Today, there are more than 60 million Facebook pages and 2 billion monthly active Facebook users, making this social network a new El Dorado for marketers. For entrepreneurs too, launching a Facebook page represents an opportunity to develop a committed community and do some promotion on the web…

The problem, which is not easy to be heard on Facebook, in particular because:

  • There is a lot of competition: 60 million companies are fighting for a place in your news feed;
  • Your fans’ news feed is starting to get full.

Getting your place in your fans’ news feed is getting harder and harder. To make matters worse, the Facebook algorithm does not hold your heart.

Since May 2016, it favors the publications of your friends and family rather than those of Facebook pages. Then come the Facebook pages with which you interact most often.

In fact, the average organic reach of a Facebook page that posts twice a day is only 2% on average according to the figures presented in this article.

It’s no coincidence that Facebook is constantly changing the way its algorithm works, focusing more and more on your friends’ content.

Facebook wants you to become an advertiser on its platform. In fact, advertising accounts for over 95% of its revenue.

Paying for likes: the solution that doesn’t work

Let’s recap. The natural reach of posts on a Facebook page is (very) low and does not seem to want to go up. Your fans’ news feed is full. The Facebook algorithm doesn’t like you.

How do you get more fans then (especially if you’ve just launched your page)? This is what you want, right? Engage a community, generate traffic to your website, make sales through your Facebook page?

Yes, it is very possible.

The most obvious solution, you guessed it, is to pay Facebook. There are others of course (I will expose them a little further in this article).

Unfortunately, paying Facebook to make people like your page is not a long-term winning strategy.

I’m talking about advertising that we like your page (not buying likes on questionable sites).

A “Likes Page” ad looks like this in your news feed.

To me, this is not a smart short-term and long-term strategy. Here are my 2 arguments AGAINST likes campaigns.

Likes don’t make you money

Until proven otherwise, a mention like does not earn you a penny! The return on investment (ROI) for this kind of campaign is quite simply no. So why pay for something that doesn’t make you money? Isn’t that the goal of an advertisement? Generate a return on investment.

Here you invest for your ego, nothing more. Because yes, it’s nice to have a page with 10,000 likes, but if no one buys, it has no value.

I know what you are going to tell me:

“Yes, but buying likes allows me to increase the natural reach of my posts since I have more fans.”

“My Facebook page has a higher number of fans so it’s good for my credibility.”

This is also what Neil Patel, one of the world’s leading digital marketers, also believed … before he spent $ 400,000 on advertising for almost useless likes today.

I’ll explain the story of Neil Patel in the following argument.

Facebook’s algorithm works against you

As I explained to you at the start of the article, Facebook’s algorithm now works against you. Facebook prefers to show the content of your friends and family first, then the content of the pages with which you interact the most. And this is not normal, Facebook does not want its users to abandon its social network.

Facebook is above all a social network where we have fun, not a market.

Let’s go back to our story. Having found a positive correlation between the total number of likes on his page and the organic page reach, Neil Patel invested in advertising for:

In total, he invested $ 400,000 in Facebook advertising (boosting his posts, launching likes campaigns) and now owns 900,000 fans on his page.

At first, his efforts paid off.

The natural organic reach of its page has greatly increased. Neil explains that he had 240,000 visitors to his website from his Facebook page just by posting his latest articles on his page.

Source: neilpatel.com

The rest of the curve:

Source: neilpatel.com

In Neil’s words, Facebook fans and likes like that end up losing value with the perpetual changes to Facebook’s algorithm.

Basically, the more fans he had on his page, the more the organic reach of his publications diminished. Having 900,000 fans was worth less than having 100,000!

So if a marketer as strong as Neil spent $ 400,000 to ultimately have an even lower natural range in the end, then let’s not make the same mistake!

Remember this: Facebook’s algorithm works against you. Facebook wants you to advertise!

How to stop being invisible on Facebook?

Foster engagement, that is, the number of people who interact with your Facebook page. If no one shares or comments on your posts, you don’t risk having new fans! Fortunately, there are effective and free ways to boost interactions on your Facebook page.

Give priority to visual content (photos, animated GIFs, videos, etc.)

Visual content is more likely to attract attention than plain text content. Take a look in your news feed. You’ll find that most of the content is visual, but only a small part of that content is in video format (at least that’s what I’m seeing in my news feed).

