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Matt Woods By Matt Woods • July 6, 2017

A Jumpstart Guide to Promoting Inbound Content on Facebook

You’ve spent hours pouring your energy into creating your best piece of content yet. 
 
You hit publish, then…. Crickets. 
 
Why doesn’t everyone love your content as much as you? 
 
It’s probably because they never noticed it in the first place.
Today’s media landscape feels more elbow-to-elbow crowded than ever before. That’s because it is. 
 
Every 60 seconds Facebook users post 510 comments, 293,000 statuses and 136,000 photos.
 
 
How can you get your content noticed in today’s deafening social media noise?
 
Strategically promoting your content could propel your content into the stratosphere (and the hearts and minds of your future readers.) 
 
I’m focusing on Facebook since nearly 8 in 10 Internet users and 93% of businesses use the platform.
 
Here are 6 must-try strategies to get your content noticed on Facebook (despite heavy competition.)
 
A Jumpstart Guide to Promoting Inbound Content on Facebook - FEATURE.png
Wrestle readers out of apathy with these foolproof headline formulas
If your headline sucks, no one will read your article. It’s a harsh, but true, fact of content marketing.
 
According to Copyblogger,  8 out of 10 people will read headline copy on average, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. 
 
It’s called the 80/20 rule of headlines and it’s the #1 factor that often dictates whether a Facebook user who sees your post will take a leap of faith to read further.
 
Here’s your immediate takeaway: Putting extra effort into rewriting your headline can usually impact your Facebook link post’s success more than any other single factor.
 
Don't neglect your link post's headline! It's your best cahcne to draw in your readers.
 
Feeling lost when it comes to actually improving your headlines? Don’t re-invent the process from scratch. 
 
It’s easy to borrow from dozens of battle-tested headline recipes” that will do the trick nicely.
 
Buffer compiled a master list of must-try headline formulas that actually work. I have this post bookmarked and refer to it constantly whenever I write a new blog or edit a headline for Facebook. 
 
Start with Lenka Istvanova’s Ultimate Headline Formula” if you’re totally stumped: Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise.”
 
The Ultimate Headline Formula
 
For example, a flat headline like Getting Started with Inbound Marketing” becomes a powerful attention-magnet like 13 Indispensable Tips to Start Generating Inbound Marketing Leads.”
 
Don’t worry if your first attempts at headlines seem awkward or disappointing. You’ll find your groove as you practice and produce, produce, produce more headlines!
 
Try creating a list of 10-30 different combinations before settling on your final choice. Upworthy famously required their writers to write 25 potential headlines for every article. 
 
Why? It forces you to think creatively and dig deep for those double-take headlines that demand attention.
 
Upworthy's editorial process
 
Isn’t it worth spending a few extra minutes to make your next post many times more attractive (and effective?)

 

Leverage these advanced Facebook marketing audiences for masterful targeting

The secret to promoting Facebook posts like a well-oiled machine is simple: Create and maintain the best possible audiences as you go. 
 
I’ve built-up a small stash of go-to audiences I always create before starting a big promotion.
 
You can find a list of all your audiences in your ads manager or business manager under the Assets” category.  
 
Find your Facebook audiences under the Assets category.
 
I use these basic audience types when I don’t have access to more targeted custom audiences.
  • Page Followers
  • Marketing-based Interests & Behaviors
 
While you’re getting started with basic audience types, make sure you start taking early steps to build your more advanced lists so they’re ready to roll when you need them.
  • Install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Find instructions here or contact a developer if code scares you. (You’re not the only one, promise!)
  • Import your contact lists from Mailchimp or your email provider of choice. This can get you started with custom audiences almost immediately if you already have a sizeable list.
  • Create video content and promote using the Video Views” campaign objective for Facebook Ads. You’ll gain more exposure than other campaign types, but you’ll spend less money on average. After the campaign finishes, you can create retargeting lists based on who watched or engaged with your video. Voila, instant audiences!
Use the Video views objective to get more reach for less money in your Facebook Ads.
 
I want you to remember a magic number for custom audiences on Facebook: 1,000 people.
 
In my experience, I’ve found that somewhere around roughly a thousand people your custom audience list takes on a life of its own and becomes infinitely more useful than a list of just a few hundred contacts.
 
Use these audiences to build your page’s following and spur engagement until you have 1,000 page followers or 1,000 unique users from your website or email list. 
 
