At 2.85 billion monthly users and rising, Facebook is by far the largest social network, and as such provides a goldmine of opportunities to increase your online presence and grow your business.
This post details different ways to grow your followers on the platform, but first, let’s look at what the advantages are from doing so (the answers may surprise you)...
Why Should You Grow Your Followers on Facebook?
Most of us are aware of how the organic reach of our content on Facebook has declined significantly over the past decade or so.
Just look at the numbers for the past few years alone (average reach of organic Facebook posts):
- By the end of 2018, down to 7.7%
- By the end of 2019, down to 5.5%
- By the end of 2020, down to 5.2%
This is compared to an average of around 16% back in 2012, which itself was a sharp decline to what marketers were seeing previously.
So the trend is clear—organic reach is only likely to continue decreasing further.
Why then would you still want to grow your Facebook followers?
Are there any real advantages from doing so? Here are 7 of them.
Stephen D Shaw
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1. Authority and Credibility
The number of followers you have is shown fairly prominently on your Page, and as such delivers a certain amount of authority and credibility for your Facebook presence.
For example this is how it shows on Amy Porterfield’s Page:
However, while a few influencers and well-known brands may have large numbers like this, for the vast majority of businesses, the number is vastly lower.
It will also differ based on the particular niche your business is in, and its relative level of popularity.
So don’t get too hung up on the actual number.
Perhaps more important for authority and credibility is the amount of engagement and interaction your posts attract.
The more followers you have, the more of that you can attract for your organic posts.
2. Website Traffic
Despite the declining organic reach, 5% of 50,000 followers is still 2,500 people who will on average see your latest post, right?
Although adding a link back to your website from your Facebook post will see your organic reach on the platform plummet, just showing up will remind followers you exist.
For example, the following shows how your reach can vastly increase by simply avoiding putting a link into the post itself.
Some marketers are now simply putting the link in as a comment instead to avoid any organic reach penalty—but it will be interesting to see how long this strategy will last.
Facebook’s aim after all is to keep users on their platform.
But just by showing up, although hard to track, you can help prompt visits to your website, such as via your Page or by simply finding you on Google.
Either way, the more followers you attract, the more potential there is for you to grow organic traffic from the platform.
3. Brand Awareness
Similar to the above, attracting someone as a follower gives you the opportunity to remind them that your business exists and helps ensure you stay top of mind.
By seeing your content regularly, followers develop a sense of relationship with and trust in your business.
4. Increased Leads and Sales
That growing sense of relationship and trust makes it more likely of course for them to enter your sales funnel and buy from you.
5. Running Effective Ads
One of the audience options for running a Facebook ad is to run it to people who like your Page—in other words, people with an interest in what you do.
So attracting followers effectively gives you a pool of people who raise their hand and tell you they’re interested, who you can then run advertising to.
You can also create lookalike audiences to run ads to, based on your Page’s followers.
6. Help Search Visibility
No, not on Google.
On Facebook’s own search facility.
Did you know that Facebook processes over 1.5 billion searches every day (to compare, Google does 3.5 billion)?
Try searching for something on Facebook, and then clicking Posts.
As well as relevancy, the number of followers a Page has helps to influence the posts that are shown in the results.
So the more followers you have, the more visible your content potentially becomes within Facebook Search.
(See also the section on hashtags below.)
The actual number of followers you have is largely a vanity metric.
The level of engagement with your posts is the more important metric.
There is after all a big difference between 50,000 followers and no engagement; and an engaged community of 50,000 followers who love what you do.
The same goes for say the number of email addresses on your list. It’s what they actually do as a result that matters.
So how is vanity a benefit?
Quite simply, it can make you feel good!
There’s nothing wrong with that, and it can lead to an increased level of health and energy, along with confidence in your marketing that can power up your business significantly.
So now you know some of the benefits you get from growing Facebook followers, let’s look at some of the top strategies you can put into action to start doing so…
7 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Followers
1. Facebook Ads
Probably the easiest and quickest way to grow your Facebook followers, presuming you have the budget, is to run Facebook ads.
When picking a goal for your ad, there is a specific option to Get more page likes (when someone likes a page they also Follow it by default).
However, it’s unlikely you’ll find this an economically viable option. In other words, it will be hard to prove a positive ROI from this type of ad.
This may have a benefit if you’re simply trying to get a quick lift in followers such as when your Page is brand new, but in general a far better approach would be to run some other kind of ad.
For example, you might choose to Boost a post, or run an ad to get more leads or purchases.
You’ll find that you’ll attract followers anyway as a side effect of running the ad.
2. Invite Friends
To get some initial followers for your Page, you can invite friends you’re connected with via your personal profile.
To do this, from the ‘...’ button on your Page, click Invite Friends, and then select the friends you wish to invite.
Care should however be taken with this approach.
