My Love Affair With Facebook
Back in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg was hanging out in a Harvard dorm room putting together Facemash, a website that would put pictures of girls’ faces side-by-side and allow users to play a game called “hot or not”. Soon after, it morphed into an actual social platform and changed its name to Facebook. Today, there are more than a billion people hanging out in this space, making it by far the gorilla of all social networks. Anyone and anything that has a BILLION has my full attention. With five new profiles created every second, the audience you want to reach here is still growing.
Facebook had been around a few years before I got on and made my first post. I was a little late in the game but today I have more than a million fans and I’m adding to that almost 1,000 likes daily. I post about once an hour on this platform. With all my posts and people who shared them, I reached more than 356 million people on Facebook in 2016 with more than a billion impressions.
Some people have a strategy to only post during peak usage times, but I post around the clock without leaving empty space for someone else to fill. The average user on Facebook is mostly passive. They scroll through their newsfeeds and let information come to them. You don’t want that. I’ve always said it’s better to make the news than watch it. You want to be active on Facebook. Be the giver, not the receiver. Let others be passive. You need to get posting.
Picture yourself on Facebook like a locomotive. It takes a lot of energy at the beginning to move a locomotive at all, but once you have some momentum it’s difficult to stop. In the beginning, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort. You are going to need to put a ton of energy into it to see any kind of progress at all. You have to get momentum and it will start working for you. It used to be difficult for me to get 100 likes in a week. Now I get 100 likes between breakfast and lunch.
The average Facebook user has hundreds of friends and likes probably about 50 pages. That means there are a lot of updates in their newsfeed, which is why Facebook throttles the number of people who see any given post. If you find yourself being throttled like me, don’t blame their algorithm -- take responsibility for it. Your reach is whatever you want your reach to be. Most people won’t make enough effort to make their posts engaging enough to the audience they’ve built -- or more common, they never bother to build a large audience in the first place.
I've worked hard to build an audience on Facebook. The success that I have created on my Facebook page was not the result of one thing I did right, but rather a continual commitment to omnipresence on the platform. I went from no Facebook following in 2008 to being among the most followed business experts in the world -- a true celebrity in every sense of the word. I want you to become successful on Facebook just as I have. I’m still not where I want to be on Facebook, but I’m still pushing every day to get bigger on the biggest platform there is. Here are some beginner tips for you to get started:
1. Create a fan page for yourself. Create a “like” page for your business.
2. Add images and create a look and feel for your page.
3. Be clear on the page's purpose and what the viewer will expect to get when they visit the page.
4. Commit to posting throughout the day.
Notice that I didn’t say posting “each” day but rather “throughout” the day. I post 24 posts a day around the clock, 24/7/365. My problem has never been Facebook throttling my page, my problem is obscurity and I’ve taken full responsibility for it. When Facebook started throttling me - as they will you -- trying to get me to advertise with them, what did I do? I kept going full throttle -- beating it to death -- even while they were throttling me.
You don’t need to spend money in order to have views by people that desire your content. I do advertise now on Facebook because I’ve figured out a way to get a good ROI on it, but I’m not dependent on advertising like so many are. Here is generally the type of content I create to make my Facebook fan page a big success:
Be a celebrity and do video.
Post things that make you the expert in your space. Provide information based on what you know and the service your business or product offers. Offer tips and insights such as how to, how not to, what to avoid, what to do, how to find the best, what makes it the best, how to fix it, repair it and what people must know. Just remember that every celebrity was at one time an unknown.
I do a lot of video on Facebook. Facebook Live has done great for me. I do AMA’s (Ask Me Anything) and have people ask me questions on a topic or I just talk about something on my mind. I try and discuss something on the news or something that is happening in my own life—and how it can benefit the viewer. That is key—to always bring value to the table. If people are going to watch you, they have to be receiving something of value from you. Here’s an example post of a video I did, notice I used text above to quickly tell followers what the video is about.
As a bonus tip, it’s good to get transcripts of your videos because as people scroll through their newsfeeds they may see your video but won’t hear it until they click on it. You want them to be able to read what you are saying. Adding transcripts to your videos can be done but it takes a little bit of time and effort—but the increased engagement you get from it can be well worth it. Below is an example of what it looks like when I do a video post with added transcript:
I like to show testimonials of people who have used my products. This is called social proof. People get confidence from seeing others get results from something. Whether it’s written or video, make an effort to get testimonials from your customers so you can use them on Facebook. I like to use a testimonial with a nice picture like the post below:
Create great content.
I do a lot of articles on places like Entrepreneur, Fortune, CNBC, Huffington Post, Business Insider, LinkedIn and more. The fact is, if you post a lot, you can’t just keep posting the same thing or your audience will quickly grow tired of it. You have to come up with new content frequently to keep things fresh.
Facebook is a great medium to drive traffic to your other projects online. Every day I post a new LinkedIn article, and when I post it on Facebook, the article views skyrocket. Of course, to do articles you have to have two things-- time and commitment. We all have time, it’s just a matter of what you are committed to do with your time that makes all the difference.
Here is an example post of how I promote an article:
Use great visuals.
I do a lot of quote images, but they are for a purpose. Quotes are great because they can give a great piece of truth in a small sentence and you can make it even more powerful connecting it with the right image. I like to use the text above the image to discuss the quote more in depth—but also connect it to a product I have that can actually help someone solve a problem. Facebook is a very visual platform for people, so most of the time I try and avoid just making plain text posts. Below is an example of how I use visuals to make an attractive quote post along with the copy to go along with it:
You can always choose to boost posts and make advertising campaigns on Facebook, but if you are just starting out and want to blow up, concentrate on putting out quality, consistent posts. Have a goal to get something to go viral. I’ve said it 1,000 times, but with commitment comes creativity. Here are 4 more tips to get you going on Facebook:
Follow your competitors.
Use your competitors' posts to inform your own Facebook strategy. What content are they promoting? Which posts perform best? Look for which ones have the most "likes" or positive comments. How can you present yourself as the better expert? By following your competition, you'll find opportunities to differentiate your business and learn how to improve your engagement with customers and prospects.
Be the expert in your space.
Post content based on what you know and on the products or services your business offers. Give tips and insights, such as how to do something, how not to do something, what to avoid, how to fix something, and give industry or trade knowledge. Don't worry about giving people too much; rather, give so much that people seek you out as the source of information.Think collaboration, not competition. By sharing the content of a competitor or another expert and giving them credit, you will pick up followers.
Follow the 80/20 rule.
Eighty percent of your content should be information-based and not promotional. In the beginning, you may even shift that to 95 percent information. Build an audience that wants your content, not your ads. As you grow your followers, you can increase promotions. As you add content, you can increase the number of times you promote your product.
Don't delegate until you understand.
No matter how important your position or how busy your schedule, consider initially managing your social media accounts yourself to understand how much you can accomplish. I still post daily because I understand the importance of these mediums to my brand and my bottom line. The old adage “market to your market” is no longer true. You want to market to the planet. You will either be looked at or overlooked.
You can follow me on Facebook @grantcardonefan and I look forward to seeing you on there!