The Secret To Incredible Facebook Engagement Without Paying For Ads

Written by Mary Romeo of Bee Business Smart. 

Let’s reminisce for a minute.  Remember the days when you posted on Facebook and your customers would flock to your store to buy whatever you had talked about or take advantage of your sale.  That was before Facebook was a pay-to-play platform….and life was good.

Now you post a picture of your merchandise or talk about a promotion in your store and it’s crickets.  Did anybody see it?  Why didn’t they at least like the post?  Or share?  The truth is they probably didn’t see it.  That’s just the way that Facebook plays these days and —them that owns the ball makes the rules!

Don’t get me wrong, Facebook being pay-to-play is a good thing!

Back when we did newspaper advertising or radio, you bought ad time or space and you prayed that someone saw or heard it.  You could somewhat target your customer in a very general manner.  In the newspaper, you might have been buried in the bottom half of the left-hand page next to an article about lord-only-knows-what.  And your radio ads were just as likely to run at 5am as they would in drive time.  It was the “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” method of reaching your customer.

We rode the wave of free, fabulous Facebook engagement for a long time and we got spoiled.  But Facebook is just like us.  They’re here to make money.

Truth be told, there’s really no better way to create highly targeted advertising whether you’re geo-targeting your ideal customer or searching for them based on interests.  Facebook advertising lets you find exactly the customer who is your perfect customer,  who wants your product and is likely to buy.

If you’re a cookware store and want to advertise to the mother of two, who’s an accountant, and likes to cook, reads Food Network magazine and Martha Stewart and lives within 5 miles of your store…you can find her and deliver an ad to her!  That’s the magic of targeted Facebook advertising.

But if you don’t want to pay-to-play on Facebook—or even if you do and you also want to have better engagement–there’s a way that you may not have thought about.

Facebook Groups 

We all know the mantra that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.  So why not reward those customers by giving them an exclusive place where they’ll hear about your specials, promotions, and new merchandise first.  Where you can be certain that they’re seeing your posts and where you can nurture the relationship.

How to do that?  Create a closed Facebook group just for your customers.  Facebook groups are a great way to build raving fans, get significant engagement and reach everyone with every post.  Isn’t that what we want from our Social Media.  Yes!

How To Get Customers To Join 

You can invite customers to join based on a variety of criteria.  Some ideas might be to have them “check-in” at your store 3 or 4 times on their Facebook page.  Or maybe it’s a dollar amount spent.  Better yet, just give them access to the group in exchange for their email address which is the ultimate end result you always want from your customers.

So, go, create your private group of fanatical fans and get back to the Social Media engagement that we learned to love before!

Written by Mary Romeo of BEE BUSINESS SMART, a retail resource website for brick and mortar retailers offering tips, tools, resources, information and inspiration to take the overwhelm out of the everyday.  Mary Romeo, a 23-year retail veteran created this on-line business to connect, inspire and work with retailers.  She understands the 1001 hats that a retailer wears every day in running their stores, managing their staff and building their sales and created BEE BUSINESS SMART to be the resource for them to turn to.   Be sure to see the 9 TOP TOUCHPOINTS OF EVERY GREAT RETAIL STORE  at

Photo Credit: Provided by Bee Business Smart with permission to use. 

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