I want to clarify a few misconceptions about Facebook as a promotional platform, especially for small businesses. I often get asked by small business owners about Facebook marketing and this is generally how it goes, “Neil, should we be on Facebook? John, one of my staff members said that it would be a really good idea to be on Facebook so we can get extra exposure. He’s willing to do it himself and he says it’s very cheap to do. It seems like a no brainer!”
So firstly Mr or Mrs Business Owner, it’s not as simple as your staff member makes it out to be. You need to consider the following:
- Once your own family and friends have liked the page, how are you going to reach a new audience?
- Did you know that the organic reach on a business’s Facebook post is now less than 3%, so that means if you have 1000 people following your business, only 30 of those people will be reached organically.
- How much time will your staff member take to find content to post? How does that time distract from his day-to-day job?
- Are you using Facebook to build your brand or generate leads?
- How often does a person purchase a product or service that you sell? The reason I ask this, if it’s say once a year – what are you going to communicate to this person for the other 364 days of the year? You can’t be in selling mode in every post – the person will quickly become frustrated by an over salesy approach and block your posts.
- Does the content that you post only exist in Facebook? If it exists somewhere else, like your website – who is going to update your website before every Facebook post?
- If you aren’t going to publish the content on your website and you decide to curate content from other websites, which means you are driving visitors away from your domain of influence, what are you going to do to turn them into a lead? And if you aren’t interested in the lead and you want to do it to build that trust – are you really going to put all that effort in to finding content on other websites so that only 3% of your audience can see it. And surely you aren’t going to put budget towards a post that will drive traffic to a website you don’t own?
All these questions go back to time and as a small business – time on a project can become a massive distraction and cost the business dearly. So without having a content strategy that can influence other channels like SEO, Adwords and Email – Social Media becomes a waste of time. If your focus is Facebook and you aren’t thinking about creating content assets, then you are most likely putting the cart before the horse.
We also need to go back to one of the points that I said earlier – the fact that most businesses are experiencing a less than 3% reach on their current Facebook audience. This means that ultimately it’s become a “PAY to PLAY” platform. To be effective on Facebook – you need a budget. Like I said in a previous video, if your content is good and it’s targeted to the right audience the content will most likely work quite hard for you, which means promotion budget will come down – BUT you still need budget to get that initial traction.
At the end of the day, Facebook promotion has become very strategic. If you don’t have a strategy and data to back up your performance – I’d advise to stay very, very far away from Facebook.