What To Do If Only Friends And Family Engage On Your VALUE Posts
My content is not working, I only have friends and family engaging on my posts.
If this thought has ever crossed your mind and perhaps made you question if you are doing something wrong, or perhaps even worse, that nobody is interested in what you have to say (or what you help other with), I beg you to keep reading.
You see there is so much noise about building engagement and that it is all about “going viral”. You might be following influencers in your industry to are getting hundreds of comments on each post and you simply cannot figure out what to do to get there.
Yet there is a small thing that most gurus conveniently avoid telling you. And I am about to break it down for you to equip you with the knowledge and empower you make some slight adjustments and start falling in love with your journey without getting overwhelmed with things like lack of engagement on your posts. We have more in life that needs our involvement, like family and things we enjoy doing than worrying about this.
Let’s start with addressing the mechanics, the purpose and the likelihood of engagement, as well as the expectations you may and should have when you are growing your visibility, especially on Facebook.
1. YOUR AUDIENCE
One of the most obvious reasons, that may be completely hidden from your view right now is the QUALITY of your immediate audience.
How many friends do you have connected to your profile? A couple of hundreds?
Who is in your friend lists mostly? Mostly family, friends and old co-workers and stuff?
Why would these people be interested in your business?
Do they have a specific problem that your business offers a great solution to?
Now is the time when you need to stop thinking in term of :” …but I also can help those people and those people” and REALLY focus on defining who you want to work with. What is the definition of your ideal client? What is the burning problem that they have that they are sick and tired of dealing with and who feel that NOW is the time for them to look for the solution.
Focusing on your ideal client is the KEY to successfully growing your business because as long as you are unclear about who they are, you will be unclear about what people you need to have in your audience to actually generate response to your posts. (And notice that I used the word RESPONSE, not engagement. More about it later)
When you have that ideal client in mind, think about the very top-level visual attributes, that will help you recognize them from just looking at their Facebook profile. Age group. Location. Professions or industry (if that is relevant to you). Family status. Appearance sometimes if you are a health and wellness coach.
For me, for example, the top-level would be seeing that the person is either a coach or expert who offers online programs/consultancy/services/some quality products (I occasionally attract great clients from the network marketing niche). They would be anywhere between 37-64 years old. Females. They would be somewhat active and posting about their business on their personal profile occasionally (because all my strategies would require them to be open to marketing their personal brands and businesses from their personal profile as well as Business page (if they like) or their Facebook group. (Otherwise, how can they grow it?)
At a glance I would not know if they are looking for more guidance with organic marketing and authority building, or if they are coachable or ready to hire me, those things happen on a different stage.
Go ahead and decide on the top-level of your preferred clientele and write it down. These are people you will now be looking for to add them to your friends list on your Facebook personal profile. You can find them anywhere where big groups of people are looking for a solution that is similar to what you offer, or perhaps complimentary to it.
For example, I find that great clients have come to me from Facebook groups where the main topic is email marketing, webinars, funnel building, even public speaking, as well as groups focusing on marketing strategies, tools that can be used for some automation, or payment processes. So whatever my ideal client might need or think that they need, they are likely to be members in these kinds of groups.
Your goal is to think what sort of problems your clients may have (in addition to what you do) or what information and support they may seek elsewhere and you can start connecting to those people.
THIS is how you are going to solve the problem of having a wrong audience that does not care about what you are posting.
The more people you connect (and do not worry about the 5000 friends limit as you can always unfriend some people you have been connected for a while but never really engaged or if they do not fit your defined audience criteria at a later stage. Only gurus who sell support and programs around growing your Business Pages on Facebook (usually with ads, or some sort of software, like bots) use the 5K limit to put you off using your personal profile.
But the reality is that there are thousands of extremely successful 7-figure coaches, consultants and experts on Facebook that (although they all do have a Business Page), do all their business on their personal profile, though connecting to the right people, posting really compelling content and following up with those who look like a potential lead.
