A Simple Facebook Workflow That Can Gain You More Likes Quickly

A Simple Facebook Workflow That Can Gain You More Likes Quickly

You may have heard the term "Hot Thread" by now, and with regard to Facebook, this is the best way to get more interaction and reach for your posts. This system engages your viewers and their friends so you can use Facebook's algorithms to your advantage.

Simply posting your amazing images and waiting for the likes to roll in just doesn't cut it anymore.

A "Hot Thread" has less to do with the content of your post, and more to do with your online presence with the post. This means that when a fan comments on your image, you reply back to them in a short period of time showing that you're actually there and reading what they have to say. The reason this method is so beneficial is because of two things:

1 - Facebook wants to spread engaging material
2 - Your clients want to know they are actually talking with you

Think about the last time you commented on a post form someone you look up to. Did you hear back from them? If so, how did you feel?

I can remember many times that I've commented on posts, only to wait 3 seconds before receiving a reply from the photographer I admired. I could almost visualize them sitting at their computer, or looking at their phone and having some connection with me.

It's kind of like when you go through a meet and greet lineup with a famous band. You line up, get your picture taken with them, some part of your body gets signed, and then you move on. How would you feel if the lead singer was staring off into the distance and talking to his buddies while you were trying to engage with them? Pretty worthless I assume. In contrast, how would it make you feel if they took a few moments to really connect with you and talk? They would be placing value on you because they are trading their own valuable time to spend a few extra moments with you. I'm sure this would make every Taylor Swift or Jonas Brother's fan buy WAY more product at concerts!

So think of yourself as a Rockstar for a moment. Now stop. Get your head screwed on straight and don't get an ego. People really do want to connect with you and share some dialogue, so here's an easy system to ensure that you can make that happen.

1 - Post Great Content - At time of post

Content is King. It always has been, and likely always will be, so it's important that what you're putting out is your very best work and marketing efforts. Resist the urge to post large amounts of photos at once as that will often lead to less interaction because your viewers will spend their allotted time just clicking through and liking images, rather than commenting on them. A single image with a call to action is the best way to create a buzz.

2 - Prompt A Response - At time of post

Ask a question that requires a personal response. People love to have their opinions heard, and this is especially true when you are there to validate it with a response. If you want your viewer to go to a webpage, provide a link and encourage viewers to click on it. Ask for what you want, and more than likely you will get it if you ask nicely.

Here's one example of a way to have fun with interaction and to encourage sharing.

facebook-like-contest-fstoppers

3 - Tag Relevant People - 5-10 minutes later

This step is best when it comes after the post has been live for several minutes. This gives the first batch of people the chance to see and interact from their news feeds. The second batch of people comes from tagging people in the images so that they see it for sure, and their friends will likely see it more often in their news feed. Don't cheat with this step and tag people even if they're not in the image, people read right through that and get turned off.

4 - Post The First Comment - 5-10 minutes later

If you ask a question in the post, answer the question for yourself in the comments, not the post itself. When someone sees a post in their news feed that has a comment on it, they are more likely to think about commenting on it as well. Not many people want to be the first commenter. If you already had some comments in the time that has gone by then it's your choice whether or not you post your own separate comment or just reply to theirs.

5 - Reply to comments - 20 - 30 minutes later

This is where you can really engage with your audience in real time, and can rack up the Facebook algorithm points! When people see that you're commenting back to other viewers, they will also step in and comment so they can talk with you as well. It's pretty simple:

More comments and likes = More wide spread reach

Something I suggest to adapt as your strategy for replying to comments is to judge your length of response based on their length of comment. My theory is that if they took time to write out something, I'm going to take time to write out something as well. Obviously, as posts get more and more comments, this becomes harder and harder to do, but that's why we're dealing with Hot Threads and not every post. For example, here are a few comments with what I consider suitable responses:

Comment - Great shot
Reply - Thanks Sandra!

Comment - I love this! you really have a great eye for what you do.
Reply - Thanks so much Bella, I really appreciate it!

Comment - How did you do this?! I've been trying sparkler shots at the last few weddings and haven't been able to get anything I'm really excited about. Any tips?
Reply - It definitely takes lots of practice to get really comfortable with them, but you'll get there! I would suggest you take a friend out one night and setup some shots to experiment. Bring lots of sparklers with you and show me what you got when you're done. I'm happy to help if you have some shots you'd like to show me!

6 - Get Off Facebook

We all know how much time we can "spend" on Facebook, and we need to make sure we keep that in control. If you adapt this system, and especially this timeline, you will get the most bang for your buck as far as time is concerned. I encourage you to block your time on social media, and if you block off half an hour you can easily get a great Hot Thread going with this system.

