Are Small Business Owners Marketing Properly Facebook?
One of the questions I get asked the most whenever I speak about Facebook Marketing at an event or consult for a client is this…
How can I use Facebook to promote my products and services, and actually get results, with all the constant changes?
Now, that question is usually phrased differently by different individuals I speak with, but it is usually focused on the same thing.
How effective can Facebook be for my business… is it worth it?
I usually address this question by first of all finding out what the business owner’s objective(s) is/are on Facebook.
From what I gather, I can then provide a more concise and relevant answer.
So, I’ll share some tips here with you, and hopefully it will be of value if you.
What Are Your Objectives?
I usually break it down this way…
- More fans?
- More Brand Exposure?
- More Downloads (Apps, Software, Ebook, etc)?
- More Leads?
- More Sales?
Without defining your core objective, you will end up going round in circles on Facebook with no guarantee of a good ROI.
What’s Your Strategy?
Remember, Facebook is designed to be an interactive platform (a social network basically), and when we go outside of that design, we open up ourselves and business for outcomes that are not so great.
It’s often said “there’s nothing like bad publicity”, well, within the context of small businesses, I’d beg to differ.
When you become an object of bad publicity within a social network like Facebook (or any other one for that matter), not only is your business affected, your reputation goes down the drain as well.
Again… what’s your strategy?
- Are you posting on groups? If yes, what exactly are you posting?
- Are you paying attention and asking questions within these groups you belong to?
- Are you consistently spamming within your groups?
- Do you have a fan page? If yes, how often do you share content on it?
- Are you still indulging in “like baiting”?
- Are you more inclined to post links about your products or affiliates products than share valuable content?
- How often do you post in a day?
- Are you consistently indulging in “push selling” than adding value first?
- Are you advertising? If yes, are you sending people to quality offers or something of less value to them?
- How much have you set aside for your Ads, and how much have you gained or lost in the process?
- What is your content all about and who is it for?
- What types of content do you put out the most?
- Are you getting people engaged with your content?
- What metrics do you monitor the most within Facebook? Likes, Comments, Shares, or Reach (i.e. impressions)?
- Do you know your target demographic, and how to reach them within Facebook?
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there for now.
The aim here is mainly to get you thinking about the activities you have been carrying out within Facebook.
It is for you to also figure out which ones have been detrimental to your success and the ones that are capable of getting you the results you need.
Also, you need to have a well defined marketing funnel within your business, in order to send quality traffic through, for the purpose of lead generation and conversion into paying customers.
Do you have this in place?
How Do You Define Your ROI (Return on Investment)?
My goals when marketing on Facebook may not be the same as yours, even though our core aim of using the platform may be to promote our business.
We could look at breaking this down in this pattern…
- Traffic => Leads => Sales (Organic & Paid)?
- Traffic => Leads => Downloads (Organic & Paid)?
- Ad Placement => New Fans?
- Ad Placement => Blog Comments and Shares?
- Ad Placement => Joint Venture Partners?
There are a lot of other aspects, but I’ll stop there so as not to overwhelm you.
ROI is usually determined based on the end result of whatever you set out to achieve (your end goal).
If what you get in return is not equal to or greater than what you put in, then such ROI is often considered to be poor… in some cases “terrible”.
In order to have a positive ROI within Facebook, you must ensure you are more focused on providing as much value as possible (whether through your Ads or your engagement within groups, your page, other pages, and your personal profile).
Are You Still Social?
When the “Social” element is taken out of Facebook (or any social network), the value of the information presented diminishes in the eyes of the users.
In order to separate business from pleasure, I usually advice business owners to create a fan page for their (mainly because it works a well with the Facebook advertising platform).
I’ve had people send messages to my Facebook inbox after I accept their request to connect, and their messages usually go along these lines…
Hey Otoabasi, thanks for accepting my friend request. I was looking through your profile and noticed we have common business interests… I have this amazing product I believe can help you achieve… bla bla bla! Just click this link and check it out!
On first contact… Seriously?
In some cases I would hit reply and let them know their blunder, in some cases I just hit “Delete” and then un-friend them (sometimes I leave them as contacts, but hardly ever have conversations with them).
It’s more like going out on a first date and one’s already planning what the wedding would be like and the number of children that would come from the union.
Without first of all building proper rapport with anyone you connect with (not only on Facebook), your products/services don’t mean Jack to them!
We are all asking the same question — “what’s in it for me?”, and if your approach is to first of all shove your business down my throat on Facebook, then how would you feel if I followed suit?
So, think about it; your approach to others within Facebook matters a lot, and keep it the way it was meant to be — interact, engage, ask questions, connect, share value based content… from there, you will gain the attention of others.
Facebook will not stop changing (that’s a given). How do I know?
It’s because “we” marketers are always trying to game the system, and we rely so much on ‘Reach’.
We then lose control of what’s really vital for our business growth and how we can actually be in position to solve problems people may face within our industry.
Facebook knows this, and they are tightening the ropes, and filtering low quality contents on the newsfeed (Still think Memes is a good strategy?).
If you want to get your business noticed, you have to play by their rules. If you don’t like that, then maybe you shouldn’t be there.
Your turn — what do you think of this post? What ways are you using Facebook to promote your business? Comment below and share with your network.
All the best!
Originally published at www.linkedin.com on March 25, 2015.