When you’re marketing your business think about what you’re trying to achieve, is it simply more sales for your product or service? Or would you use it for research or customer service? Have you thought about your customers, are they likely to be on facebook?
Facebook offers many possibilities but for those who aren’t sure about how it might work for their business consider the following;
1. It’s not really ‘free’ – how much time do you allocate to finding content to share or creating images, could you use that time more effectively in your business?
2. Are you reaching your customers? Unless you’re spending on ads realistically you are reaching a very low number of those who have actually liked your page, think about the effort involved in this for a minute. The ad targetting options are superb in facebook but you need to allocate a budget and again manage the ads, is there a better option for this cash and time?
3. What are your facbeook likers actually doing for you, are you getting sales or bookings? Is facebook delivering traffic to your website (if you’re not measuring this watch out for an upcoming post on the subject!). Are you getting engagement e.g. likes, comments, shares? If for example you’re a community organisation who simply wants to stay in touch with locals facebook can be an effective communications tool but you’ll be using it for awareness or branding as opposed to sales and this is something you’ll have decided on.
4. Are you looking at who is engaged on your facebook page? Are they the same few people or perhaps a few well-meaning family or friends who are showing support but not actually likely to buy from you? Personally I’d prefer a smaller community with a range of different customers interacting, proves that you’re appealing to different people with your marketing efforts.
5. Are the numbers important to you? Quite often people get caught up in the vanity of growing numbers but frequently 500 engaged and interested in your brand is far more valuable to you than 5000 who found your page through a ‘like & share’ to win type promotion because they liked the prize you offered but really have no idea what you’re about. When it comes to the importance of numbers I often refer people to the Coca Cola facebook page which has in the region of 90 million likes (!) but on posting often gets in the region of just 1,000 likes or .001%!!
Facebook can be extremely effective for many businesses both B2B and B2C but there isn’t a one size fits all plan for it and even where it may appear to work for a competitor it might not be what your main focus should be. Test it by all means but measure whether it’s working for you and if it’s not look at the alternatives, not necessarily social media channels but marketing using the right channel which may not even be an online option at all!