So you want to learn all there is to know about Facebook marketing, eh?
Even though there are a lot of marketers who dedicate all of their time to this social media platform in particular, a lot of them are still left scratching their heads when Facebook changes their algorithms (the software equation that sifts through posts and status updates to decide what shows up in your newsfeed).
It’s true, Facebook marketing is no easy task, but the opportunity to win big is there. Just check out these Facebook stats:
- Nearly 1 in every 3 people in the U.S. check their Facebook daily
- That’s about 128 million unique users EVERY DAY.
- The fastest growing age bracket on Facebook is 45-54 year olds—the money-spenders
- This group jumped 46% from 2012 to 2013!
- 92% of retailers/wholesalers have had success converting a lead on Facebook into a customer
- On the flip side, other industries (technology, communications, education, etc.) are only able to convert around 50% (still pretty good).
After seeing those statistics, it’s nearly impossible to argue that Facebook is irrelevant to brands and business. As a matter of fact, it is VERY relevant, but also VERY difficult to master (and nearly impossible to make it a significant revenue generator).
In this four part article, we will go over how a small business can actually see gains from Facebook by fixing three common mistakes.
Reason I: You Refuse to Pay to Play
Back in the day, marketers could look at Facebook and say, “What a great way to get free exposure and leads!” Not anymore though.
Back then, all a business had to do in order to gain exposure on Facebook was to have people “Like” their page. As a result, those who “Liked” the page would see posts from the business all over their news feed along with their friends and families posts. This method of Facebook marketing generates organic reach and was GREAT for businesses (FREE exposure!), however, it was less than ideal for Facebook’s shareholders.
Once Facebook’s stock prices started to fall, they needed to kick up their advertising revenue. Thus, the “Boost” button was formed, which allowed businesses to pay to receive more exposure. (Once a business pays to promote one of their posts on Facebook, it is no longer organic, but now falls under the “paid reach” category.) This tactic worked so well for Facebook, that they made the decision to cut organic reach (meaning unpaid posts stopped showing up as often, even if someone had already “Liked” that business). This happened in early 2014, which forced businesses that wanted exposure and reach on Facebook to have to pay for it.
The Proof is in the Numbers:
- In 2012, an average of 16% of followers were engaging with their “Liked” brand pages.
- By February 2014, that had fallen to only 6% and even as low as 2% for some businesses.
That was pretty aggravating for most business owners. All the “Likes” they had spent YEARS building up basically meant nothing now. They were back to square one—paying for exposure.
But still, Facebook is a huge platform that is FULL of people. Plus, the cost for exposure is relatively low compared to more traditional print methods and about the same as other online tactics. So, what is the best way win at pay to play?
To answer that question, it comes down to who you want to target:
- Customers (past and current)
- People who already “Like” your page (what was previously free engagement now requires you to pay in order for this audience to see your posts)
We recommend a few different methods, none of which use that “Boost Post” button Facebook wants you to click. (We find the Boost targeting options to be very limiting.) Even better, the promotion strategies we recommend follow a pay-per-click model, which means you don’t pay for exposure or impressions—you only pay when someone CLICKS on your ad.
In part two of this article we will go in-depth on the three best methods for promoting your business on Facebook. That article goes hand in hand with what you just read, so don’t miss it!