(Free) Ways to Promote Your Business on Facebook
Facebook is a powerful advertising platform. It has redefined what it means to target potential customers, and for many businesses it is providing very affordable leads.
Of course, advertising works even better when combined with a genuine presence on Facebook as a contributor. Here are some suggestions for how you can become popular on Facebook, as a business, for free.
Passionately Use Your Product
Put the product in your hand, or wear it or ride it. Use it every day and be photographed. Post the photos on Facebook. Your dedication and enthusiasm will rub off on others. You can also easily get your customers involved—just incentivise them with prizes or fame.
Show Your Latest Creations
Landscape gardeners, cake decorators, fashion designers—if you are continually and uniquely creating, share all your best work on Facebook. You can even show works in progress. All it takes is some photos and a sentence or two. Use a smartphone and you can post from anywhere.
Be Active in the Activities of Your Customers
You sell GPS units for off-road driving. Your customers are all 4WD enthusiasts. So go on your own 4WD adventures and share your journey on Facebook. Obviously you want your adventures to be inspiring and awesome. If they are ordinary it might backfire.
Every original post must have a photo. Facebook will show text only posts from people, but pretty much requires businesses to include an image.
They need to be your own photos, and they need to be of sufficient quality. If you have a high-end smart phone, you have the equipment. All you need to do is learn the basics of composition.
Have a Facebook Store
If your prospective customers are people who most likely use Facebook a lot (like women aged 30-50 with young children), then having a Facebook only store can work well (see Lolly Wolly Doodle below). You can easily combine Facebook with an external store if you use an all-in-one package from providers like Neto or Shopify.
Involve Fans in the Workings of Your Business
Lolly Wolly Doodle, based in North Carolina, went from zero to $11 million in sales and 900,000 Facebook fans. Their tactic was simple; ask fans to comment on the latest designs. The feedback was incorporated, and instantly popular designs were quickly sold in advance. Rather than manufacturing products that they hoped would sell, by involving fans they knew what would sell before they ordered them to be made.
Don’t Blatantly Sell
Facebook wants you to post stories. They want advertising to exist in ads (that you pay for). So be subtle, and be interesting. Involve your fans rather than broadcasting to them. If it would work in traditional media (radio, TV, print), it probably doesn’t suit being a Facebook post.
Aggregate News Stories
Sometimes your product and niche don’t suit original posts, for example, if you are an accounting firm. In that case, spend 15 minutes a day sharing stories that would interest your customers. Somewhere between several stories a week, and a couple per day is usually about right. If you inundate people with stories, most of them are unlikely to be worth reading. However, if you share too infrequently, your fans will forget about you.
Be a Personality
If you are a larger-than-life personality with a lot going on in your world, with lots of photo opportunities, then you might be able to make your business as much about you as your products. Think Richard Branson. The key is to pump out the content, and make your fans wish they were you, or at least were involved in your activities.
I follow a Japanese barman on Facebook. He takes selfies with his happy customers. He’s not famous, but it reminds me of when I visited Tokyo and it is nice seeing people enjoying the same bar I did.
Be a Sponsor
Sponsoring a youth soccer team is great if you can work your product into the sponsorship. So if you are supermarket, and at half time you supply oranges, that can work. Families of team members will follow your stories, and they’ll remember your products. It works in James Bond movies and it will work at your scale as well. And, of course, it works offline too.
And Finally – Pay To Boost Your Best Posts
All of the above tactics are free to try on Facebook. None of them will reach all of your Facebook fans. This is for two reasons:
1) There are too many stories. Facebook won’t overwhelm the average user with every post from every business they are a fan of.
2) Facebook needs to make a profit.
So, Facebook will only show your posts to a small portion of your fans. Based on how your fans respond (and a whole lot of other factors), some posts will reach more fans than others. Facebook makes it easy to see how your posts are performing.
You can pay Facebook to show your posts to more people. It typically works out to be a few cents per user, but can cost more.
The trick is to see how posts perform for free initially, and then boost the ones that are already doing well. Successful posts are cheaper to boost, and you already know that your fans will appreciate them more.