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I thought Facebook Was Free: Hints for Spending Money Wisely on Social Media

There is a secret to getting information out to loyal followers on your Facebook Business Page:  Quality over Quantity.   It may not be the secret that you were hoping to hear, but it is true.  The higher the quality of the information you have to share with your Facebook followers, the more effective it will be AND the more people will see it.

Facebooks continual tweaks to its algorithm are just further proof that the social media giant knows, the only way it will survive is by serving up relevant content to users.  The only way to serve up relevant content is to serve up quality content, which means that businesses that are constantly self-promoting in ways that annoy followers – are NOT going to have those posts seen by anyone.

Facebook will bury your posts.  In fact, they already do. 

Don’t believe us?  Look at the bottom of any post – Facebook tells you the number of people who have “seen this post” and we can guarantee that unless you paid to promote it – that number is about 2-4% of your total Facebook Follower count.

What the What?

Yes.   As more people use social media, and social media firms become public companies that have to actually report profits, it becomes more difficult to have a large audience see your posts without some sort of monetary payment.  So, what is a small, local business-person to do?  Well there are a few tips and tricks to making your money go a long way on social media.  While it does cost money now to get the majority of your Facebook fans to see your information, it is still relatively cheap to share that information.  Imagine if you were trying to reach the same audience via a television commercial.  Not so bad in that light, eh?

Anyway, there are a few things that you can do to spread your reach, and we are happy to share them with you here below.

1.  Approach Facebook as a popularity contest.

You want to have the “coolest” posts.  You want to have the “most awesome” information.  (hint:  use pictures, minimal text, and make it pretty!)  That is the stuff that people share, and when other people are moved to share or engage with your information – Facebook rewards that with FREE virality.  Let’s say your typical post gets one person to “like it” (your mom likes all of your posts right?).  Then let’s say you put some real effort into making an interesting post that you think people will love and 5 people share that post.  Facebook evaluates your post as having more value than your typical posts, and so more people will see it without you paying for it (via Facebook’s generosity, as well as the fact that when your friends interact with your post, Facebook reports that interaction to a percentage of their friends as well – who now know about your business).

2.  Split your efforts when paying for ads.

When you decide to shell out money to get higher engagement on Facebook, make your ad spend do double duty.  If you are trying to extend the reach of your posts think about who you want to reach and act accordingly.   If you want a lot of people to see your post then hit the “promote post” button.  Make sure you take the time to target your audience (i.e. why pay to have a bunch of men reading stuff about women’s hair products?  Target your targeted consumer!)  If you want a lot of your followers to see your post then set up the post so that it is only being advertised to people who have a direct relationship with your page.