Finding allies on Facebook is a powerful form of Facebook marketing, and a great way to grow your audience. It gives you the opportunity to create win-win relationships that will not only serve you up-front, but that can be scaled up to continue providing you with new leads and customers for a long time to come.
How to Find Facebook Allies
Finding allies on Facebook is a powerful way to grow your audience. It gives you the opportunity to create win-win relationships that will not only serve you up-front, but that can be scaled up to continue providing you with new leads and customers for a long time to come.
There are two types of allies that I’m going to discuss in this post.
The first type of Facebook allies are those which are technically your competitors. These allies are harder to win over but, since your audience is essentially the exact same, there is a much higher chance of success once an alliance is achieved.
The second type of ally is another business that doesn’t compete against you directly, but serves the same niche. If you sell hiking boots, you can create strategic alliances with companies that sell wool socks, survival kits, hiking packs, etc.
Facebook Allies Among Your Competitors
In your niche, you are sure to have competitors. Many of those competitors will view you as a threat. In the beginning they will largely ignore you or even try to discourage you. However, all businesses – even those in the same industry, serving the same niche – are unique. They all have their benefits and advantages. Understanding this, some of your competitors will be open to cooperating with you in a way that benefits your customers and serves both of your interests. It’s a win-win-win arrangement.
Facebook Allies in Your Niche
Businesses that serve your customers, but don’t directly compete with you can be powerful and profitable Facebook allies. The possibility for strong synergistic partnerships among this group of businesses is very high, as long as you can persuasively answer the question “what’s in it for them?”. The biggest downside to this type of partnership is that your customers may not perfectly overlap.
Start by Engaging
What Not To Do
A lot of businesses, new to Facebook, are tempted by the prospect of going to a competitor’s page and commenting on one of their posts with a link to your page or website. If you do that enough times and with enough of your competitors, you’re bound to generate traffic, right?
Wrong. In reality your links will get deleted, your competitor’s audience will think you’re scummy, and you’ll likely get banned. This is a morally cheap strategy that will only hurt your business, and it’s a waste of time. Don’t do it
This also applies to non-competitors that serve the same niche. You’ll get their attention, and the attention of their audience, but not in a positive way. You will only succeed in getting a bad reputation and making it harder for yourself to forge alliances in the future.
How Present Yourself Positively to Potential Facebook Allies
Start With Content
At this point you are probably wondering how you can present yourself to potential partners in a positive way. The answer to this question, like the answer to so many others is, “share high-quality content”, and the best place to do this is within Facebook Groups.
It doesn’t matter who actually created the content (as long as you are honest about accreditation), or where that content links to. What matters is that it is high quality content that provides meaningful value to your potential ally’s audience.
After you post that content you need to be available to answer any comments quickly. Aim to be a facilitator and mediator of meaningful discussion. Try to position yourself as the “go to” source of information in your niche while also complimenting your potential ally and making them look good.
In fact, every post, comment, reply, or engagement you participate in on your potential ally’s page must be done within the context of giving them value. As you do this you will earn the trust of your potential ally’s audience without making that potential ally feel like you’re encroaching on their territory or trying to leech away their customers.
Another way to engage is to ask deep, insightful, and meaningful questions. If you post frivolous or stupid questions, the audience is going to think that you are stupid, and your potential ally is going to think you are ridiculous.
Your questions should make people think and bring, to the forefront, the real issues, problems, and thoughts that the audience has. Try to cut to the heart of the various issues, or bring in multiple problems into one solution. The better quality of questions you post, the more your audience will associate you with a positive, thought-provoking experience.
Whenever someone else posts or engages with you, respond to them. Always be respectful. Just because you are not allowed to ask stupid questions, does not mean that other people won’t. If that happens, be patient and helpful. Always be constructive; you don’t want to come across like a “hater” or as someone who is unnecessarily negative or pessimistic.
Remember: your goal is to add value. Aim to leave every conversation just a little bit better off than you found it.
How to Reach Out to Facebook Allies
When You’ve Earned Credibility
How do you know when you have actually succeeded in building credibility and are seen as an asset by the audience? As you continue to participate in meaningful engagements, you will begin seeing that people begin asking for you by name. They will also reach out via Facebook Messenger to ask questions directly. When that starts happening, you know that you have earned high credibility and are showing up on people’s radar.
You have successfully moved away from being “that guy” that just shows up, drops a link, and disappears. Instead you are someone who helps keep the group together, provides answers, and has become a “pillar of the community”.
Types of Partnerships
Once you’ve earned your credibility, you can begin reaching out to potential Facebook allies. But what are you reaching out for? There are actually quite a bit of opportunities available. Here I’ll cover some of the more popular ones, but don’t limit yourself. You and your team should brainstorm to come up with new and unique ways to partner with other businesses.
Ask to Swap Content
With this arrangement you reach out to a page admin and see if they would be willing to share some of your content in exchange for you sharing some of their content. There are several types of content you can provide – anything from infographics, to downloadable checklists, to a “Top 10 Tips and Tricks” list. This type of partnership is a simple arrangement that most admins will be open to.
Ask for a Shout Out
With this arrangement you ask the page admin to post a link. In conjunction with the link, they should tell their fans to check out your page because you are a “friend”. In exchange, you would do the same. This tactic is most likely to bring you new Likes when used with other businesses that serve the same customers but aren’t direct competitors.
Setup Joint Online Events
Joint events have two great benefits. First, it gets you both in front of your respective audiences. Second, it allows you and your partner to interact directly. Popular formats for such events might include seminars, webinars, Facebook Live sessions, or even an interview.
Ask to Guest Blog
There are several benefits to guest blogging for a popular partner. Such benefits including: additional eyeballs on your link (which will translate to traffic on your site), and an increased SEO (Search Engine Optimization) score for the back link, especially if your partner has a high value blog.
When reaching out to pitch your guest blog, do so with a post topic already in mind. It should be relevant to their audience, but not something that they are already an expert on. By checking those two boxes you ensure that you are providing value to them as well as their readers. It also opens the possibility for further collaborations later down the line.