Facebook and I have a love-hate relationship. Every time I think I have it figured out, their algorithms change and something doesn’t work the way it used to. However, this is one of our largest social media platforms, so utilizing the service to stay in touch with large audiences is still important to our outreach efforts.
Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to help several farmers grow their audience on Facebook Pages by sharing advice on content and engaging with people. In several cases, these pages have grown to several thousand, even tens of thousands of fans.
With this many people interacting with Facebook pages, we have looked at the insights to determine certain things that work and others that don’t. While Facebook algorithms are always changing, below are a few tips that tend to work well over time. Apply these strategies to grow your audience as you share content for your agriculture Facebook Page.
Share common experiences
Baby calves (and humans), cats and dogs always get views. But that cannot be all we share. Consistently throughout the years, sharing common, everyday experiences from the farm and ranch have been my most popular posts. Content that describes activities throughout your day that may be commonplace to a farmer or rancher, is usually foreign and interesting to those who have never experienced it. Passion, enthusiasm and excitement are infectious and relatable.
One important note on sharing content, especially photos or memes, is to ALWAYS give credit to the original author/creator. Saving photos and reposting them as originals is NOT the appropriate way to share content. Click the ‘Share’ button and give credit where it’s due.
Utilize live video
Facebook wants to capitalize in the field of live streaming online videos. These videos will show up in viewers News Feeds with higher priority compared to other content types. Videos such as a calving cow, walking through the corrals, loading bulls in a trailer are some of my most watched over the years. Dairy Carrie takes her fans inside the milking parlor. The Farmer’s Life has millions of views from his kid driving the tractor in planting season. Keep your videos short and interactive. Respond to comments and take your audience on a virtual tour of your work on the farm or ranch.
Due to algorithms that show us content from pages we interact with most often, it’s important to share engaging content on a consistent basis. This may mean posting anywhere from one to three times daily. Utilize the scheduling feature to make this easier to manage regular posting. Be sure to feature holidays and events, or post around a certain theme on days of the week (i.e. Throwback Thursday or Meaty Monday recipes). Always be real and authentic with your content. Let your personality shine through.
Do not boost posts
Pay Facebook once and they’ll never let you go. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but I have seen it destroy post reach. Boosting a single post generally kills the rest of your content during that week. If you have a continuing budget for consistently boosted posts, that may work. But if you only have the budget for an occasionally boosted post, my experience says you’re better off to invest that effort in sharing engaging content.
Include multiple contributors
It’s much easier to be consistent if you have several people sharing the responsibility of curating content. Collaborate with a neighbor, friend or co-worker. Consider creating one page that highlights farms/ranches in your area instead of duplicating the effort and spreading the audience too thin. Also, it’s valuable to have a few editors added to your page to help monitor audience feedback and moderate negativity or spam postings that should be deleted.
To learn more, I suggest you follow a few of my favorite Facebook pages
What other suggestions do you have to make Facebook Pages a success by growing engaged audiences?
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