How to Effectively Promote Yourself on Facebook
Last week, I asked my feed if they’d be interested in a write-up on how to do facebook promotion more effectively. There’s a lot of little tips and tricks one can utilize to make the most out of this money-hungry social media platform without having to pay a dime.
This was originally posted on Google Docs, so the formatting might be a little less bloglike than you’d come to expect. For the original source, click here.
Facebook Promotion Primer
Facebook likes to get your money and effectively punishes anyone not engaging in their paid advertising platform. There are a few tips and tricks that are well-known for circumventing their algorithms that are designed to diminish your audience until you pay. Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of using facebook without paying a dime.
Your first instinct will be to post your event on your business page or your personal page. First tip, don’t.
Make your event using whichever page has the most followers. If your personal page has the most followers, do that.
Post some text, less than 80 words, describing your event. I prefer 25 words or less, because that’s how long the lead in a journalism article should be. Get in as much information as you can. Be succinct and as clear as possible. Also post a visually appealing picture. Do not post text on the picture. Then at the end in parenthesis put (link in description) and post the link in the description.
Like your own post. Liking your own post will give it prevalence in people’s feeds.
Share it in a few related groups.
Go to your event and click on the “…” off to the side next to the Goind/Interested tabs. It will say “Add to Page.” Add the event to each of your pages one day at a time. People who are following your pages will get a notification: “[Page] Near You Has Added An Event.” If you add it to all of your pages (production page, performer page, etc) it will be more annoying than anything. Spread it out over time so people who follow your various pages don’t get a bunch of “[page] near you has added an event.”
If you only have one page, do it the next day after you created your event. If you used that same page to make the event, then disregard that.
Then after you’ve successfully added it to your pages and posted it on your profile, you can actually start inviting people.
If this is your first event, and you’ve never attended any event in the community your event is in this might be irrelevant to you.
When inviting people to your event, facebook allows you to invite people from events you’ve attended to in the past who are also your friends. Hopefully you have been networking, making new friends, and strengthening your social circle. I generally just go through what events I’ve been to or hosted recently and invite those people first. You want to make sure you are inviting people who actually already attend events and inviting using past events as a calibration for that is somewhat useful.
After this, feel free to invite whomever you wish. Perhaps make sure they’re actually in your local vicinity and would reasonably be able to attend without buying a plane ticket. I live in Seattle and still get invited to Nashville shows all the time.
Why is this important? Well, facebook only allows you to invite a certain amount of people per day or per week. I haven’t hit that limit yet, but a number of my DJ friends have complained that they have to get their co-host or boyfriend to invite a bunch more people because facebook puts a limit on how many they invite.
The major idea here is to try to get as many organic engagements as possible before relying on facebook for anything.
After you’ve made the event, continue to post updates following the weeks up to the event. Ideally, you’d give yourself 3-4 weeks of breathing room from start to finish before your event starts depending on what kind of event this is. These suggestions are geared more towards concerts, burlesque, variety, and drag type shows. If you’re doing a convention or something else, doing organic things to circumvent facebook might not be your best bet. Facebook advertisements can be useful, but we’ll talk about those later.
Anyway, you want to stagger your updates. If you’re working with a 3-4 week time span and like 4-8 performers you can probably do two-three updates per week. You’ll want to at least post some bios of each performer in the same fashion as stated earlier (80 words or less, fancy picture, link in the description if any links) Every couple days. Look at your calendar at go ahead and make all these posts ahead of time on your page and schedule the posts ahead of time so you can focus on other things.
You don’t want to spam, but you’ll also want to post updates in the related groups and keep people engaging.
As far as content goes, you’ll want to describe the person but also perhaps posit a question “Deep and Mysterious Vixen X what is she hiding?” or something. Try to make it so people will want to respond. Don’t just be like, “Deep and Mysterious Vixen X is playing tonight come on out!” Sometimes that’s all well and good if you’re talking to people who already know you and know the performer, but you want to engage with your audience. Give them a reason to engage with you, all the while trying to be as succinct and brief as possible in the OP (original post.)
