Facebook announced this week that there are 19 million active Canadian Facebook users each month, and 14 million of those are daily users. In fact, at 74% Canada’s daily Facebook usage is above the global average (61%) and higher than the US average (70%). That’s a huge pie and most of us are hungry for a piece of it.
Facebook has made it more and more difficult to reach their users from our business pages by limiting exposure. They blatantly ignore the fact that users follow a brand because they want to see all of its updates, instead dribbling out the occasional update to less than 10% of “likers”. While this is obviously an attempt to make companies purchase advertising on the network, it will be counterproductive in the end as businesses begin to dismiss Facebook as a lucrative social media marketing option.
Increasing your Facebook Reach
That said, there are both paid and free ways to increase the reach of your posts.
1. I am Canadian: If your target market is Canada specifically, mention Canada whenever you can. Updates, coupons, contests, blog posts, etc., offer an opportunity to focus on Canada and Canadians. This won’t necessarily increase direct visibility, but we’ve found it greatly improves search rank through both Facebook and in outside search engine results. Our experience also indicates this tactic increases post sharing among Canadians, which in turn increases exposure.
2. Use a variety of posts: Followers can have a wide variety of content preferences. Some will love pictures or videos, others will prefer text updates, etc. Facebook has noticed these preferences too and some marketers have found that shared photos and status updates receive more exposure on the social media network. Furthermore, some types of posts are shared more often than others overall, such as clever digital memes.
3. Engage: A call to action has been proven effective when used creatively. Sometimes simply asking readers to share the post or comment works, but we’ve found it’s more effective to be a little unique, such as:
- Share if you agree
- Let your friends know
- Help us spread the word (great for public service announcements)
- Can I get a “heck yeah!”
- Any question relating to the topic of the post.
4. Contests and Coupons: Nothing is shared more often than contests and coupons and they usually get comments too. ExactTarget’s 2013 Digital North Report found that 63% of online Canadians follow company social media accounts for discounts, and 58% are looking for freebies and contests. Remember to focus on Canada by mentioning things like availability and that a contest is open to Canadians.
5. Test, test and test some more: Try posting at different times each day and monitor reach using Facebook’s analytics. You can combine that with click-through and conversion rates for a wide-angle snapshot. Use social media tools or keep the data in a spreadsheet so you can watch for other patterns, such as days of the week and seasonal impact. Include the type of post (video, ad, link to blog post, etc.) in your data for still more insight. Save screenshots of your posts and number them so you can add a reference note to your data.
6. Paying for reach: Facebook has several paid options available to marketers and you can target Canadian Facebook users specifically. Do some testing of free methods first so you can take full advantage of paid opportunities, armed with a solid knowledge base.
7. Keep your finger on the pulse: Facebook best practices are constantly changing and those who are most successful continue to learn and adjust their social marketing strategy.
Supercharge all Social Media Marketing and Engagement
- Pinterest has surpassed search engines for traffic generation for many businesses. Check out a free video and/or take the Power of Pinning course to get started. You’ll also find both free and paid Pinterest courses on Udemy
- Free LinkedIn training is available at LinkedU: How to Create a Massive LinkedIn Referral Network with THE Most Influential Players in Your Market.
- The book Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and More, was revised and expanded in 2015 and is perfect for social media novices.
Have you hit paydirt with Facebook? Do you have any questions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
French Social Networking in Quebec
Social Media Strategy: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How
Canadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses (Statistics)
Easily Create Viral Digi-Posters with These Text Editing Tools
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.