Most people’s list of friends on Facebook include friends and family members who may have little to no real interest in the type of content your Page might publish, and are unlikely to engage with it.
But to support you, or to avoid causing offence, they may still follow the Page.
This can have the effect of suppressing the organic reach of your content for other followers (with a genuine interest), as well as making it more difficult to run effective ads.
As an example, let’s say a Page has 100 followers—50 of those are friends and family unlikely to engage with the content, the other 50 people have a genuine interest.
Out of the 50 followers with a genuine interest, 10% of people engage—that works out at 5% of the total number of followers.
Now compare that with another Page with 100 followers, all of which have a genuine interest in the content. Again, 10% engage, but this time it’s also 10% of the total.
Facebook will see this Page as far more engaging than the other, and give its content more reach and visibility in the feed.
So the principle is this...
If you’re inviting people from your list of friends, be careful to only invite those likely to have a genuine interest in your content.
Otherwise, you’ll likely find the reach of your content is suppressed more than it would be otherwise.
And of course for ads, you don’t want to be paying to reach people with no real interest in what your business does.
3. Share Engaging Content
The more engaging your content, the more followers it’s likely to attract for your Page.
Here are some tips from our previous post on how to make engaging social media posts:
- Ask questions
- Use visual content (particularly video!)
- Incentivize interaction
- Offer discounts and sales
- Provide genuine value
- Use psychology hacks
- And more… (click here for the full list)
As you continue posting, be sure to:
- Experiment with different types of content
- Regularly check your stats so you can see the type of content that resonates best with your audience
Basic-level stats can be seen by clicking on Insights, on the left-hand menu of your Page.
This only gives you access to summary information for the past 28 days.
For more detailed information over time periods of your choosing, see Insights within the Facebook Business Suite.
4. Post Regularly and Consistently
The more your post, the more chances potential followers have of following you.
And the more data you’ll have to look at to see the type of content that works best (see point above) and be able to improve accordingly.
Regular, consistent posting also helps keep followers engaged and interacting with your content, all helping to attract other followers to you.
At bare minimum, you should be posting at least three times a week.
For maximum followers, aim to post once or twice a day.
However, quantity shouldn’t be at the expense of quality.
Fewer but more engaging posts will prove far more valuable for attracting followers, than more posts that ultimately fail to engage.
Frequent posting keeps your audience consistently interested and shows you're dedicated to keeping your users informed.
5. Use Hashtags
Using hashtags in your posts can help them get found via Facebook’s search facility, by people who aren’t yet your followers.
For example, searching Facebook for ‘10 minute workout’ led me to the following result which had the #10minuteworkout hashtag.
See our related post on how hashtags work on Facebook.
6. Hold Giveaways and Contests
The concept is simple:
- Publicize a giveaway or a contest
- To enter, people need to follow your Page
It can be incredibly effective for attracting new followers—but there are just a few things to watch out for…
First, be sure that any contest you run is in line with Facebook’s policies related to running promotions.
Second, whatever you are offering or giving away as a prize should closely align with the wants and needs of the type of follower you want to attract.
In other words, don’t make the appeal of the prize so broad that it’s likely to attract anyone.
For example, offering a free iPad on a Page will attract lots of entrants—but not necessarily attract people specifically interested in lawn care services or a yoga retreat.
Third, make the prize appealing enough to attract a lot of activity.
Ideally, it should be directly related to the type of product or service you offer.
For example, the offer shown above is from a travel company offering a stay in a 4* hotel.
If you run a spa retreat, you might offer a free overnight stay with some treatments.
If you’re a coach or run a coaching company, you might offer a free one-on-one coaching session.
Yes, running a contest may require some investment. But it doesn’t have to be expensive, the winner might turn into a long-term customer, and consider the long-term ROI generated overall as a result.
Fourth, consider what your goals are for your contest. Be clear on exactly what you want to achieve, and what would make a contest worthwhile for you to run.
7. Use Thank You Pages
As a business, you likely have multiple thank you pages on your website, such as for:
- Opt-in forms
- Online purchases
If someone has just opted in or purchased something from you, they are far more likely to want to connect with you in other ways than they would be normally—so take advantage by immediately asking them to like or follow you.
You also know that they’re the exact type of person you want to follow you, which can help you target similar people in future for your Facebook ads.
Rather than just asking them to follow you, Increase conversions by giving them a clear reason to do so.
In Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini, he refers to a research study that shows that when you ask someone to do something, simply adding the word ‘because’ followed by a reason will multiply the chances of them taking the required action.
For example, you might like to try one of these two reasons for asking someone to follow you:
- To see more of your content in future…
- To support your business.
This post has detailed how to grow Facebook followers, with seven top strategies you can put into action.
We’ve also looked at the various benefits you gain from doing so, from increasing website traffic to running effective ads.
The only thing left is to start putting one or more of the strategies detailed above into action!