General Odds and Ends
The most effective way to get hits is to post a video and use proper tags. On mobile devices there is a whole channel of videos popping up in a feed. You watch one video and it pops up with like three related videos. Facebook constantly tells you “make a video to engage with your audience!” and it actually works. If you do it right. Tagging is a very particular art. It might not be the best for getting engagements with events, but a properly worded and tagged video can get your page some good traction. Your content needs to be engaging or thought-provoking to some extent, or on the opposite end of the spectrum you can just roll with visual shitposting and try to go viral.
As I said, earlier. Like your own posts. That’s half the battle.
The other half is posting a picture in the OP and the link in the comments. All the time. Every single time.
Don’t reblog pictures. Save them and share them as your own (properly credited when possible.) If you’re going to nab someone else’s picture, at least give them a like. Not doing so is poor form and can rub people the wrong way sometimes.
Don’t use ALL CAPS
Putting the link to a youtube video in the OP is a death sentence. I’ve seen some of my posts not follow my rule of posting the link in the comments. But if I post a youtube video in the OP I am dead in the water.
Go to your page, add yourself as a team member. (On the About tab) Add your page as part of your work history on your profile. Make sure your pages show up in multiple places on your profile!
Link your instagram to one of your pages. This way you’ll get insights on your instagram posts and there will be cross-references going on.
Make sure you check your page’s messages occasionally. Facebook will sometimes not tell you when you get a new message on your page unless you are actively on it.
Don’t overuse emphasis. Copious amounts of exclamation marks are not going to get you more hits. Flowery language helps depending on your audience. Like if it’s a theater production with a theme, you’ll probably want to set the mood but don’t be redundant on punctuation. No ??? or !!!
On your page, make sure you link to as many different social media platforms as you can.
If you stream live, don’t do it too often or people will not engage with you as often. But don’t do it too little and people won’t know what to expect or if it’s worth clicking. Getting consistent views on livestreaming pretty much means just that, staying consistent.
Link your pages to groups you’re admin of. If you’re not an admin, maybe you should start a new group for your project(s) and invite people to that. That way you’ll be on your way to heading up a community and having a perfect avenue to promote yourself in the future.
The main thing to gather from all this is: BE CONSISTENT and engage, engage, engage. Be in all the groups, like all (no, not all, just the relevant ones, don’t be a creeper) the posts. Be active and present in the community you are trying to engage with. Have open and honest communication with the people that work with you. If you say you’re going to pay someone, pay them.
If you’re offering services, do not take “doing it for exposure” as answer. You don’t have to ask for money if that makes you uncomfortable, but try to find a way to get some sort of compensation. Often times, I’ll ask for food, cigarettes, entry, or a ride to something in exchange for something. Exposure is important, but it needs to be exposure people can actually engage with and that benefits you in some way. If it doesn’t benefit you in some way, don’t hesitate to ask for your needs to be met. Make yourself look valuable, and you will be treated as such.
Be yourself. People appreciate authenticity. If you have a public persona, then be that person on that page. But always make time to be yourself and make authentic connections with real people.
Don’t tag 50 of your friends. In fact, tagging your friends doesn’t generally do anything to increase exposure. Chances are, the friends you’re tagging are already seeing your content if they are, in fact, your friend. Sometimes you may feel like large announcements may merit mass-tagging, and I don’t feel confident saying ‘never do it’ but just realize there is a time and a place for it that is rare.
Try to use proper grammar. Language is flexible, and we all have a certain dialect when posting. Try to sound like a real person, but if you’re making too many mistakes your first handful of comments will be about your grammar instead of your content. Nobody likes that distraction.
Realize you aren’t perfect. Apologize when necessary. Don’t admit guilt to something you didn’t do, for legal reasons, but it is acceptable to show empathy.
