You can build your audience on Facebook in so many ways now, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start.  There are also different places too and these are suited for different types of activity.  To help you get the most out of using Facebook to build your business it is worth learning more about using the platform effectively.

The first thing you need to consider is the place or places you use, and how.  By that I mean your personal profile, a business page, a group or an event.

Personal Profile

Your personal profile is the one you use for friend requests and building connections with people.  It is against Facebook rules to use this for selling or to give it a name that is not your own.  They are clamping down on this a lot now, so if you have a personal profile you need to make sure you use it correctly.  Breaching Facebook rules means you could get your account closed without notice and I know some people this happened to.  They lost all their contacts and customers, and it affected them very badly so do take this issue seriously!

If you are building a network marketing business for example, and that involves both team building and selling, you can use your personal profile for connecting with people but not for selling.  A personal profile gives you some great tools to use for connecting.  Tools such as being able to filter your posts to a specific group of people and the messenger option are both perfect for getting to know people better.

Business Page

Your business page is the one that people ‘like’ to follow your page and see your updates.  Although it is a business page it is important to remember that you are posting on a social media site.  A business page will only thrive if it is helpful, entertaining and attractive to others.  Do NOT make it all about business and sales.

Groups

Groups on Facebook can be used for all sorts of things, and this is reflected in the options you have to choose the type of group.  Different types of group have different features so it is worth choosing the right type for your purpose.  For example a selling group will have the sell an item feature but a team group will not.

Please do remember to ask for someone’s permission before you add them to the group however.  It is common bad practice to add everyone to a group in the hope more people will see your posts.  This actually has the opposite effect.

Events

As the name suggests event pages are there to help you promote an event.  This could be either online or offline and can help you sell tickets etc if there are any.  The event page itself is not really geared up to use for hosting an online event, but instead can be used to encourage people to attend an event you hold.

It is highly likely you will use a mixture of all of the places identified above, however it is very important that you distinguish between them.  In other words do not just post the same thing in all places.

How to Build your Audience on Facebook

To build your audience on Facebook the main thing to remember is it is about doing 2 things.  You need to reach out to other people, but you also need to engage with them.  I see people, especially those with business pages, just trying to get more and more likes all the time.  They join in with like ladders, post their page link everywhere, and do not take the time to actually engage with those they do attract.  Those pages are doomed to failure.

Not only are pages grown this way not attracting the right type of people to their page, they are creating a major problem for themselves.  That problem is having all their posts limited by Facebook.  Facebook analytics take a lot of things into account, and that includes how fast a pages ‘like’ number increases.   If it does not happen in a time frame that is consistent with the expected norm, it is flagged and limited.  It also takes into account the people who like the page: Where are they from? Do they have similar interests? Is there a connection to explain why each person likes this page? ,

The main way to build your audience on Facebook is to actually chat to people.  Spend some time getting to know those you connect with, and don’t be in a hurry to build a big audience.  A small and active following is much better than a large inactive one.  Think about the words BUILD an audience.  It is about adding to the audience that exists, not swapping one person for another.

In terms of business success, the factor that will distinguish you from others is building relationships.  People buy from people, and join people, and stay with people they know, like and trust.  Focus on the latter and the business part will pretty much take care of itself.

Useful Facebook Tools

I have to say there are a load of Facebook tools you can use to help build your audience! My favourite ones are:

Commenting

Just commenting on other peoples posts is one of the best ways to connect with them.  If you are using Facebook for business you should always provide this opportunity on your personal profile or provide a link to your business page.  Its amazing the number of people who don’t have either option, yet they obviously use Facebook for business purposes.  You don’t have to have your full profile open to all, but do provide a few posts that are public!

Follow

If you come across someone you would like to connect with the follow button is a great way to do it.  I like to see it as letting someone know you are there! When you follow someone 3 things usually happen:

  • You get to see their posts in your timeline, so lets you get to know them better, and gives you the opportunity to comment.
  • They often pop over to visit your profile to find out more about you.  If they like what they see they might start a chat with you, or send a friend request.
  • If they see you are involved in a business etc they often check it out.  I get loads of visits to my blog this way.

For this reason I advise anyone who uses Facebook for a business to enable the follow button.

#Hashtag

The hashtag tool is used to group posts together around a particular topic.  For example, if I use #workfromhome that becomes a link to other posts which also have this hashtag.  Its a great way to find other people who are talking about similar topics as yourself!

Friend Lists

As someone who works from home and connects with others who do as well I use the friend lists tool all the time.  It allows you to sort your friends into categories.  A great way to use this is to add a list for your own team members for example, or for those who work with the same company.  It can also be used to highlight people who have expressed an interest in your opportunity, or even current customers.  You can use this tool to communicate with a specific selection of people in a few ways:

  • It allows you to post updates that are directed specifically at those people.
  • You can filter your timeline by the lists as well, allowing you to stay in touch with their updates.

It is perhaps one of the most effective tools to use for building your audience.  For example, you might see updates regarding favourite products, or even questions about a product you sell.  If you are the one to answer their questions there is a good chance you will get a new like for your business page 😉

Lifestyle Groups

As groups tend to have a particular focus they are a great place to meet like minded people.  In fact they have often done a lot of the work for you in terms of finding an audience.  Sadly a lot of people use groups in the wrong way so people are added without permission, but those who are active in the group are obviously interested in the topic.  This gives you a great opportunity to connect with them.

 

Those are just a few of the ways to build your audience on Facebook.  The main thing to remember is to be selective about who you are trying to attract – it is not a numbers game, it is a relevancy game.  Make sure you know who your audience is and it gets a lot easier to find them.

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Ellie xx

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