I use these custom audiences to re-engage visitors who have previously interacted with our brand on Facebook or our website.
    • Page Engagement It’s a brilliantly simple audience to get traction with a post, fast. This custom audience can target all Facebook users who have looked at your page or engaged with any of your ads and posts.
    • Website Traffic past 180 Days Want to reach those organic search visitors who haven’t been back to your site yet? This audience provides an easy way to bring previous visitors back to your blog or reach interested candidates for with new offers. 
    • Website Traffic Lookalike This audience analyzes common characteristics in your website visitors and finds people who look similar. It offers a great audience when you’re not 100% sure where to start and you’ve already reached your fans and website traffic.
 
It’s easy to get started with custom audiences. Start by selecting Create Audience and then choose Custom Audience.
 
Start by creating your custom audience
 
Next, you’ll want to choose the source to build your audience. 
  • Choose Customer File if you’re importing an email list.
  • Use Website Traffic to target previous visitors to your website.
  • Select Engagement on Facebook to retarget users who have interacted with your page, posts, or ads.
How to Boost Facebook Posts in just a few clicksChoose Engagement on Facebook as your type
 
You’ll set the specific source before narrowing down your audience. I’ll choose Facebook Page to reach everyone who has interacted with McMahon Marketing’s page.
 
Next, choose Facebook Page
 
Finally, we’ll have options to finely tune your audience by only including users who meet certain rules before saving.
 
Finally, you can select everyone who engaged with your page in the past 180 days
 
Now, you’re ready to save! It may take Facebook a few minutes (or hours) to prepare your audience depending on size. 
 
Make sure you plan your list building accordingly to avoid waiting for the perfect audience to load while building your next ad campaign. 

 

Dazzle your audience with this tactic to entertain AND educate

Are your posts engaging and helpful? It’s a tough line to walk, but it’s one of the best ways to repurpose your content on Facebook.
 
Most successful posts fall into one of two categories: 
 
Entertaining: These posts provoke a strong emotional response and are likely to be shared over and over again. A new Buzzfeed quiz, a wacky GIF, or hilarious meme could all belong to this category.
 
Educational: These posts often help explain a useful concept, statistic, or skill in a simple to understand way.  
 
The best posts combine entertainment and education together. Explainer videos like this one about Stonehenge’s solstice alignments from Vox or this infographic showing how to avoid boring words.
 
This post by Grammar Check got your attention, right?
 
Both types of posts can receive massive engagement when executed well. However, they’re even better when combined (like chocolate and peanut butter.)
 
Take a peek at this fun, but sneakily informative video post from Hubspot about CRM tools over the years.
 
 
It’s a clever combination of entertaining GIFs that makes a larger point: CRM software helps today’s marketing and sales teams succeed and they’ve gotten way better!
 
Buffer’s team coined this post type as Edu-tainment,” which I think fits nicely. 
 
Buffer's team coined the term "edu-tainment" for this type of post.
 
They’ve started sharing other content that fits this model and creating their own too. It’s become a staple in their Facebook strategy and their numbers show it’s paying off.
 
Wondering how you can apply edu-tainment to your Facebook posts?
 
Start with this list of quick wins to mix things up on your feed by adapting your inbound content for Facebook:
  • Always experiment with different formats you see working on other successful pages.
  • Create bite-size graphics that grab attention featuring helpful facts.
  • Pair an animated GIF with a powerful statistic from your content.
  • Create a video that breaks down the major facts or ideas from your content piece.
  • Reference other blog posts used as sources in your original blog post.
 
Always be sure the information presented is solid and noteworthy. Ask yourself: Does this post shock, help, or amaze my readers?”
 
If can you learn to marry entertaining visuals to an educational message, you’re well on your way to serving up one of Facebook’s most successful post types. 
 

 

Lay out a long-term strategy for sharing on social media

How often should you share your new content to the world to attract the right exposure?
 
Social media moves fast, which means your posts have a shorter lifespan than you think.
 
A study from Wisemetrics discovered that 75% of engagement on a Facebook post occurs within the first five hours
 
Wisemetrics Study
 
Your takeaway? Posting a piece of content just once isn’t going to cut it.
 
Be sure to nail down a consistent post schedule to methodically share. Just spraying and praying with your content is a surefire recipe for disappointment.
 
I recommend breaking your big piece of content down into easily digestible nuggets of information, then spreading them out over the following weeks.
 
