with me at the same time.
Do you have any immediate questions? Have you had problems with Facebook’s algorithm? How are you using Facebook in your business? Leave me a comment or question below.