Is your Facebook page feeling a little bit lonely of late? Has your reach kind of stopped reaching out? Do you feel like there’s no point in posting because nobody except your Mum and your best friend are seeing your posts?

Ok, things do not have to be this way, and we can revive that flagging Facebook page and make it into a Phoenix rising from the ashes of your former page. Over dramatic? Maybe? But dramatic has what the declines in reach have been for some.

Most page admins will tell you that the average reach is about 1-2%. So if your page has say 400 fans, most days only 4-8 people see your posts. And that’s only if you play by the rules and post good quality content consistently and don’t like bait. Take the weekend off from posting, or have a holiday and don’t schedule some posts and when you post again your reach will hit zero and you’ll have to work damn hard to recover it. And if you’re a consultant like me, it’s a conversation you don’t want to be having with a client when you give them their stats reports.

But all is not lost. Read on folks while I tell you a tale of playing the Facebook game.

I want to introduce you to a client of mine, Blushing Brides. This owner operated, work from home business only started in late January this year (2014) and is just hitting 3 months old. At this point of writing they have over 2600 fans on Facebook. Pretty good hey? By the owners own admission, this is not a full time business, it’s a passive income, earning a good part time wage. She sells just 3 products, that’s it. There is nothing fancy or typically unique about this business, they just sell 3 very good products, all handmade, at a good price.

What does make Blushing Brides Facebook page unique is that there is hardly a mention of their actual products. Yes, there’s photo’s, the odd link for where to buy them but it’s not in your face, sell, sell, sell. Yet they post on average 4-6 times a day on there, have about a 10%, often higher reach rate, and click throughs on links are also about 10%, way above the Facebook average. What the heck are they posting about I hear you ask?!?!

The answer? Simple. What their readers are interested in. Weddings. Their readers, potential customers, are brides to be or chief bridesmaids planning the hen party. So what is their number one topic of conversation that is all consuming of their day, each and every day? That’s right. Weddings. They post links to articles, photos, videos, links to other wedding suppliers, just about anything that is wedding related. The readers love it, so therefore they click, they engage, they share, they like, they comment. So when that sales post goes up, promoting what they do actually sell, because they’ve maintained their reach rate with all the other items of interest, the reach rate actually rockets, usually hitting anything between 20-30%.

And here’s the stats for you;

What you can see from this data is the steady growth of the lifetime likes, and although the reach can at times be up and down, it is consistently hitting good numbers. And then you have the massive spike just before the 17th April. That is from a promoted post, paying just £1 per day for 5 days. As this kind of distorts the figures I’ve taken this data out and placed the amended graph below.

This version makes viewing the numbers a lot easier.

Now I’m going to let you into a secret. From the start of February, we’ve being using Facebook ads, but what our data shows is what happens when we stop.

When the page first started, they did the usual round up of getting friends and family on board to like and share and this brought in a couple of hundred fans. For the next week we ran a giveaway and that generated over 500 new fans. It was after this that we started to do ads, just £1 per day with the goal of increasing likes and engagement. You can see the steady growth of the likes until mid March when it flatlines for a week. Why? We didn’t renew our ads. It was a kind of experiment to see what happened. Everything flatlined. Experiment over, we reset up the ads and what do you know, within a day we have posts going viral! You can see this trend again, when we didn’t renew our ads for one day, everything flatlined, we topped the ads up, boom, posts went nuclear again. You can also see the lines near the bottom for engaged users and consumption. These are pretty much the same thing and it’s basically readers doing something with your post, so a like, share, comment, click through. These are pretty much consistent with all the other data. On the graph they may not look like big numbers, but in Facebook terms, to be getting over a 1% engagement rate is good.

What we have noticed over the past couple of weeks, whereby a lot of pages are reporting yet more decline, Blushing Brides has remained consistently steady. I have read numerous articles this past week saying that the cost of advertising is increasing and I think our data reflects that in that we aren’t getting 40+ new likers a day, more between 10 and 20, but it’s still steadily increasing and the engagement is remaining steady too.

And the boosted post? That was for another giveaway, but this time the likers had to sign up to the company newsletter to enter, thus giving the business owner more valuable information about its readers.

And what about sales? After all, it’s a business not a hobby. Well, naturally I can’t reveal a clients sales figures, but what I can say is that they are good and more importantly, consistent. I should also point out that they do not have an actual website either. All their sales come via the Facebook shopping cart and Ebay.

It pains me to say it, but, to get anything out of Facebook these days, you’ve just got to bite the bullet and pay to play. The days of building a business using Facebook as your prime advertising space are gone. And think about it. Why would you want to build a business on a no guarantee rent free terms? What happens when the landlord pulls the plug or hikes up the rent? Exactly! This landlord just started charging your rent.

But I have heard stories from some businesses that they’ve paid and got nothing. I think there is a couple of answers to this. Firstly, you’ve got to really target your ads. Your target market is not everyone, so don’t set your Facebook ads to everyone. Define it and drill down in the options so that you have your correct target audience. Then keep your budget low while you play around a bit and find out what ads work for you. Personally I’m not keen on the right hand column ones, I think they somehow always manage to look spammy. For us, newsfeed always works best, enable the mobile ads and check what your ads look like in each view.

Then, don’t just expect your ads to do all the work. This is when you have to up your posting game. There is no point in paying Facebook to bring you all these potential new customers and then they are met with an uninviting, boring, neglected page. This is when you’ve got to have content that your new readers want to engage with, or it will be money down the drain because all those new likers won’t be seeing a damn thing.

If you want to learn more about how to post like a pro on Facebook then join me for Socially Fantastic starting Monday 2nd March 2015.

Or if you want more tailored help then please drop me a line and we can work together to resurrect your Facebook page.

But remember, you’ve got to post high quality, engaging content, consistently, each and every day. No breaks, no holidays and no excuses!

Seriously, let me help you get it right 

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