Here’s an example of a posting schedule you could use to promote a new blog on Facebook:
  • Day 1 Post a link to the article.
  • Day 3 Post an image illustrating a powerful statistic from the article.
  • Day 7 Post a video explaining a key concept from the article.
  • Day 10 Post a funny reaction GIF paired with a shocking fact from the article.
  • Day 14 Repost a link to the article with new text.
  • Day 30 Post a link to the article with a new preview image and new text.
  • Day 60/90 Share your own most successful post that promoted the article. 
Of course, that’s just an example. Your mileage may vary, so it’s critical to measure post performance and tweak your promotion schedule to fit your audience’s unique preferences.

 

Start building your fan base with these 4 simple methods to acquire fans

1. Ask new email subscribers to follow you on Facebook using automation.
 
It’s easy to create a quick email asking folks to follow you on social media. 
 
After all, if someone has found your message compelling enough to fork over their email address, a good chunk of them would probably be interested in seeing your next great Facebook video too.
 
Need a template to get started? Use one of our emails and just swap out the words to keep it relevant to your list:
 

Email Template to Grow Facebook Followers

“Hey there!
 
We’re so glad you’re onboard to receive our best inbound marketing and sales tips every week. 
 
We promise to make it worth your time!
 
We’ll also be posting new and exclusive posts and videos on our Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/McMahonMarketing/ 
 
Go follow us if you don’t want to miss out on the epic how-to videos, practical strategies to boost your revenue (and wacky hijinks involving drones, champagne, and fire extinguishers.)
 
Talk soon!
Matt
 
P.S. Do you know a co-worker who would love to receive our next great blog post too? Send them the sign-up link here!
 
2. Double-check to make sure your website has a functioning link to your Facebook Page.
 
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but don’t neglect your website traffic! 
 
You can include something low-key and classy like these social icons in Nike’s website footer.
 
Nike's social media icons on their website
 
Or you can go for maximum visibility while providing context like Garyvee does on his personal website. You know exactly what you’re getting when you sign-up for a specific platform. 
 
Garyvee's social media icons on his website stand out
 
3. Ask your social media followers on other platforms to Like” your Facebook Page.
 
It’s simple, but lots of folks still neglect it. 
 
Make sure your Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter followers know what they can expect from you on Facebook. Is it videos, live interviews, or simply sharing cat videos? 
 
Just make sure you drop a note every now and then to offer your existing audience a chance to sign-up.
 
4. Run a retargeting campaign using custom audiences to build page likes.
 
Okay, you caught me. This one’s not as simple as the others, but it’s effective. 
 
You can use the custom audiences I covered earlier including website traffic and lookalikes to target Facebook users likely to follow your page.
 
I recommend starting with a small budget and experimenting. What do you have to lose?

 

Use Facebook Ads for a quick boost out of the gate

It’s no great secret that Facebook continues to show unpaid posts to fewer and fewer users. 
 
In fact, Facebook’s own Engineering Director warned that Pages could expect to reach as few as 2% of their followers in some cases. 
 
Two percent?! 
 
Yes, you read that correctly. As many as 98 out of 100 people who asked to see your posts on Facebook may not ever scroll across them on their feed unless you pay to promote your posts. Ouch.
 
Still, it’s a smart idea to reach high-engaging users by promoting your best content. 
 
Here’s the easiest way to get your post in front of your audience using Boosted Posts.
 
First, go to your Facebook Page and find the post you’d like to promote, then hit that blue Boost Post” button. 
 
Boost your Facebook posts in just a few clicks
 
If you’ve set up custom audiences already, you’ll see them displayed for easy access. Otherwise, you can create your own or select a simple preset like People who like your Page.”
 
Enter your payment information, hit the big Boost” button, and you’re good to go!
 
See, wasn’t that easy?
 
(This method of creating Facebook Ads has some serious limitations and isn’t necessarily the best long-term solution. BUT, it’s definitely the easiest way to get your feet wet with paid promotion on Facebook!)

 

Conclusion

Why worry? Now you’re armed with a handful of quick tactics to get your content noticed on Facebook even if it’s an uphill battle.
 
You can rest easy knowing your latest blog received a powerful boost from Facebook Ads that landed it in front of your ideal readers. 
 
Eye-popping headline formulas ensure your future fans actually click-through and start reading the content you sweated over for hours.
 
I think you’ll find promoting content on Facebook less stressful once you’ve clearly defined the types of posts that strongly resonate with your growing fan base. 
 
One last thing about paid promotion: Keep experimenting! Fast-moving platforms like Facebook update their options for posts and ads at a blistering pace. 
 
So, stay on your toes and continue to try new targeting options and post formats to always become a little more relevant to your audience every day. 
 
(P.S. Want recommendations or free ideas for your own social media? Shoot me a quick email and I'll hook you up with some free help.)
 
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