Sometimes it is more efficient to make a small group chat with an event inside the group chat than trying to make a whole event page. This is more effective for smaller gatherings, birthday parties, private house shows, after-parties, and the like.
Be mindful of timezones. Look at your demographics and if for some reason you’re more popular in Japan. Try to post more content related to their timezone. Most people check the internet when they get up in the morning and first thing when they get home from work or on transit. Don’t post in the middle of the day. People might check their phones during lunch, but they are too busy trying to relax to really engage with much during a lunch break. People often stay home Sunday nights and Tuesday nights. There is a trend that local businesses
Be careful of what pages you rate poorly. Some local businesses have overly-enthusiastic fans that will find your page and leave nasty reviews even though they live half a country away and have never engaged with your content.
The facebook friend limit is 5000. Make sure those 5000 people are people that matter to your continued success and prosperity.
Support your friends. Be active in the community. Don’t view things as competing events. View it as an opportunity to be a present and active force in the community. If an event is on the same day, just be polite and move on. The better the events around you do, the better you will do. At least, you have the potential to grow. Everyone’s success is your success, and your success is everyone’s success.
Sometimes instead of doing an event, people like to try to do gofundme, youcaring, or facebook fundraisers. Most of these are wholly ineffective unless you have the right angle.
People are tired of seeing gofundme fundraisers all over the place. The website has had its boom, and most people roll their eyes when they see one no matter what it’s for. Some may still find it useful, but these types of fundraisers are becoming less effective.
Sign up for a paypal, get a paypal.me address. Ask people to send you money directly. Paypal now deposits the same-day during bank business hours.
Get a squarecash and a squarecash card. This is not the same thing as a square reader. This is kind of like paypal except it’s an app for your phone. It’s basically a virtual wallet that doesn’t go in the negative and you can only spend what’s on it. You can also instantly transfer for a very small percentage to your bank at any time. The squarecash card is a new feature and gives you a debit card to spend your squarecash money.
Get a google wallet. This can instantly deposit to your bank as well.
Link your debit card to facebook messenger.
Okay, now that you’ve done that you’re ready for modern crowdfunding on facebook. Also, for the record, facebook fundraisers are very nitpicky about what you ask for. If you’re going that route, expect to get denied a few times until you can explicate a clear and concise emergency.
Now that you have all those new ways to get money from people. Just make a post asking for help. Explain your situation. Tell people exactly what you need and how much it costs. You don’t have to post when each person donates, but you need to check in once in awhile with a new post, reiterating that you still money for rent/gas/health/etc. People appreciate honesty and knowing where their money is going. Post evidence that you spent the money on what you said you were asking for. Let’s say I raised money for my sick dog. I’d post a cute picture of my dog afterwards looking happy and healthy.
When possible. Offer something. People like it when you’re willing to put in a little work for what you’re doing. It doesn’t really even have to be much of value. But if you have a skill of some sort, now is a good time to remind people they can pay you to do it. It’s also a good time to remind them it’s an emergency. It really depends on how urgent your situation is. If you know you need help, it’s better to ask for it sooner rather than later.
Facebook messenger usually is an instant deposit, with no fees attached ever.
So make a post outlining exactly how much you need and why. Post updates. Post the ways people you can pay you. Tell them which way you prefer, because most people these days have multiple ways they can pay. Many are willing to adjust to the way you preferred to be paid because you are the one needing funding and they’re wanting to help you.
The main issue with using gofundme, and facebook fundraising is because it either takes a huge chunk out of your payment, making small donations relatively worthless. They are all dependent on your bank. Some, like facebook fundraisers, will hold your money for a certain amount of time.
Ideally, you want instant access to whatever funding you are receiving, but people aren’t always aware that there are options to make this happen quite painlessly.