So there are places to take with the video.

Making videos isn’t just for everyone, but it’s what generates the most interaction on Facebook.

Publish your videos natively

Good to know: If you are making video, publish your videos natively.

Publishing natively means uploading the video directly from Facebook. Facebook will naturally give more visibility to your video if you publish it directly from Facebook rather than sharing a YouTube link. As CWT Advertising & Co’m does: a beautiful video in the sun?

Buffer also advises to publish your videos in square format because they take up more space on mobile.

You then have the user’s attention.

Go LIVE

Facebook introduced the possibility of making Lives in 2016. The least we can say is that it works. No need to go on TV to be live. It’s now possible on Facebook and at your fingertips …

Eurosport regularly makes Lives on its Facebook page.

In my opinion, Live has enabled Eurosport to considerably develop its Facebook page and engage its community. Eurosport journalists give their opinion and play on humor.

In the end, I find that we don’t even want to read their articles on the Eurosport site anymore because we have the impression of the better team.

In my opinion, this gives them an advantage over other football media that only relay news about football.

Live video has many advantages:

  • The range of Lives is much more important. It’s still new and popular content on Facebook;
  • Some of your fans will receive a notification to tell you that you are Live;
  • You can even plan the event (to avoid being alone on Live!);
  • The purpose of a live is to exchange, so interactions will be there !
  • You can reuse videos from your lives on your website or in your Facebook ads.

To go further on the use of live, see this article “10 reasons to use Facebook Live for your marketing” by Catherine Daar.

Publish when your fans are online

Eh yes ! In order to see your publications, you have to publish them at the right time. When your fans are online preferably. To find out, there are several solutions:

  • Either you play guessing games to find out. You may be wrong…;
  • Either you do a search on Google. Be careful, you will find a different answer in each article;
  • Or you use your Facebook page’s audience statistics to determine when YOUR fans are most often online.

Also test to see which time works best.

How to create engagement on your Facebook page (without advertising). Click to Tweet

Produce “shareable” content

It is the most important. If no one has desire to share your content, it will only appear in the news feed of some of your fans. Here’s what I saw when managing the Facebook page of my old blog.

People share much more photos and videos as links.

I think of the articles I published on my page. I got a few clicks on the link, but few interactions, not enough to engage my community. Which makes sense, I was just expecting traffic to my site.

In any case, this is not a good strategy for obtaining shares on social networks.

For example, on my current Facebook page, I shared a photo of the Maslow pyramid suitable for social media.

I only had 50 fans on my page and yet this simple photo was shown in front of over 700 people!

In my opinion, this post was successful mainly for two reasons:

  1. The photo plays on humor;
  2. She talks about Maslow’s pyramid of needs, a concept that we learn in psychology at university … and that makes us smart just talking about it.

So when someone shares this photo, he looks funny and intelligent at the same time!

Jonah Berger calls this the social value in his book Contagious why things catch on.

I have summarized in this article the “secrets” of Jonah Berger to create viral content and I have adapted the 6 principles of the book to social networks?

Boost your publications

Sometimes you also need to give your publications a little boost to help them get the visibility they deserve. But don’t overdo it, it doesn’t make you money … and you risk becoming addicted (like Neil!)

To find out which publication (s) will boost, go again to audience statistics> Publications.

Then look at the publications that have received the most interactions.

* The boxes in dark orange show the scope for “non-fans”.

Then boost publications with the most engagement. Choose between interactions on your page or visits to your website.

For example, if the post is a blog post, it’s best to send that traffic to your website.

If it’s a video uploaded to Facebook, choose “interaction”.

Choose your budget (10 € does the trick), the duration and your audience.

Conclusion

I hope I have dissuaded you from spending your money on likes campaigns.

There is much better to do to get engagement on your Facebook page:

  • Give priority to visual content (photos, animated GIFs, videos);
  • Publish your videos natively;
  • Do a LIVE;
  • Produce “shareable” content;
  • Publish when your fans are online;
  • Boost publications (without abusing them!).

PS: If you want to know how to (really) create profitable Facebook advertising, I wrote a free guide that takes a step-by-step action plan for creating persuasive Facebook advertising, choosing the right audience, and determining your budget. Download it freely via this link.

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