Why aren’t you showing up on Facebook anymore?

Have you tried posting on facebook and just not had any luck with it?

Which coaches are getting success? What types of post get the most likes? What get the most shares?

Here’s a clueit’s typically and unfortunately NOT well written, original articles. 

Look at the top celebrity coach, personal trainer, wellness expert or fitness model’s Facebook.  Spend 30 seconds scrolling through their Facebook page and see which posts have the most Facebook likes and shares.

The posts with the most engagement are either very personal (great if you want to create a personal brand) or meme’s.  Motivational quote’s are generally an eye-catching with an inspirational image overlaid.  Images of beautiful people seem to be the most popular although there are plenty of examples where a simple, well-timed, text-quote can do the job.

Take Bob Harper

Most famous for his work as the leading personal trainer for the Biggest Loser.  Look through his Facebook page over the last year.

In one example, Bob wrote #Word with a simple meme -“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”  He received almost 12,000 likes, 119 comments and 5949 shares.   This was around 10 x the average post engagement.

Another technique, great for personal trainers trying to create their own personal brand, is to be “vulnerable”.  Meaning to share what you’re really thinking, feeling or doing.  People seem to love being invited into those very special, personal, moments.  Again, check through the most successful Facebook pages of top personalities and you’ll notice a pattern emerging.

Again, take Bob.  Remember that great meme was 12,000 likes.  Well watch what happened when he posted simply  “#grumpselfie” at 4:45am in the morning with a picture of him being a grumpy bum.  This blew that last quote out of the water.  It was short, personable and clearly people liked it20,000 people did in fact, with 662 commenting and mind-boggling 828 sharing it.

One thing I’ve got to pull ol’ Bob up on is the really not very subtle, sponsor plugs that while it must be incredibly irritating for most people that get it in their feed all the time.  To his his credit, he did ask whether people preferred ‘blueberries’ or raspberries’ on their oatmeal and received 852 comments.  Really people …?! Was that really worth replying to?

Let’s take another fitness legend that kills it on Facebook…

Neghar Foonooni


Neghar’s dealing with a smaller audience base but is growing it really nicely.  It looks like a bad post would be 50 likes and a couple of shares.  So relatively, her post of “I can’t be the only one who goes to the gym covered in dog hair. I just can’t be.” was pretty likeable at 348 likes.  The only downside to getting some people nodding was that it wasn’t a very shareable post.  Bwah bwah.

Posting a personalised meme also works a treat but you’ve got to be careful that people can relate to it.  One of her best posts was “I have so many exciting projects in the mix right now, but none of that matters unless I execute those muthaeffin plans. My mantra for the coming months: Make. Shit. Happen.”  Results = 266 likes, 17 shares.  Not bad and more shareable that “dog hair” post..

Let’s have a look at some more.

“Stop beating yourself up over every little “slip” or perceived failure. Positive thinking promotes positive action. Everything is a learning opportunity.” This milked 339 likes and 33 shares from her audience because it was affirming, positive, relatable, personalised and not too long.

If you want to expose yourself up to some more upside and downside then you can look at being more controversial.  People like strong opinions and you shake the tree a little.  Contraversy is good because it forces fence sitters to think.  The one’s that aren’t that into you drift away.  The one’s that you really want will be drawn to you.

This is an example of how Neghar used controversy – “Today I heard the term “bikini bridge” for the first time (via my friend and fellow body-love enthusiast, Liz DiAlto) and had to google it to find out what the *eff* it was. (If you don’t know, you can google it. I refuse to link it here because it’s just not ELBH material).”.  Look at the result.  690 likes, 106 comments and 88 shares.  Great stuff.

So we know that it’s not only motivational quotes and meme’s that work but as a bread an butter – they’re great.  They may not be the most engaging (controversy is great for this) but they get people nodding in agreement with you and sharing with others that also might start nodding at what you’re saying.

Meme’s and motivational quotes

The best thing about Meme’s and motivational quotes is that unlike talking or sharing longer stuff about yourself or your fitness philosophy, there’s an endless supply of easy to reach material and you can post them all day long without pissing people off.

You can post them often because they’re positive, affirmative and generally non-contentious concepts that colour your audience’s wall.  On that point, you’ve got to realise that with each post you’re only accessing a fraction of your audience at a time and even small number of people’s attention.  This is one spiralling problem with Facebook in my view.

This was noted in a Tech Crunch article by Josh Contine that gave a simple overview on the likelihood of your post being shown on your readers wall.  Interest x Post (this posts performance with other users) x Creator (past performance with other users) x Type (user prefers e.g. image) x Recency  (how new it is) = Visibility.  This is very simplistic since Facebook uses around 100,000 little indicators to help choose whether to show or hide your post from your target audience.

It then looked at the fact that a the longer we have an account with Facebook, the larger our lists of likes, the larger our number of friends and the longer the queue of information is.

If you don’t like numbers skip this paragraph but this article showed some very telling numbers.  Facebook says that an average user might have 1500 posts that can possibly appear in the feed but that is getting larger by the day and could total 15000.  That’s a mighty long queue.  With only a finite number of hours in the day and attention span for Facebook – there’s probably only a few dozen to a few hundred a day that might get viewed.  In the last 2 years alone, the organic reach – percentage of their friends or fans that see their feed posts – has been declining rapidly from 16% to 6% in mid 2014.  That means you could post 20 times a week and only get seen once.

Will your post get your readers attention?

It seems the way Facebook is set up means that it’s going to be harder to make posting on Facebook worthwhile and paying for exposure isn’t a sure thing either.   You need to posts all the time, that are consistently and highly shareable and a large enough audience to spread your message around.

Think about it for a moment.  If you don’t post regularly and timely enough, then your “recency” indicator is going to put you on the back foot before your audience is ready to read your post.  If you don’t get some early “like” traction, Facebook is going to think your post isn’t worth showing – making it damn sure your post isn’t going to get viewed or shared.  And if your posts in general haven’t had much traction in the past, Facebook is going to hold that against you.

My 5 big take-away thoughts on health coaches looking to post on Facebook are:

  1. Fill with “nodding posts” – meme’s and quotes – that people can instantly like and can easily relate/engage
  2. Mix up with “big hitters” where you’ve really put time & energy into jumping off the page.
  3. Use imagery because there’s a good chance that’s what your readers like more often than not.
  4. Be careful of pushing your own agenda too much because it’s not about getting it on your page – it’s about getting your message on your readers FRIEND’s wall feed.
  5. Keep your message short.  According to a brilliant article by Kevan Lee at Buffer, which I’ll look at in a follow on post, the ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters.

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