As an example, let’s say you had been homeless for a long period of time and finally made it to the top of a waiting list for subsidized housing. You go into your new room and it’s completely empty. You don’t even have a bed. You need supplies and such. Instances like these are great for amazon wishlists or amazon allowances. You can send your friend money through amazon, but it will only show up as amazon gift card balance. You can send them a weekly stipend for groceries or something using amazon allowance.
Situations as above may also call for joining a “Buy Nothing” group. Which is a small neighborhood group where people give away things for free, or ask for things for free. It’s not a replacement for getting amazon money, but I’ve seen time and again low-income individuals moving into an empty apartment needing supplies. The communities generally can provide some stuff, but it’s not a given.
The most important part for crowdfunding is that you have to be real with people. People work hard for their money, and depending on the culture where you live you may encounter people making remarks about your lifestyle, or you not trying hard enough. Do not engage with those people, should you encounter them. You only should spend the energy on people who are willing to help you out, don’t waste time arguing how bad your situation is to someone who’s first thought is to invalidate your struggle.
Do not depend on the kindness of others. I’ve written ways to be more efficient in asking and how to frame your crowdfunding, but taking people for granted is never a good idea. Always be on the lookout for community events and charities that can help you out instead of your friends. A desperate plea to your friends should always be the last resort. There is no shame in asking for help, but there are smarter ways to go about getting your needs met than jumping to crowdfunding. Many larger cities have plenty of food banks, rental assistance programs, utility assistance programs, healthcare scholarships, vet scholarships, hygiene centers, mail reception, and all sorts of things to help people in need. If you’ve tried these things be sure to let people know you’ve exhausted various avenues of other help. People will appreciate the effort you’ve made. Then again, sometimes urgency outweighs tactfulness and that’s a decision you’re going to have to make on your own.
Say “Thank you” or some variant to each person showing sympathy regardless of whether they are donating or not.
I might also suggest a patreon, if you know you’re going to be on hard times for a while and having something to offer. I could go into details on patreon, but that would be a completely separate document. However, I do know people that get like $100 a month on top of what little the feds give them for disability without offering any content at all. They do a little bit of modeling and are kind of a community support network. Being somewhat of a popular local figure, it is easier for them to straightup just say “this patreon is just to help me out.” However, that doesn’t work for everyone. However, it might be an option if your audience is empathetic enough and tech-savvy enough to already be using patreon.
The most important aspect of all this is one thing: consistency. After that, focus on having short and concise text, and putting your links in the comments. These are the basics of having a successful facebook promotion. Whatever it is you’re promoting, it needs be visually appealing as well as aesthetically appealing. Nobody likes having to click on the ‘read more’ button. It messes with the flow on mobile devices.
Be kind to each other. Support each other. People will want to support you if they can tell you are dedicated and passionate about your project. I’ve detailed a number of ways to express that in this document.
Remember that at the end of the day that it’s your page, and your choice. There’s some of these tricks that I don’t follow, but I still get a surprising amount of traffic on my posts. However, posting the link in the comments is a sure-fire way to actually get a youtube video or event seen. I just often rely on linking and consistency.
You have to find what works for you and your audience. Every audience is different, filled with different personality types. However, your community probably has some unwritten rules and expected standards you’ve probably picked up on by now. You should be able to figure out how to be effective instead of looking like spam based on how often you see other people posting stuff. But also be sure to attend, like, and support other people on facebook.
The whole point of social media is sharing, connecting, and engaging in other people’s content. If you expect people to care about yours, you’re going to have to care about other people. Support other people. It’s called social networking for a reason. If all you do is seem self-serving and not actively engage in the community nobody is going to be interested in your content.
Well, not necessarily nobody. You can still get a lot of likes just from looks alone, but that doesn’t fill seats or sell tickets.
If you found this useful, I accept donations through http://paypal.me/soror64
If you cannot donate, at least perhaps share so that others might be able to gain more traction and visibility through facebook. Remember, when others succeed, you succeed.