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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Five Things You Can Do to Reach More People on Facebook

Whether you're an indie bookseller or business owner, you're probably constantly seeking ways to expand your reach on Facebook's social media site. Back in 2012, there was an uproar of dissension over Facebook's statement that only 16% of people viewed our status updates (see Huffington's article: Facebook Explains How Often Your Posts Get Seen). Today, according to a most recent study done by EdgeRank Checker, only 7% of your status posts are viewed.

Something to think about considering that if you have 100 people on your site, only about 7 will get to see your update on their news feed. With that said, there has to be a way to get our brand out there, invite people to our site, or ensure that we are on their news feed.

I have found these Five simple things you can do to get more engagement from your audience helpful:

Comment on People's Posts
Social Media networking is about building relationships and engaging others to care about you or your brand. One of the biggest mistakes every business owner or writer makes is to assume that if you "build it they will come." That is NOT the case. I've said this before in other posts, and I will say this again, people won't care unless they know that you do. HAVE to care about people. If you are not a people person, and don't care to engage others in conversation, then simply hire a social media specialist who will do that for you or seek other marketing avenues, because social media will simply be a waste of time, and time is certainly something that you can't afford to waste. So, what do you do? Here are a few simple tips:

  • Comment on videos, pictures, or status updates that people post that you find interesting. 
  • Ask questions and try to start a conversation. 
  • DON'T push or sell your product. People will assume you're being disingenuous and smell you a mile away for coming to them with a hidden agenda.
If you want to read more about how to build relationships, Kevin Knebl's book, "Social Media Sales Revolution" is a great read that further elaborates on this. He can also be found on Facebook under that same name. 

Post a Status on Your Page
What drives the most engagement? Believe or not, what you're thinking, doing, or highlighting about your day brings in the most comments. Look at the graph below:

On that same study mentioned above, EdgeRanker found that people are willing to engage you on Facebook when you post a newsworthy status about yourself. Sharing videos, photos, or links have positive results, but they are not as effective as writing about your current status. If you're thinking, "Well, I don't want people to know what I'm doing, thinking, if my dog did something funny, I had a grand kid, planted flowers, or if I had a funny incident," again, please seek other marketing avenues; social media may not be for you. People are on these networks to socialize, AHA! That's why we call it social media. If you are there merely to push your book, brand, or product, it will be a sure fire way to get Hidden. Deleted. Flagged.

Share People's Posts
Did something on your news feed strike your fancy? Share it! It's a sure way to get someone to view your page to find out who shared their post.

Invite People to Follow You and Follow People Back
Please be cautious when doing this, and it is preferable that you wait until a friendly relationship has been established to ask them to follow you. Like Twitter, Facebook has recently initiated a new "Follow" button. When someone chooses to follow you, this will guarantee that your status updates will come up on their news feed.

Boost or Promote Your Posts
You want to reserve this option for special campaigns or promotions you are running and want to target a larger audience. This feature has been very effective for me when I am having writing contests on my Facebook Writingjax site or want to release a story I've uploaded on Amazon. You want to use this feature sparingly, because you have to pay Facebook for expanding your reach, and if you are not running a special promotion, speaking at a book tour, or highlighting an important event, it can dig into your marketing budget and easily burn a hole right through your wallet.

Well that's it! I hope you found this blog useful, and if there are things you are doing that are giving you some positive results in engagement, please feel free to share. If you like what you're reading, and you want to read more, feel free to subscribe to this blog. If you're on Facebook, I would love to meet you. You can like my community page for writers or friend me at Jax Cortez. I wish you well on your endeavors and thank you for reading!

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