The changing role of Facebook Pages — why content and likes still matter.
On a fairly regular basis I see articles and comments flooding my newsfeed about another impending change to the Facebook algorithm and how the power of Facebook Pages is dwindling.
People continue to question the on-going investment they should make in creating and posting content to the platform and whether or not accumulating page likes is even a metric that matters anymore.
BUT, before you begin throwing your Facebook Page content plan out with the bath water, consider the below 3alternatives to why your Facebook Page is an important part of your marketing strategy.
Social proof & social discovery
I talk about the extended buyer journey by Brian Solis a lot. In his view of the customer journey, after someone is aware that you exist, the general next step anyone will take is to Google you or your product, visit your website or check out your social media pages in a quest to find out how good your business is and see if you fit their needs.
Your Facebook Page (and other social channels) have become an extension to or sometimes a replacement to your website when customers want to know more about you. Facebook’s review feature, what existing customers are saying on your page, how many followers you have (popularity/trust), what’s your message or offer, does your brand ‘why’ resonate with them? At the social discovery phase, consumers are seeking reasons to help them make a call on whether to consider your business or product in their purchase considerations.
To some extent, consumers place more value on social pages and forums for references and information about what you offer than owned websites — what’s shared there is a ore rounded view and not just a one-sided version of what you want to tell them. Seeing an array of consumer generated content, brand led content and customer feedback in one place provides great social proof and validation that this might be a worthwhile business to place in their consideration set.
The value of warm leads
When people visit your website and then leave without taking the action you want, we then pay to retarget them, via our Facebook pixel, Google Adwords or display advertising. We do this, because these people are warm leads, they’ve shown curiosity in what we have to offer and are more likely to purchase from us that complete strangers — in short, they are primed for the consideration phase of any sales funnel.
People who choose to like your Facebook Page provide a similar level of quality leads against which to target our marketing efforts. If someone has decided to like your page, they have made an open declaration to consider your offer and show interest in your business. As with any other marketing channel on offer for retargeting, yes, more and more, you need to pay to reach this audience with future messages, but with cluttered inboxes and a large volume of time spent scrolling Facebook newsfeeds, this is a valuable way to retarget and connect with an existing and future customer base.
Customer service & post-purchase experience
As consumers we’re generally lazy and when we have a question or a complaint, when we want answers to a frustration we might be having or a query to aid us in our decision making, we want to check it off our list ASAP.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I want to reach out to a business, I just don’t have time generally to sit on a phone, wait in line and then hope I get through in the 10 minute break I’m taking from my work or my down time.
Customers want easy access to our business and many use Facebook pages to post their comments, questions or complaints expecting someone to get back to them through the channel they like to use most.
They also post because it’s public and while we might prefer to keep these types of interactions under wraps, it’s no longer our choice where consumers express their mis-givings. And when resolved well, public expressions of customer service can actually work in our favour.
What does that mean for Facebook Page content planning and investment moving forwards?
- Rethink your frequency — less is more when you are not trying to play the algorithm
- Adapt your posted content to inform & relate vs engage — you want content that paints the most rounded picture of your business when people hit your page. Content that builds trust, showcases your product, ignites interest and answers questions.
- Actively share updates, customer satisfaction and reviews — make sure the content isn’t one sided. Showcase your consumer’s voices as well as your own.