If you want to see this in action you can check out my Facebook page, or just try it for yourself. I'm sure you'll find great success with this as you get creative about your posts and your calls to action.

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58 Comments

Exposing on facebook makes sense (exposure is always good).

Counting likes? A bit desperate don't you think?

Jared Monkman's picture

I'm from a small town, and I only started doing photography full time a year ago, and literally ALL my business originates from fans of my facebook page, so to say that likes have no influence, is... well, you're probably just a troll, and an idiot.

Good for you.

Now go back counting your likes! ;)

So if you're not using Facebook to market your business that's cool. Many businesses today do very well without any form of official marketing. But most businesses today can't survive without some form of marketing and Facebook is the easiest for most small biz owners.

Sure counting Likes may be dumb, but the reality is the more Likes/Comments you get on a post the more exposure you get. I equate it to a friend passing out your business card to another friend, which I'm sure you would encourage and be ok with right?

I think you are forgetting that there are a lot of different types of photography. If you are a retail photographer—portraits, weddings, headshots, etc—then facebook, and in turn likes, are an incredibly useful marketing tool. For a commercial photographer facebook can still be incredibly useful but it's not a must have the way it is with retail photography.

I loved the content. Very helpful advice. However, I just don't get how all these people with the negative attitudes towards Facebook and "Likes" have the time to read this and leave comments. Maybe an article on a good attitude check would be valuable.

Matt Kennedy's picture

hahaha, you're so right Cindy!! Thanks :)

Agreed! This is a great post! I am going to try it too! I usually post and tag at the same time, but I am going to try doing it in a more of a staggered way as you suggested! Thanks!

Matt Kennedy's picture

Glad you're thinking about it strategically!

Great post! Keep up the good work!

My fiancé and I are photographers starting our business in Austin, Tx. We just bought your dvd´s and watch them everyday, we are half way through.
I´m sure you hear this a lot but we think you guys are awesome for sharing your knowledge. We are learning a lot from you and the great posts on your webpage.
This is our webpage, we know we still need to invest in a better webpage and separating content. www.samadhiphotography.com
Samadhi Photography (like us on facebook) :D

Hope you guys keep shinning!

Liz and Adrian

Matt Kennedy's picture

Thanks Liz! Keep rocking it, then you'll also get to the point that you're able to give back and help people starting out as well!

Ravi Tahilramani's picture

Great post. Thanks for laying it out so clearly. Appreciate it.

Matt Kennedy's picture

Thanks DrRave!

I think this is a great article and advice. I do a lot of my marketing on facebook. It is very discouraging that my hard work is reaching somewhere between 5%-7% of my clients. I, for one, am going to try this! Thank you!

Matt Kennedy's picture

Hoping for great success for you Tracey!

Totally agreed that content is king. Even with a simple question will allow others to join in the conversation as well.
If you dont mind, I would like to share my page: http://on.fb.me/14XXvUs

Thanks. . .
I will try this on my next posts too.

Good piece @disqus_cAzzWOej2M:disqus. I've been doing this method for quite some time on my pages but never officially gave it a term. "Hot Thread" is kinda fun to think about now!! I'm gonna summarize and expand some on your post on our blog over at Post Planner as I think our readers would enjoy the read. Thanks bro.

Matt Kennedy's picture

That's great Scott! Thanks for the link backs!

Matt Kennedy - I noted that you've had your facebook page active since 2011 and now have 4125 fans. That gives us around 114 likes per month average. We set up shot at the end of March this year and we're currently on 1084 fans roughly. We never used any techniques other than post images and share our website. We feel this is mostly down to when we post content and at what frequency we post images. Thats a very hot point you know. An image posted at midnight is going to reach far fewer people than posting an image say at 10am in the morning... Maybe it's a point you want to include!

Matt Kennedy's picture

That's great Daniel! I hope you enjoy continued success in growing your page as well! That is definitely a great point that I also do in my strategy, there are a few other things as well that could be addressed, but then we could talk for days about this stuff :) I am actually planning on writing another article about timing on social media, and I would love your input if you'd like to send me your findings. hit me up on facebook :)

Good article, I agree with most of it and will be attempting some of the techniques listed here. Thanks for the info.

Is the key to getting more reach with 'hot threads' in tagging the commenter's name?

After 3 weeks of experimenting with this tactic for a couple of clients, I've noticed reach on those statuses is down almost across the board. I realize that my particular sample size isn't immune to any other factors, but the reach numbers aren't even close. (Keep in mind, I haven't been tagging the commenters in my replies which is something I'll be trying.)

Does anyone recall an article about social media tips, that also covers the best times of the day to post content? I cant find it anywhere, and it was such a helpful article.

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