When most brands think of growing their Facebook followers, the first thing that comes to mind is an ad campaign. Ads are effective in some situations, but they can get expensive quick.
According to Facebook’s 2018 quarterly report, the average price per ad increased 39 percent but the number of ad impressions served only increased 8 percent. Research also found that the average cost per click in the US was $0.27 at the end of 2016.
Although ads are popular, they are not the only way to grow your followers on Facebook. In fact, there are several things you can do to achieve organic growth. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective strategies you can use.
1. Post at the right time
When you post is just as important as what you post. If you don’t schedule your post for the optimal time, you could miss out on hundreds, even thousands of followers.
The optimal time to post will also vary depending on your industry. According to Sprout Social, the best times for media companies are on Tuesdays at 5 pm and Fridays from 8-9am. But for education companies, the best time is on Wednesday at 9 am and Saturday at 5pm.
An easy way to stay on top on all your scheduling to is to use a social media automation tool. You’ll be able to schedule all your posts ahead of time and reach your audience when they’re most active.
If people see that you post content regularly, they’ll be more likely to follow your page. They’ll also be more likely to invite their friends to engage with your content.
2. Create a coupon offer
Coupons are one of the time-tested methods of attracting customers. They’re just as effective today as they were back in the 1950s. With the power of social media, coupons have even greater reach and pull. More users can see the offer, which means more are willing to sign up to take advantage of a deal.
The best thing about offering a coupon is that you don’t need to pay Facebook or any other third-party. Instead, you forego some initial sales revenue to grow your audience. And then you turn them into loyal customers down the line.
For a coupon campaign to work, make sure the coupon deal is one worth signing up for:
- Ask your loyal customers what they would like to buy- whether it’s a dream car, tickets to the World Series, or a chance to meet a famous individual.
- Then all you need to figure out is how much they would like to save on such an opportunity.
You can also schedule a post on Instagram to remind your followers of your offer. It can be a simple image post or a video explaining the details of the coupon offer.
3. Create a viral invite campaign
One of the fastest organic growth methods is a viral invite campaign. This tactic involves convincing existing followers to invite their friends and family, and the friends of their friends, and so on. When executed correctly, your audience will expand sixfold, as in the case of one online retailer.
- Start by picking the right individuals to do your inviting.
- You’ll want to choose dedicated fans or loyal customers.
- These individuals should genuinely be excited to spread the word.
- Start with a general plan of who they will contact.
- It doesn’t matter if it’s their neighbors and associates or close friends and family.
To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to offer incentives. Reward those that follow and invite others by entering them into a competition or a giveaway. Customers may be reluctant to follow your brand for free, but throw in a chance to win a trip or a flat screen tv, and the numbers will grow.
4. Join Facebook groups
Facebook Groups have proven in recent years to be better at community building than ads. Groups make it easier to meet people with shared interests and market your brand to them.
When you join a Facebook group, you’ll want to vet members to ensure they match your ideal target audience:
- Who do you want to follow your Facebook Page?
- What are they interested in?
- What are their common pain points?
The more you can answer about your ideal customer, the better you can refine your search for a Facebook group.
Every Facebook group you join will have its set of rules you must follow. Be sure to review these rules before you post anything. The last thing you want is to get thrown out because you posted a link to your Facebook page when you weren’t allowed to.
5. Track your performance
How can you truly know whether your efforts are putting a dent in your ROI? The only true, tested method is by tracking and analyzing your past performance. Every metric and piece of shared content should be measured so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
You don’t need to spend money on costly tracking software or complicated spreadsheets. Instead, save your team’s time and money by using a third-party analytics tool. Typically these tools include campaign monitoring and analysis. They show your audience count, engagement, reach, and impressions across platforms.
It’s also not uncommon for analytics tools to use machine learning. This technology allows you to predict the future performance of your content. And to also figure out which posts are most likely to bring in new followers.
Building an audience, the organic way
Building an audience without ads is not impossible. As with anything else, it requires consistency. You have to make an effort to engage with your audience. You also need to know how to interpret data so that you can double down on the strategies that drive growth.
We already covered five strategies you can use to grow your facebook followers. These strategies are effective, but they are not the only ones that you can use. You can always experiment as you increase your following. You’ll see that it’s possible to grow your Facebook followers without ads!