19 Simple Ways to Boost Your Local Reach on Facebook
Local visibility is becoming harder with Facebook’s latest algorithm update.
So you have a Local Business Facebook page – Awesome!
You’ve been posting content left and right – Great!
But, for whatever reason, you have not been able to grow your readership or increase your visibility? What’s up with that?
Does it feel like it is all for nothing?
Everyone has been whispering in your ear – Facebook is the way to go!
But you have NO results to show for it?
This happens to a lot of folks, especially in the beginning stages. You’re trying to get some traction and it’s just not taking hold.
I can reassure you, Facebook has the potential to drive a ton of traffic and revenue to your site. So don’t be discouraged, there are strategies that work.
1. Correct Categories and Subcategories
Setting up the Categories and Subcategories within your Business page is a necessity. You want to ensure that customers can find your business when searching.
To find the correct categories to go after, think like a customer. What terms or keywords would they search for? If you are a B2B business, try utilizing business lingo.
Need a hand? Here are over 900 Categories & Subcategories to choose from: bit.ly/FLBCSgd
Find keywords that are relevant to your audience…
Now that you have those keywords go to your local business Facebook page and enter them in the Page Info (under the About tab).
Be sure to go after the best keywords that connect with your audience. With the wrong keywords, your search visibility will deteriorate.
Don’t forget Facebook results often populate in Google search – would hate for you to miss out on potential traffic.
2. Keep Your Page Up-to-Date
Have your business hours changed or remained the same? Are you still selling X product? Have you added or removed specific services you offer?
Go to your page and make sure it’s up to par.
What about photos?
Please don’t tell me you don’t have any (not judging)…
Customers who show up on a Business page with no cover photo or profile pic are highly likely to leave immediately.
It would be like going to a store where the lights are off and the sign is non-existent. Would you enter?
Quality pictures are always good, but relevant pictures are better – even if they are mediocre quality.
The key here is to establish a great first impression.
However, don’t get wrapped around the axle over these photos. Having a photo of your storefront or logo will work just fine for now – just get something up.
3. Have a Solid Posting Schedule
A working content calendar and monitoring system are key.
Setting this up will save you a lot of heartache in the long-run. Establish what day of the week and time of the day you are going to post. Follow this schedule and analyze.
You are going to want to run different tests over a period of time to see when your audience is the most attentive.
What you will want to analyze is what day and time, reaches and engages your audience the most.
When are you receiving the most likes?
What about comments or shares?
Are they all the same time or different times?
For example maybe Tuesdays & Wednesdays between 7-9am, your posts receive the most likes, but few comments. And on Fridays from 3-5pm they receive the most shares.
It is important to note these kinds of differences so that you can adjust what you post based on your business goals.
Test out posting when your competitors are asleep. Test the off hours, 6pm-6am. The chance that you will be appearing in your audience’s feed is greatly increased seeings how nobody else is posting during this time.
Following your schedule will also help out with #4.
4. Build a Community
Delivering quality content on a schedule will help you build a community of followers.
Interacting with your community and engaging in the conversation will keep them coming back for more.
Over time, your fans will come crawling to your page looking for more! This helps develop your organic reach.
Facebook has been stepping up their algorithm changes on a regular basis to try and negate click bait.
What this means is, even though you post regularly, your fans may NOT get your posts in their feed.
By keeping your posts on schedule, your fans will know to look out for you.
Example: if you post every Monday at 10am and your fans don’t see your post in their feed, they will travel over to your page to catch up!
The last thing they’ll want to do is miss out.
5. Engage in the Conversation by Replying to Comments
Reply to ALL comments made by your customer/audience. Whether that is 1 comment or 50, get after it.
Take advantage of this traction.
Another option, if it’s just taking up too much of your time, acknowledge your audience by using the Like button.
This will help you build relationships and establish trust with your community.
6. Don’t Post Too Frequently
This has been happening more and more lately, I’m sure you’ve seen it.
The influx in the supply of content is riveting.
People think that they must publish something. This is NOT the case.
You should never post just for the sake of posting.
Posts should be based on your audience and what they expect/engage with the most.
For the majority of industries once per day or even a few times per week is more than adequate.
You will hardly ever lose fans because you did not make a post, but you will most certainly lose fans if you’re publishing posts non-stop.
7. Facebook Reviews
Positive reviews your customers have given you will benefit your business in a major way. These recommendations will add proof in the value you bring to anyone looking to do business with you.
Take advantage of Facebook reviews by setting Local Business as your category.
You must have a physical address and click the “Show Map” box in the About tab.
Remember how I said to reply to comments? Well, it is even more important to respond to ALL reviews, good or bad. These are people who have already started or finished the buying cycle.
By engaging these customers you will have the opportunity to build evangelists and keep them coming back for more.
In the case of a negative review, do everything you can to correct it. Be sure to get your best customers to leave a review, even if it takes a little incentivizing.
8. Ask for Feedback
By simply asking a question in one of your posts, not only can you get more engagement, but you can also obtain valuable feedback and ideas.
Even by asking the most simple questions like, “What’s for dinner tonight?” (which might be relevant to a food service brand), or it could be something like, “What do you think about x?”
Or a crowdsourcing style of question like, “What color do you think we should add to our range of x?”
