Last week I came across an article entitled “7 Reasons Why Facebook Doesn’t Give a Sh*t about Your Business Page.” Intrigued by the titled, I clicked the link. As someone who manages five Facebook Fan/Business pages, I can attest to the fact that Facebook doesn’t care whether your followers see your posts or not. On average Facebook allows you to reach 10% of your audience. Why? Because they want you to pay for ads and promoted posts. So how do you get around Facebook’s roadblocks without paying?

1. Use Great Images. You ever wonder why the cute puppy picture received a gazillion likes, shares and comments, but an informative news article didn’t receive half of that engagement? It’s because the cute puppy is a great image! Facebook is completely image driven now. So stop simply posting links and focus on images. With every link you should attach a powerful image, one that will force your audience to stop in their tracks and read what you’re posting. In my experience archival pictures work great for this. Also, consider what your audience is discussing. If you post an image about what they are already talking about, they are more likely to stop AND click. Plus, pictures make your timeline look prettier. See number seven.

2. Think likes, comments and shares. Facebook isn’t going to give you access to all of your audience, so you have to reach your audience in a different way. The easiest way to expand your reach is by increasing your engagement. When those who see your post like, comment on and share your content, your post enters the news feeds of their friends. Now their friends are able to see your content, and if they enjoy it, in addition to liking the content, they may also like your page.

3. It’s not all about you! When creating and curating content, we have the habit of focusing solely on our business goals. News break: 80% of the time, your audience doesn’t care about what you’re selling. Your audience is looking for information and expertise. Your product is extra. If your page feels like you’re always trying to sell me something, I’m not going to engage with it…and will probably unfollow it soon. So follow the 80/20 rule–80 percent info and 20 percent self-promotion.

4. Know your audience. In order to produce content that is relevant to your audience, you must know who they are. How old are they? Where do they live? When do they log onto Facebook? What do they like? What information is important to them? This info is imperative when creating content that your audience can relate to and interact with. It’s going to take some time to gather this information. To get started, click the likes tab on your fan page. This will supply you with important demographic information to help you begin to dissect your audience. After this, take notes. What is your audience responding to? When are they responding? How are they responding? This will help you determine what information is important to your audience and what you should be posting.

5. Know when to post. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if you’re posting when your audience isn’t online. There are a million “studies” that offer advice on when you should be posting to Facebook…and most of them contradict each other. The key to knowing when to post is knowing your audience. When are they logged onto Facebook? That’s when you want to post.

6. Post multiple times a day. Look at each post as an opportunity to lead a Facebook user back to your page to discover the wealth of knowledge you’re sharing. They will flip through your timeline photo album (another reason you should post pictures and not just links. See number one.) and click on the links that you’ve previously shared. Don’t over post. And don’t post unnecessary stuff. But don’t under post either. Think five post a day, four informative and one promotional (see number three).

7. Keep your page pretty. Before liking a page, I always examine its timeline to determine if I want to like it. Three things turn me off immediately: 1) the same content posted multiple times, 2) lots of text and links and few/no images, and 3) Twitter accounts linked to Facebook. All three of these produce timelines that aren’t aesthetically pleasing. It also shows you’re not producing content tailored for Facebook. To properly engage your Facebook audiences, see number one.

Kia TVOneKia Smith is a digital media consultant who specializes in social media strategy. She presently works as social media coordinator at Spelman College. For more information, visit www.iamkiaspeaks.com. Kia can be contacted at Kia@IAmKiaSpeaks.com.