That is the secret and it is so simple, but most people try to avoid it, because it feels too personal and scary. Yet it is nothing different from approaching clients in the offline world. If you are scared to pick up the phone and call a potential client, or talk about what you do at events where you meet a lot of people — this is where your business is doomed. Please do not assume the online world is different, because it works based on exactly the same principle: get seen, get heard, spark attention, make offer, follow up.
2. YOUR CONTENT
When you have an audience that you know has a potential to seek a solution you offer or at the very least is open to what you have to say, the next factor is going to be your content. In order to get people comment on your posts, you must create content that presents you in multiple dimensions and is authentic. You also need to understand what people on Facebook engage with more, why and how to leverage this to your advantage.
People do not open their Facebook app to shop, hire experts, get some sort of education. All these things happen as a consequence of the main reason. They are bored, and they feel the fear of missing out (FOMO) in case they miss something important. Maybe that video from Pittie Nation is going to make them feel loved. Maybe there is a debate they can add to and feel rebellious or important. (I truly believe my husband goes on Facebook to abuse some politicians as the primary although unknown to him purpose). It is just how we are.
More rarely we are specifically opening Facebook when we are looking for information. Usually information find us as we scroll mindlessly through the Newsfeed. And THIS is where you have a chance to post something that will stop the scroll.
It could be a very in-dept post about something you are such an expert as. And because people who you are connected to already have some sort of interest in this type of information, they may stop to read through your long post or watch your video. But when do they engage?
In my experience the people who engage with my content most are 90% of my current and past clients. In other words they are people who have experience the transformations and the magic of working with me, and they are purely reciprocity-driven when they engage with me. We do engage more with people we personally know — it is a fact of life.
So when you see all those big coaches with tonnes of engagement, the same is true about them. Most of their audience has experiences one or more programs, products/mini-courses, masterclasses, just really valuable livestreams even. The more they experienced your magic, the stronger that connection, the more likely they are to engage. I am an expert on this because I only ever engage with those experts and coaches who I have experienced in at least a VERY valuable live stream.
Especially if they called out my name. Oh yes, we humans are that vain! And I am only human.
So start creating really valuable live trainings that your audience members can attend, this is where the engagement will start. During these livestreams make sure you say your viewer’s names out loud. This is especially easy to see on your phone as the mobile app shows who are watching even of they didn’t engage. Take an opportunity to engage with them even BEFORE they engage with you! Trust me this works.
Another tip is to ask for a micro engagement throughout the livestream. Ask them to comment with a number or an emoji if they agree with a statement you made. Ask them to rate themselves on a scale from 1-5 on the topic you are discussing. Get them to say Hi, to tell you where they are watching from.
Encouraging these kinds of micro engagements actually builds a massive number at the end. I had a training with only about 7 or 8 live viewers that had 124 comments inside my group. It is all about asking for engagement.
The same applies to long-form written posts. Always ask for something in the end even if it just an emoji to show that they agree with you.
By the way, a PRO TIP: ask for the smallest, simplest thing or reply. Do not ask deep questions. Not only people are not always willing to go deep in their answers, often it is just the amount of typing that instantly puts them off engaging. I love asking my audience for a GIF in the comment as it is a very interactive and fun way to express yourself, plus it can depict and emotion or a response that they do not need to type.
Another fact to keep in mind is that even when people love your value posts, they are so much likelier to engage with something a little less expertise based and more ordinary life based. Your location -are there any amazing looking places you can take a selfie from? Or go life talking about how you love it there? Do you have a pet? Use them and anything funny they do as your brand theme — it will also show you which of your audience members share your passion for animals and nature.
Remember our ideal clients will become part of our lives for a while, so when our worldviews overlap, it creates an amazing soulful experience for both. If the worldviews clash — this is where the inner resentment can arise and poison your working relationships.
Here is how you can take advantage of more personal posts that get much more engagement and use it for more visibility as an expert.
Every time someone engages with your post (any post), Facebook will slightly bump it up to the top of Newsfeed for more people to see. Every time you reply to the comment, same happens. This is why you may sometimes notice posts that you commented days ago still showing in the Newsfeed. This happens because they got more comments and comments boost their position in the Newsfeed. See why asking for the engagement is so important? The more comments your video get, the more people you are connected to are shown that video.
