If you're trying to build a fan base for your Facebook page, continually inviting people to like it most probably isn't the best way to accomplish this. What people don't realize is that using the invitation feature built into Facebook is close to useless. There is an art to making your Facebook page flourish. Chances are, the majority of people who will actually make an effort to check out your page and "Like" it are friends and family (who already follow your page without the invitation) or your competitors in that field. Believe it or not, promoting posts or buying likes won't expand a fan base.
By buying "likes" your number of followers maybe growing but since it's highly likely those likes are originating from fake accounts (check out Jaron's exposé on the subject here), the percentage of actual real people seeing your posts is going down. In laymen's terms, Facebook only shows a percentage of your followers your posts and if you increase the number of total likes with less-engaged readers, your total reach to engaged readers plummets.
For example, let's say there are 5,000 real followers on any given account, and on a good day only 1000 of those see that Page's posts. If the administrator of the page chooses to buy Facebook promotion to get an additional 5000 fans, Facebook will only show the posts to 1500 followers. Further, because a great chunk of those 1500 are fake accounts, even less people who are engaged with your brand see the posts. Even if the accounts are real, because of they way they were brought in, it is highly likely they will not be as engaged as organic likes. Buying likes is similar to taking your hard work and tossing it in the trash.
Another common myth is based paying for promoting posts on Facebook. I run a pretty large business page and a few weeks ago, we decided to promote a post by "boosting" it. I thought that if I shell out $1000 to the money hungry platform I will get the ultimate reach and feedback. WRONG. After barely noticing any more feedback on the post besides "number of people reached" I decided to check which country the post was most popular in. To my surprise, these Facebook profiles were centralized to the Philippines. With the post reaching 1.5 million people, 98.1% of those people were based out of the Philippines. We are a US based company and most of our fans are from the US. How is promoting a post to a geographic location that is out of reach helping my business? It's not. Needless to say, that was the last time I promoted a post.
I have found that for the best experience with a product, the customer should go after the sales person, not the other way around. Keep that in mind as you build your business page on Facebook. The reason celebrities and musicians have millions of followers on social media is because they are offering something to the world, whether its their musical talents, acting skills, humanitarianism, etc. If posts are centered on the idea of giving to others, fans will come to you and you won't need to go searching for fans. This can be in the form of sharing free information, show people what they want to see, make it all about giving.
There are two types of posts: There is the self-centered post, such as saying "I can't wait to do a huge photo shoot tomorrow" and there is the fan-centered post, like writing "here's an interesting method I came across and wanted to share it with you guys." One is engaging and one is not. People don't really cares that you are excited about a photoshoot unless they are your close friends, but everyone wants free information!
All that said, here is how I believe you can get the most out of your Page:
- Never ask people to check your page. Give them a reason to come look at it themselves. Asking friends to like your page will only get you so far. By only posting your absolute best quality in a consistent manner, you will slowly gain followers.
- No matter how excited you are after a shoot you never want to post an entire album- especially at 3 in the morning. For the ultimate feedback, post one photo at a time and not more then 2 posts per day. Facebook recognizes the people who post too often and they just keep your posts out of the fans news feeds. Additionally chances are only 5% of your followers are up late at night. Make it your goal to post during busy hours. That's generally around 10 AM and 4 PM on weekdays.
- Be unique! The market of photographers is getting more saturated by the day. To have a successful business and page you can't be just another typical family or portrait photographer. There are thousands of those out there already. Find projects to take on that people will enjoy following. Build yourself a name by creating a signature look of your own.
- Show personality in your posts. Share personal stories and your fans will feel a connection to you and your work. Let your fans advertise your work for you. Give them reasons to tell their friends about your work.
- Stay humble! Fans sense when your showing off. Word your posts appropriately. "I was honored with photographing this famous band. Getting to work with such great talent was truly humbling…" instead of "Today I got to shoot…."
- Behind the scenes! I personally get more feedback on the BTS posts then I do on the actual final product. In general people are curious and if you show them behind the scene stuff they will share it with others.
- And finally, don't be afraid to share your past with your fan base. People love seeing that the photographer behind the lens is indeed human and had to work hard to reach a certain skill level. It makes you more approachable. At the end of the day, you want your friends to talk about you and share your work for you.
- Another great way to help build your fanbase is by participating in Facebook groups. Things You MUST Know About Groups On Facebook
Do you have any comments or feel I missed a tip for social media? I'd love to hear it. Feel free to share down below!