Want a more engaged Facebook following? Looking for creative ways to leverage organic marketing rather than ads?
To explore how to develop an engaged organic following on Facebook, I interview Fallon Zoe on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.
Fallon is an organic reach expert who specializes in Facebook. Her Facebook-focused membership community for female business owners is called the Secret Mermaid Cove.
You’ll discover why Facebook is a valuable platform for building an engaged community and learn how to leverage multiple Facebook features to achieve organic growth.
Fallon loved MySpace in high school but initially didn’t like Facebook at all. She always liked marketing and communicating with people online, though.
Fallon remembers the first time she saw somebody doing live video on Facebook in 2016, shortly after it launched. The person was just sitting in their kitchen, using their mobile phone. They had 50 people watching them live, and they were just talking to those people, chatting it up and having a regular conversation. Fallon thought it was mind-blowing.
She worked in a store at the time and thought how lucky she would feel just to have 50 people walk into her store in one day. This person on Facebook had 50 people sitting there watching them online and talking to them. Fallon thought, “This is magic. What is this?”
So Fallon dove into learning about live video. Somebody else on Facebook was hosting a live video challenge for 30 days so she jumped into that. After the 30-day video challenge, on day 31, Fallon decided to keep going. She talked about what she knew at the time, which was how to market and connect with people and she also shared business tips.
It was pretty random; she didn’t have much of a strategy behind it at all. At the time, she didn’t plan to be doing this for 4 years. But she was excited that she was actually having fun again with something so she just kept going.
At the time Fallon started doing all of this on Facebook, she was in network marketing. Before that, she’d had her own jewelry business: she made her own jewelry and sold it wholesale to stores throughout the U.S. It had been really difficult to run a business, travel to all of those locations to sell inventory, and create orders.
Fallon had always wondered how she could use the internet to make doing business easier. She noticed other people successfully using Facebook for their businesses and thought it would be a good way to get more exposure. That way, she didn’t have to run all over the place trying to talk to people in person.
Now Fallon teaches other people how to get started and grow organically on Facebook. Her Facebook page just hit more than 20,000 followers and she built that community without ever running a single ad.
Building a Successful Community on Facebook Without Using Facebook Ads
Fallon says Facebook groups are great but you don’t have to use them to build community. Nor do you have to rely on advertising.
You do need to learn how to attract people to what you’re doing.
People love talking about what they enjoy and they love inviting others to come find enjoyment in those same experiences. Tap into that.
Start With Your Personal Profile
Fallon encourages building community in as public a setting as possible so you have more reach and exposure, and more people can find you. That starts with proper use of a Facebook profile.
Fallon sees two different kinds of Facebook users: creators and consumers. When we first start our Facebook accounts, we’re typically consumers. We’re just on the platform to fiddle around.
Around 2016, Fallon was primarily using Facebook as a consumer to communicate with friends and family. She has a pet bird—he’s actually part of her brand now—so she joined Facebook groups about birds. Soon, a majority of the people on her friends list were other bird people.
When she made the shift to using Facebook as a creator for business, a lot of people on her friends list pushed back. They were there to see bird stuff. But she wasn’t creating bird stuff anymore—she was shifting. She had changed so she needed to change whom she spent time with to go in a different direction. So she went through her friends list and deleted everybody who had a bird in their profile picture.
When you shift from being a consumer to becoming a creator who’s building a personal brand or a small business, your personal profile needs to reflect that change so you attract the right community of people.
If you struggle to attract the right people to your personal profile (where you have an advantage), then you’re going to have a harder time attracting people to your business page. Where should you hang out on Facebook to be able to find the people you’re looking for?
Most people think that if they’re in social media marketing, they should hang out on social media marketing pages. The problem is that the people hanging out on those pages are typically other social media marketing creators. You want to move outside the box and go swim in a different part of the ocean where there’s fish.
Fallon personally likes going to other types of business pages. She specifically works with women so she’ll hang out on beauty pages. While a lot of the women on those pages are there to learn about makeup, some of them are hoping to start their own beauty brands or create their own social media beauty following. Fallon can help them do that.
Leverage Notifications to Grow Your Network
One key organic growth tip is to get into other people’s notifications with your name attached. If you can get this action down, you’ll be able to build organically on any social media platform.
Fallon likes to go to verified pages just because they’re typically bigger and more creative in their regular content. She goes through that creative content and checks to see who’s engaging. She focuses on her target audience: women, ideally in a certain age group, and typically in the U.S. She’s looking for people who are active on someone else’s page because they could be active on her page as well.
Let’s say somebody left the following comment on a page: “Oh, that lipstick looks awesome.” If you reply to the comment, that sends the person a notification. You can like or react to the comment. If somebody tagged their friend in a comment somewhere, you can react to that comment. Now, two people are going to get a notification.
