Three Ways to Gain an Authentic Facebook Audience

We’ve all seen it before … an account with thousands of followers, but likes and shares are in the single digits. Here’s why this happens and how you can fix it.

One of the great things about social media is that it’s constantly evolving, obliging brands to adjust their social practices to keep up with the latest trends. The way marketers used social media five years ago is not how they use it today because the more we learn about it, the better we get at it (or at least that’s the goal).

That being said, just because we know more, doesn’t mean we know it all. In fact, many brands still struggle to effectively market themselves through their social channels and resort to practices that gain numerous, but uninterested followers. These followers do little for the brand except giving business owners an inflated sense of popularity, leading to disappointing sales results.

In the past, one of the main strategies to gain a large number of Facebook fans was a practice called “like-gating,” when a business requires users to ‘like’ their page in order to enter a contest, get coupons, or receive some other form of incentive. In light of Facebook’s recent ban on like-gating, which went into effect Nov. 5, here are three alternatives that will boost your brand’s organic reach by helping you gain authentic, interested fans.

1. Get human

It’s essential to have a clear, consistent voice throughout all of your social outlets, so people can associate a personality with your brand and feel more connected to it. Just as important is the ability to appeal to people as individuals, not as numbers or statistics, through customization and an authentic, human approach to communication. Check out Dove’s Facebook page to see an excellent example of a brand “getting human.”

2. Share concise, relevant information

According to a recent study, the average US Facebook user has more than 300 Facebook friends and 70 liked pages, which can make it difficult for your brand to stand out of the crowd. The best way to do this is to make content unique and interactive, prompting users to want to actively learn more about your brand, whether that be through voluntarily liking your page, signing up for an email newsletter, or visiting your site. Be sure to utilize visual media like pictures, live videos and contests to get people interested, but don’t clutter people’s newsfeeds with mindless, constant posts or they’ll be searching for the “unlike” button before you know it.

3. Advertise on Facebook

Facebook is an effective, versatile advertising platform because you have the opportunity to customize your target audience to an incredibly specific niche and, with more than 1.28 billion active users worldwide, it’s likely that a good percentage of your target audience is already on Facebook. It’s been shown that Facebook ads can improve customer awareness of your brand, increase email/subscription sign-ups, and boost mobile app downloads, all of which are much more valuable than a like on a page. Additionally, Facebook Advertising is not only effective, but has extremely flexible pricing, allowing advertisers to pay as little as $1 per day to advertise on its site.

While you plan out your 2015 social media strategy, keep these three tips in mind. They just might be the boost you need for a successful year ahead!