From Music Think Tank – Managed by HypeBot.com
This article was co-written by Jon Ostrow and Ariel Hyatt
you are anything like the majority of people, artists, authors,
entrepreneurs and beyond who have built a Facebook fan page, then I’m
sure you’ve noticed something…
Facebook makes it ALMOST impossible to make any sort of real growth happen.
A recent study reported by Mashable (from Napkin Labs), showed that on average only 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook page:
average, just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via likes,
comments, polls and other means, according to a study from Napkin Labs,
a Facebook app developer that works with brands and agencies. Of those
fans that did, the average engagement was the equivalent of less than
one like over the course of the eight weeks the study was conducted.
are several reasons for this. Most of these, truthfully, are human
error which we will discuss below. But there is no doubt that Facebook
is taking strides to make it more difficult for you to achieve growth
& impressions on their platform.
The problem at hand is akin to a common proverb:
Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime…
in Facebook’s case, it’s more like, once you teach the man to fish, you
then put a thick layer of ice over the water, making it FAR more
So let’s dive into the issues at hand below:
You Don’t Pay. Period.
is the proverbial ‘ice over the water’. No matter what you do to
correct your own understanding of how Facebook works, and implement a
more effective strategy, you WILL have to deal with the fact that
Facebook uses an algorithm that works in the favor of advertisers. The
money that advertisers spend on Facebook grants them first access
through the ice to all of the fish in the sea.
A friend of
Ariel’s, technologist Marcus Whitney explained the dilemma here
beautifully in a recent panel they spoke on for AIMP at ASCAP in
Nashville (reported by Music Row):
“Of FB’s $1.53 billion in
revenue, 95% of what they earned was in advertising and 25% of that was
from mobile ads. You used to be able to reach 100% of the people that
liked your page on FB, but now you can at max reach 15% of them without
At the end of the day, Facebook is catering to their customers. Believe it or not, but Facebook’s customers are not you. They are advertisers.
They are the people willing to spend money to be connected with others,
and this algorithm was created to ensure that this happens.
has created an option for those of us who are NOT full-time
advertisers, that for better or worse, gives the opportunity to ‘gain
access to fish in the sea’ more quickly and effectively. This is the
dreaded ‘promoted post’ function that Facebook introduced several months
By paying even as little as $15, you are FAR more likely to
see true engagement happen on your posts, simply because Facebook is
ALLOWING this to happen (because you’ve paid for it!).
ridiculous as this seems, this option does present you with a good
opportunity to jumpstart the engagement of a new page by promoting
select posts that nurture strong engagement with your audience.
Ariel and I tested this over the Holiday season with one promoted post and here were our results:
just $15 spent, we received 46 likes, 237 comments and most importantly
(for the purpose of this ‘algorithm’ conversation), the number of
people who SAW the post was 4,517…
A whopping 10 TIMES the number of our average post.
even with this great response from the one promoted post, it would have
meant nothing had we not been prepared to leverage the new engagement
through a strong strategy.
This strategy is the piece that so many are missing. This is the human error mentioned above. Here are 5 things that, if you don’t do, you’ll never reach the level of success you hope to achieve through Facebook:
You Don’t Post Consistent, Compelling Content (CCC)
means that your content is not only consistent in terms of the style
and theme, but in terms of frequency as well. A well run Facebook fan
page should have 1 post per day (2 if you are getting great engagement)
and the content should be varied enough to keep it interesting but
similar enough that it helps to develop your overall brand.
Your Don’t Use Mixed Media
is not Twitter. Text isn’t the answer to success on Facebook. Facebook
has acknowledged the fact that people are more likely to engage with
photos, videos and links than they are simple, standard text updates.
Facebook gives these types of posts more weight in their algorithm.
3. Your Don’t Focus on Community
is a SOCIAL network. It is not a broadcast tool. If you spend your time
on Facebook telling people about yourself over and over again like a
broken records rather than asking, conversing and building real
relationships, you’ll miss out on what Facebook actually has to offer.
Find ways that your fans can not only interact with you, but can
interact with each other, and you’ll really start to see some magic
happen on your page as well.
4. You Don’t RE-Engage Your Community / AKA You Only Engage ONCE
is one thing to ask questions to your fans on Facebook, or to share
compelling content that warrants comments, questions, etc. – but it is
entirely different for you to RE-engage your community by responding to
each comment and question. It is this re-engagement of your community
that will keep them coming back, helping them to build stronger loyalty
to your brand. Oh… and all of this will help you to rank higher in the
It is a snowball effect, the better you perform, the
more weight your posts will hold in FB’s algorithm, and the more people
will see your posts and engage with them…
5. You Don’t Pay Attention to Analytics
is shocking how many people ignore the fact that Facebook actually
GIVES you detailed analytics on your fan page. They do this for a
reason! (See: the snowball effect above in #4).
‘Insights’ give you a detailed look at who your fan base is, where they
live, and most importantly, what content they are most willing to engage
with. Your content strategy never needs to be a static thing – it
should be fluid! It should shape-shift as you find out more about who
your fans are and what their needs are. Using Facebook Insights is
critical to a strong Facebook fan page that holds well in Facebook’s
Of course, using Facebook Insights are only helpful if
you know what the average metrics on Facebook are, so that you can
compare your efforts to the standard.
First off, you have to
understand the average number of fans on a Facebook page… this will help
you establish a realistic goal to work for:
once you have a realistic fan growth goal, you need to understand what
the realistic amount of engagement of your total fan base actually is!
Believe it or not, the average engagement rate of a fan page
(Engagement Rate = ‘People Talking About This Page’ / Total Number of
Likes) is between .5% and .99%. A GOOD engagement rate is anything over