It took us forever to open a facebook page. If there is a post, I wish I read when starting off our photography business, it would have been this. When we started off photography in February 2010, we had no idea what we were doing. I knew ‘nada’ on how a camera operates, nor how I would get people to trust me enough to pay me to take photos of them. I was a self-confessed loner then, & meeting new people scared the life out of me. So, my only social outlet was facebook. Through Facebook, I could be anything I wanted to be, I could chat, laugh, & meet people without really having to meet them. So, facebook is where our small business started. My personal profile became my online kiosk. Everything that I shot, I posted there…I constantly flooded my family & friends with image after image…this was my life & I thought that this was as best as it comes.
Sometime later on, as my friend list grew, I realised to my dismay, that Facebook would not let me connect with over 5,000 friends, and this provided a nasty hitch to all my plans of reaching the world with our work :). Two & a half years later, in December, 2012, I converted my profile into a page & all my friends were (Without their consent :)) forcefully converted to my 1st fans 🙂 I was elated, the page was called Faithful Frames. Thus, with the 5,000 friend limit no longer a setback, I went on a roll researching on how to get 1 Million fans overnight & doing all it took to grow my following. Later on, when we decided to focus on Wedding Photography, Gathoni & I closed down Faithful Frames & started off another page in March 2013 called Weddings By Ben Kiruthi. After we got married, in February this year we decided to change the name again to Gathoni & Ben Kiruthi via a buddy of ours who resides in the States (Since that is the only way to change your page name if you have over 200 likes). So, that is the brief journey of our facebook life cycle, we have learned so many tricks along the way, and today we want to share with you how we were able to increase & leverage on our reach on facebook….so if you can; bookmark this page or just take an old notebook & pen & jot this few points down 🙂
1. Everyone Loves Pictures
Text is so boooooring!!!!! And everybody knows that…That’s why Instagram & Pinterest are taking over the social word. Simply because people adore images. Images, are the most shared media on facebook followed closely by videos. And as a page administrator you want your fans crazily sharing stuff from your page. This ensures that you are able to reach the friends of your friends & so on, thus reaching many more people. One individual who has used this principle brilliantly is actor, Tyrese Gibson, who had amassed a huge following of about 15 Mil fans as a result of his videos that always go viral every time he post. So, if you want more likes, post more images & videos as compared to just plain text.
2. Be YOU!!!!!
Oh man!!!! this is soooo important it ought to be top of the list!!!! People connect with people & people buy from people. So, someone will only book you or buy your product if they 1st buy you!!!! It is called emotional marketing. Once you are able to connect with their emotion, their pocket follows soon afterwards :). So many times, brides have picked us over our competition just because they felt they liked us or had a familiar feeling about us—- just because of what we post on our facebook page. That was the sole reason behind us changing our name to Gathoni & Ben as compared to a generic….’Kenyan Wedding Photographers’. So, be you & share you, post personal pictures & personal posts…what you are having for dinner, where you went for holiday and so forth. These personal posts I have discovered, had way more reach as compared to business posts.
3. Dust Off Your Facebook Page
When was the last time you posted something on your page?…some of y’all pages are graveyards waiting to happen. Nothing’s happening there, just cobwebs & skeletons :). I recommend posting at least 5 times a week, or at best once every day, so that you are always at the top of your fan’s mind. In case you are out of ideas on what to post, check out this amazing Status Ideas-Generator here. It will not only give you enough updates for a life time, but also stuff that is relevant to the people who follow you.
4. If You can Afford, Get a Paid Ad!
When we started off, Gathoni & I ran quite a number of paid ads on our page. We used to run daily ads for $20 and we got an average 500 likes per day!!! This is phenomenal since for only $20 we were able to gain 500 extra likes. The thing about ads, is to ensure that this likes translate into business. To do this, you have to target your audience & specifying who exactly it is that you want to see your ad. To create an ad, go to the top left menu of your facebook account & click on the down arrow key, then go to ‘Create Ad’. Select ‘Page Likes’, then choose the page you want to run the ad. Upload an image & insert text, then go & chose your target audience
As you can see from my example, since I am targeting potential brides, my audience is set to target WOMEN who live in KENYA, who are ENGAGED to be married. The potential reach of this ad is 48,000 people. This ad will appear in the ad feeds on their profile & most likely they will—if not like the page, become aware of the existence of the page.
5. Run a Fan’s-Only Contest
You can run a competition on your page where only fans can participate or a competition where a contestant’s image with the most likes, comments or shares, wins. This will ensure that the contest participants will share the image thus driving more traffic to your page. One time, Gathoni & I asked engaged couples to inbox us an image of them plus a 50 word how-we-met story. We then posted the images on our pages & the rule was that the image with the most unique likes & comments won an engagement shoot. From this competition alone we got 3-5K likes!!!!….as we all know everybody loves freebies 🙂
6. The Magic of a ‘Facebook Like Box’
In case you run a blog or website then you can embed a facebook like box there so that everyone who visits your blog/site can connect with you via the page. A good example is below
You can talk to your web developer to have it done for you, or if you operate a WordPress powered site then you can use a facebook widget like what I did here above. This is such an effective method as many people prefer to connect on a more personal level via your facebook page.
There you have it, these were some of the ways that have really worked for Gathoni & I, and I am sure if you can implement at least 3 of these ways you will say your presence on facebook grow by the double.
Thank you for dropping by as always…would love to know of any other methods that may have worked for you in the comments below….
As always, All Glory & honour belongs to our precious father in heaven,
Loads of Love, hugs & kisses,