And just in case you are not aware, I must mention this basic fact: even if you are connected to 5000 people, the only people who see your content in their Newsfeed are those you engaged with, spoke on Messenger or who regularly engage with your posts. It is not that the rest are ignoring you! They just never see your posts. This is why you going into your friends list and engaging with people you are connecting on their post must be a 10-min a day strategy in your marketing. GIVE and be re-given! Engage the algorithm and more of your own posts will be seen. I cover a very simple 5x5x5 Visibility That Sells daily action plan inside my Ultimate Visibility Kit — click here to grab a copy.
Let family and friend engage — this only helps your post reach more people, who may not be engaging, but may well be watching and reading your stuff. Not everyone understands Facebook and how to use it (you probably don’t either, since you are reading this, so we need to be patent with our audience).
Even a picture of your cat is super valuable to get people engaging with it, because the next post you will post tomorrow, a serious expertise-based value post, or even an open “invitation to work with you” post will be seen by all the people who engaged and many, many more who are silently watching you.
A quick word about the “lurkers” — do not get offended if you are one of them. There are 1001 reasons not to engage even when we find the content really valuable. It is hard for the content creator as there is less instant validation of their effort — but this is irrelevant to how lead generation works, it requires a specific mindset shift: fall in love with the process and let go of the instant outcomes.
Have you ever tried losing weight or get into shape. Same story. A workout does not result in a six-pack, but consistent workouts combined with excellent nutrition plan will eventually get you there. In the time frame specific to you and what needs shifting. And there is nothing you can do but commit to the process 100%. THIS will get you the results you desire. It is exactly the same in business.
Back to lurking, I am a lurker myself I sometimes. There are experts who are brilliant at what they share and I sometimes secretly stalk them without engaging before purchasing something from them or hiring them. Why? I like to do things on my terms and I do not like them know too early I may be a lead. It is a totally normal behavior, especially if you are looking for high-ticket clients. They rarely engage but often become our clients. So see, engagement is not an indication if your lead generation is working. AT ALL!
4. CALL TO ACTION
I already mentioned it throughout this article, but engagement is all about asking for it. Known in marketing as Call To Action.
Create a mixture of posts that is focused on engagement and generating simple, easy to partake discussions just as much as content positioning you as an expert. Even a silly joke post that will get a lot of comments will work for your advantage as you get the benefit of increased reach, and also the people who engage will see more of your posts — but then it brings me back to the first point- you need to grow your audience with highly targeted people in order to start attracting more people who want to work with you. If you do not grow your audience, you only get those family members and friends who engage to see more of your posts.
And lastly when we talk about asking, it is important that you make a lot of offers. This means explaining what you do and inviting people to get in touch with you if this is what they are looking for. You can add this to your value posts or post open invitations to work with you on your personal profile without a fear of getting banned or suspended.
The only thing Facebook prohibits on your personal profile is selling access to business tools and intelligence and openly spamming people with sale posts, trying to use the profile as a business (you saw those profiles that do not even use a real person’s name).
When you talk ABOUT your business, even if you are inviting people to have a conversation with you, it is nothing to do with any business tools Facebook uses like charging your clients. We do not use Facebook to process our transactions, therefore we are not going near any business tools it offers. In fact personal profiles have no access to that sort of intelligence unless we use the Business Page to create ads, use automation funnels (bots) or look into some insights.
So the whole things is very vague and when you look at it closely — should not stop you from creating the visibility, connections and the opportunities that are possible and that you deserve.
Engagement is not a metric that determines how successful your social media marketing strategy is. The number of people reaching out to talk about your programs (leads) and those who you convert (clients) is the only valid measurement of how well or poorly you are doing.
And to do it well you need to:
- Have a fresh, high targeted, quality audience,
- Be super clear explaining what you do and create true value in your educational content
- Build connection and rapport through some personal posts
- Actually regularly invite them to raise their hands or reach out if they need your help.
If you need guidance and help, check out how I could support you inside of one of my available programs or intensives. Or grab a copy of the Ultimate Visibility Kit below and start yourself today
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Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia.