Is it actually possible to grow your Facebook without having to pay for ads? Is organic growth even possible on Facebook anymore? Many small businesses even a couple of years ago have had their plans dashed by the ever changing algorithm or what use to be called Edgerank. Many people learned and even a slightly sour about the prospect of using Facebook and having to pay money to get people to see your site.

First let me say the Facebook advertising is a great but as many small to medium sized businesses are trying to save money. It can be a bit scary to know how much to spend because every dollar was a hard earned dollar. Just throwing it away is something you don’t want and so why spend money on something people will not see again. So what are some ways to grow your audience organically?

#1 Make a Plan

You always need a map of what your objective is. Whether it is to double your twitter following or increase the amount of responses to your mailing list. You want to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Try it out. Write down three social media objectives you want to complete by the end of the year. Now write for the first one where you want to be in 3 months and then where you want to be in 6 months in relation to the objective. This is the road map to achieving what you are trying to do.

Will you run exactly as planned? Well, of course not. There will be times that you are getting off of course, and you will be able to tell a lot easier if you know where the path is. Even if you go completely off the rails you will make more progress by planning your steps out, than you would ever get by not trying at all. Also what if you don’t make your goal? You got closer than if you hadn’t even tried. At least you hiked up your pants, rolled up your sleeves and took an all American swing at it, and that is a success anyway you look at it. You will have learned more than you would of thought by just planning and pushing to fruition. You can grow that Facebook page or group just with a little planning.

#2 Be your page.

post_as_yourselfWhen you comment on other peoples pages, you actually have the choice down at the bottom to post as you or as your page. Why not post as your page. Engage other pages as the very thing you are trying to grow? This way that pages fans are able to see you and will see the value you provide. Now be helpful with your comments. You catch more flies with a drop of honey that you do with a gallon of gall. Help that other page out even if they are you competitor. You don’t want your comments to be removed that would only defeat the purpose.

#3 Link to your Facebook Page on your signature

Email signatures are still very under-utilized these days. Many people will place a link to their site in their email signature why not add a link to your Facebook page too. You will get a few more interested people because they didn’t even think of looking for you on their favorite social network.

If you are using a an app that doesn’t allow for hyperlinking you might have your signature like the following

Bryan Goodwin

Website – goodwinsocialmedia.com

Like on Facebook – facebook.com/goodwinsocialmedia

And with that as you can see you cover the hyperlinking and you also give people the ability to copy the URL and go to your page.

#4 Take advantage of the Vanity URL

Most people have the opportunity to get the vanity URL they would like but if you were not able to get the URL that you wanted at the time you set up your Facebook page you might look again they have recently been asking new sign ups what URL they would like. So you might be able to get it. If they are still have you on a Number of likes ransom then best way to get it is to just make the 100 or so likes your main goal.

#5 Show who you are by linking to your personal profile.

Link you your personal profile from your fan page. That way you put a person behind the brand. You are the visionary behind your business. Be proud of it and link to you. You don’t have to friend everyone that asks but do allow them to follow you.

#6 Use your other pages to jumpstart a new group.

If you have a new Page that you are wanting to get started. You might look at using your other pages cross promote if they are a likely fit your new page. Often people who have grown to know like and trust you are going to follow you to your new page.

#7 Post Short articles on your page

Though you do have a limit of what people are able to see on Facebook news feed. You can post short articles and people will be able to expand it to be able to read the full amount. This is a good way to get people to show a little more engagement with your posts. In that they will have to click the expand link. If they like what you have to say they will be more apt to going to your page and clicking like.

#8 Fill out your page completely

There are a lot more details that can be added to your Facebook page than what is asked on the sign up. Go into the about and fill in everything about your company. Fill out the long description too. This helps people to be able to find you and decide if they want to like you. The more information the better.

#9 Engage your Fans

If a Facebook fan makes a comment on your post, engage them, have a discussion. If they ask a question answer that question. Ask your fans questions. Get them to start talking. Them more time they spend on your page the more often you will appear on their feed. Why do you think Buzzfeeds videos are always in your feed? Because you have liked and commented on multiple videos that you have watched. Try to get your fans to do the very same thing. That way they will see your posts on a more regular basis.

#10 Make the page about your followers

People need help, and as the saying goes

You can get everything in the world you want if you help enough people get what they want

So if you want likes and engagement from your fans then when a question is asked or a problem is posted on your page help the person out even if you believe it will cost you a lot of money they value will be returned to you. You can always find a good way to get that person to start your sales funnel but if you build their trust first they are more likely to buy from you.

#11 Use pictures, Your Pictures

There are a lot of internet memes out there that are funny or prove a point. If you want your fans to see your posts and make those posts originals. Sure re-share some great points that are made but take the time to make some visual graphics using either Canva or Pict Monkey. Make the graphics engaging and self-explanatory. The easier it is for people to understand the easier it is for people to want to engage with your brand. If the image goes over your fans head or is not clear then often it will not be clicked on out of fear of your fans looking dumb. The worst thing you can do is make your fans look unintelligent.

#12 Give away the secret sauce

Your fans know that there is a real person behind the curtain. So let them know who you are. Expose the methods to your madness. Hersey chocolates use to give factory tours and you could see all of it the steps. From the blending of the raw ingredients to the seeing the finale product rolling off of the conveyor. Now why do such a thing as show your secrets? You never know when someone from Nestle down the block might want to go through, and you are right. Yet, what the tours did was more valuable in that it let the fans of Hersey chocolate be a part of that secret. They understood the business a little bit better. There was a bond that formed and you try to break that bond you would quickly find out that these people had become ravenous fans of the brand itself. Because the brand took the time to be real and transparent with them.

#13 Give people incentive to follow.

Why should people click that little like button? What good is it going to do them if they were to start allowing you to invade their news feed? Are you going to provide value? Are you going to make them think, laugh, or be entertained? If you don’t give potential followers a good reason to follow you then they simply will not click on the like button

#14 Add a like box or a Facebook Badge

Goodwin Social Media
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Often I have heard the words Make it easy. Don’t make your fans jump through a thousand hoops to do something. The fewer the better. So, make it easy for your potential fans be putting a like button on your website. Or you can also place a Facebook badge on your site to give a little more information.

#15 don’t like join

When asking your friends or fans you like your page don’t use the word like. It seems as if Facebook might be skimming those posts off of the curated news feed because of how Ad like they appear. So most people understand what you mean why you tell them to join your Facebook page. Semantics II know but it does make the difference of the number of eyes that see your post.

So What do you do to grow you Facebook audience without having to spend money? Share your thoughts below.

 

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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