Asking questions will get you more comments, which allows you to engage with your audience and build rapport.
9. Create Local Awareness through Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are amazing at reaching a local audience. You can reach people who live near your business.
This is great for brick and mortar businesses.
You can also target potential customers who are traveling through a specific area.
For example, let’s say you are Widmer Brothers Brewing Co offering a promotional IPA to the Trailblazers fans at the Moda Center.
You can specifically target those individuals at the game.
You can create different CTA’s (call-to-action) for each ad (i.e., free consultation or get coupon).
10. Boost Your Posts
Have some extra coin in your pocket?
Boosting your posts is a great way for you to stay in touch or re-engage your audience members who are falling off.
You will have to spend some money to make this happen, so be sure to test everything. Boosting a post will cost somewhere between $5-$200.
You don’t want to be throwing money down the drain, so be sure to have specific business goals set. The last thing you want is to come up negative on your ROI.
11. Facebook Bluetooth Beacon
A little unknown, and quite frankly – really cool, way for you to engage your customers is to get the Facebook Bluetooth Beacon.
This device allows you to send targeted messages to customers who are at your business. Great for upsells or cross-promotions.
12. Join Local Facebook Groups
Are you a B2B business? Then check out some local networking groups.
This is a great place to reach other business owners in your neighborhood.
Search Facebook and find groups where your audience may be or that they trust.
You will need to join through your personal profile – cannot do it through your business page.
Be sure to read the rules before posting.
Also, the worst thing you could do is pitch/sell your business, products, or services to these groups – don’t be that guy, it’s annoying.
Instead, be helpful, add value; respond to comments people make. Add your 2 cents. Ask questions and get involved – engage with the audience.
Over time you will build authority with your group and a side effect is they will start to follow and promote you.
13. Team Up with Other Local Businesses
This is a great way to connect with the local community.
You should interact with other business pages by sharing posts, making comments, and even tagging them in relevant posts.
Show them some love and they will surely reciprocate.
This will increase your visibility and reach throughout the community and, if done right, they will promote you as well.
Want to take it a step further? Collaborate with some of these businesses to create a formal cross-promotion strategy.
14. Feature your customers and fans
This is a great way to show social proof.
By sharing customer photos and telling stories you can connect with your audience on a personal level.
Try and encourage people to tag themselves – the admin must be a personal friend with the fan in order for the page to tag a fan.
Other people can tag other people or people can tag themselves. Give your customers a shout-out and/or just thank them.
Tell the community how much you appreciate them. Create posts that are easy to like, and even better, easy to share!
15. Local Images and Facebook Native Video
Local images are very shareable and the best part is, they don’t need to be professionally done.
Take pictures with your phone whenever you are out-and-about. This is an easy way to connect with local businesses, as well as the community.
Facebook Native Video has a lot of benefits.
It’s great for answer questions or giving tips.
You can use it to preview products or services and even touch on your latest blog post.
It also works wonders for Video ads.
16. Build your email list
Email has some of the highest ROI and yet some people believe email is dead. In fact, many local businesses don’t do enough of it!
This is a wasted resource by many and should be utilized.
The main reason most local businesses don’t build an email list is because they really don’t know what to do with it.
Well, I am here to tell you there are so many different tactics you can use your email list for.
You can promote a new product or service, or even your latest blog post. Email is a great way to stay connected with your fans.
Email is also one of the best ways to nurture your leads.
What is the best way to build an email list?
Create a lead magnet – Give them an incentive to opt-in to your list (i.e., free ebook, guide, checklist, etc.)
17. Give Special Benefits to Your Fans
Offering perks and special promotions to your fans is a great way to keep them engaged and create evangelists.
You can do this through Facebook Offers, special coupons or check-in incentives.
(Facebook Check-in is not visible to page admins, but they are visible to the friends of the person who checked in. This can make it difficult to monitor, but it can increase your visibility).
You can beta-test new software with them.
If you have a new product coming out, you can give them the ability to reserve in advance or a small window in which it’s only available to them.
Be sure to let your fans know this is a Special Benefit only given to them.
This will make them not want to miss out… Ever heard of FOMO?
18. Use #Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t for just for teenagers! A hashtag is used to identify a specific word or phrase.
Basically, it allows users to find information relevant to a specific keyword or phrase.
You can create brand specific hashtags and use it as your social signature.
Be sure to encourage your audience to use it as well to help increase visibility.
19. Be Genuine and Have Fun
There are too many businesses out there that keep things serious 100% of the time.
Your customers are human, and humor can humanize your business.
Why is this important?
So that people will be able to connect with you/your company on a deeper level. Remember, people are on Facebook to have fun and enjoy themselves, so use humor in your posts.
Humorous posts often get the most interaction, so take advantage of it.
Facebook is a great avenue for online marketing.
Facebook has made it so simple for Local Businesses to reach and engage their local communities.
Creative, authentic, quality content is the best way to connect with your customers and other local businesses.
Through increasing visibility and reach, you increase brand awareness and engagement.
Now, although these do not equate to direct dollars and cents, they are part of the initial steps toward making that sale.
Every part of your sales funnel is important, so do not miss out on this critical step.
Facebook is where people are – take advantage of this!
The more methods you can use to increase your visibility the more valuable Facebook is to your business.