Anytime there are multiple people tagged in a comment, Fallon will react to the comment itself and she’ll also respond in the comments. If 20 people are tagged in that comment, all 20 people are going to get a notification from her and she has just leveraged her time.
She also likes to go to other people’s profiles directly. The business page that she’s on is just the middle ground. She likes to see who’s interacting, who’s commenting, and who’s giving heart reactions on posts. When somebody reacts to a post, there’s a selection of different reactions. Fallon goes straight to the heart list and then to each person’s profile. She likes and comments on their profiles directly.
Next, she waits for those people to send back friend requests to her. She feels it’s a lot more open than sending mass friend requests to people, which isn’t very effective. As a rule, she tries not to send out friend requests when networking with people.
Another technique is networking via her personal profile with top fans of other business pages. You can find the Top Fans list on the Community tab of a business page.
Fallon looks for a few specific things in people’s profile pictures. She prefers people who have a picture of their face—not a dog, a flower, or a child—because if they’re willing to show their face on Facebook, they’re probably a little more open to communicating with others. She’s also looking for people who fit into her target audience, which is females of a certain age group.
When she finds the right people, she clicks over to their profile. Then she drops what she calls a “Fallon bomb” in their notifications by liking and commenting on multiple posts so people get three or four notifications at a time. She makes genuine comments on their posts that would require a response.
To illustrate, if they shared a cooking recipe on their profile, Fallon might comment, “That recipe looks awesome. Do you cook at home a lot?” If they don’t reply to her comment, then they’re probably not going to respond at all.
Why does this work? What’s the first thing we all do when we get notifications from somebody we don’t recognize? We check out their profile to find out who they are. Everybody does it so leverage that human behavior. The goal is to get into as many new people’s notifications as possible (people who aren’t your current Facebook friends) because you know that they’re going to come and check out your profile.
Be sure to have Facebook events, good content, and some live videos to attract them to what you’re doing. This is the best way to drive traffic to your profile organically, without any ads.
Leverage Facebook Events
Because everyone in your event gets notifications anytime you post to the event, Facebook events can put some high-powered fuel behind the content you’re already creating, whether they’re run from your personal profile or your business page.
Take Facebook Live video, for example. It’s preferable to pre-schedule a live video and share it to the event ahead of time. Alternatively, you can go live from either your page or your profile and share it into the event feed. Either way, everybody in the group gets a notification and more people are likely to actually watch your live video. You effectively boost the live viewers by hosting the event and can refine your friends list by seeing who’s there.
Here are some tips to help you maximize the impact of your event.
Use Your Page and Profile to Co-Host the Event
Create the event from your business page, then co-host the Facebook event via your personal profile. Post about the event on your personal profile and invite people from your personal profile friends list to your page’s event. You can see who’s interested in your content by noticing who clicks ‘going’ or ‘interested’ on your events. You can focus on strengthening the relationship with those people and interacting more with them on their profiles.
Deliver Value on Day 1 to Encourage Event Invitation Shares
Let’s say you’re hosting a week-long series on a topic and it starts on Monday with the grand finale on Friday. Don’t leave your awesome stuff for the last day because most people won’t make it to the end of the event. Make sure that your juicy stuff is always on the first day and pour it on them. That way, they’re more likely to pass along that event invitation to their network for the first day versus the last day.
Leverage Your Facebook Page and Profile Together
One of Fallon’s favorite hacks is leveraging her personal profile and business page together. In addition to the examples mentioned in the Events section above, she’s found many more ways to make this magic work for her.
As she creates content on her business page, she tags her personal profile in around 90% of the posts, especially live videos. She doesn’t just use the tag feature, she actually tags her name from her profile in the description of the post or the video.
Create the video as your business page—say, Social Media Examiner—and then tag your personal profile: “Mike[tagged] had this really great idea on how to do xyz.” When you do that, you’ll get a notification on your profile that says, “This page tagged you in a post. Do you want to allow it to your timeline?”
Allow it, and that video you created as your page is also going to show up on your personal profile’s timeline, natively. It’s in two places at once and will get better reach because you’re co-authoring it from your personal profile.
We’ve already gotten people to come to your profile by going to their profiles to like and comment on their posts. When they view your profile, they’ll see post after post on your timeline tagging you from your business page, and they can like or comment on any of those posts. Then you can invite them to like your page because they just liked a post that was authored by your page, even though it’s showing up on your profile timeline.
These tactics and strategies can work for businesses of any size but are really specific to a small business. It’s for the person who maybe doesn’t have a budget for advertising. Or it can help somebody who’s just getting started and the thought of ads is overwhelming. It’s for the person who has more time and maybe not so much budget.
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