You may not think of Facebook as new and edgy anymore. But you can’t deny its popularity. There are more than 2 billion monthly active Facebook users, with 1.37 billion actively using the social network every day.
It is no surprise, therefore, that many people and businesses try to earn money from Facebook. With such a vast potential audience, it makes good sense.
It can be challenging, though, to make money on Facebook. Because of Facebook’s sheer size, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. This is particularly the case now that Facebook only shows a selection of posts in a person’s feed. In fact is it probable that the statuses you lovingly craft and upload to your business page will reach no more than 2% of your followers.
Every time somebody opens their Facebook feed the Facebook algorithm goes through four steps to decide which posts it will show that person:
- Inventory – the algorithm examines all of the recent statuses shared by the person’s friends and the pages they follow.
- Signals – it then takes a look at a whole range of signals based on the user’s past behavior. These include, who made the post, the average time spent on content, post engagement, tagging and comments, how informative the post is, and many other signals. A significant signal from a money-making point of view is that the algorithm weights statuses from people as being more important than posts from pages.
- Predictions – the signal attempts to guess how the user will react to a particular story – will they share it, comment on it, read it, or ignore it?
- Score – The algorithm generates a Relevance Score for each post, based on the signals and its predictions.
When Facebook assembles a person’s feed, it only shows the posts with the highest Relevance Scores.
We have previously shown how Instagram, which is Facebook-owned, operates a similar scheme in How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm Without Actually Cheating.
Are You a Business, and Influencer, or Just an Ordinary Person?
Facebook is primarily a social network; an online place where people can hang out, socialize and share things of common interest. This is one of the reasons why it gives posts from someone’s personal account a higher weighting than posts from a page.
Businesses always have to bear this in mind. It will always be easier for people to spread their words on Facebook than it is for companies.
But it is not quite as clearcut as that.
If a person only has a small number of Facebook friends they will be unable to spread the word very far – unless they are able to share content so profound that people share it multiple times over, and it becomes viral.
On the other hand, if a person can attract a considerable number of supporters and then engage with them on a regular basis, they will find that their posts will appear in many people’s feeds.
So the best way to ensure that people hear what you have to say is to build your support base up to the extent that they consider you an influencer. When you reach that point, it is easy to make money on Facebook.
Business accounts should not be wholly ignored, however. If businesses operate their accounts well and share quality content on a regular basis, Facebook will recognize their efforts and increase their Relevance Scores.
And then, of course, there is Facebook Advertising, which can help give an extra push to the reach of posts. We have recently looked at How much do Facebook Ads Cost – the true Cost of Running Facebook Ads.
Build Your Audience First
You need to build up your expertise on Facebook by sharing a string of excellent posts – interesting links, images, and updates. To really succeed as an individual you should build up an area of interest where you can become recognized as an expert.
While businesses may choose to use influencers to market for them, they will probably also want to build up some form of Facebook presence themselves. Over time they can use it to help people recognize them as experts in their niche. Starbucks has shown how to do this well, and their page has 37 million followers.