Businesses - Stop Hating on Facebook.
Businesses, need to stop hating on Facebook and social media and learn how to use it for correctly.
* Warning * I am having a little rant today so buckle in!
I saw this post last week and it troubles me, that businesses continue to have this perception of Facebook and don’t understand or put in the effort to understand it better.
I am not trying to be the Grinch here, but Facebook isn’t a free advertising platform, nor does it owe businesses any favours for using their site to make money. Businesses need to start listening to what Facebook and marketers are telling them if they want to continue to see results and not just rant to their online communities! Alternatively, they need to pay an agency to get it right on their behalf!
Perhaps it’s time to re-look at your social media marketing strategy. Do you even have one? I can understand how we have all fallen into this trap. Facebook and other social media platforms are very easily accessible. They have been free for many years, and open to anyone to open an account.
It is for this reason that most people mistakenly believe social media can be used for business in the same way they use it personally. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook’s algorithm changes DAILY. This means something you were doing that was effective yesterday won’t be today. Agencies like ourselves undergo regular training to be on top of the constant changes happening within this crazy digital world we live in!
Facebook are accountable to their shareholders and it must cost a fortune to keep a lid on businesses who taking advantage of people on Facebook by spamming them with a constant flurry of advertising. Facebook are in fact, trying to uphold the integrity of the newsfeed, whilst still being profitable.
They have very clearly stated and disclosed what businesses need to be doing to be “seen” by their communities. Google anything about ‘beating the Facebook algorithm’ and you will see there are plenty of ways to be seen for free. Facebook also offer businesses the opportunity to advertise to a global audience at a very affordable cost per click through the multiple, incredibly smart, complex and yet, surprisingly user friendly advertising options.
Businesses continue come onto Facebook and expect to reach thousands of people for free with a “Buy My Product Now” post!! And when they don’t, they feel as though they are being ripped off by Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.
So I challenge you as a business owner or as someone who wants to be seen on Facebook: Stop Hating on Facebook, Start Using Facebook as Intended & Reap the Rewards!
My top tips for doing this:
LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS
A simple Google search will provide you with plenty of examples of how to be seen organically (for free) by your online community. This includes, the timing of your posts, the type of your post (photo, text, video, etc), the value you add and what types of posts you are using at a particular time e.g. Video content at the moment and in particular Facebook Live will trump all other content!
ADVERTISING IS NOT FREE
Facebook offers business some of the most powerful advertising we have ever seen. ROI (return on investment) can actually be measured, specific target audiences can be created, added and updated and you can talk directly to your customers before they buy your product/service! You no longer have to advertise to people who would never have any interest in your business.
And yet, businesses want this for free?? No way!
The good news is, advertising on Facebook is affordable. So unlike taking a full page ad out in Vogue, which only the big guys could ever dream about, small businesses now have an opportunity to be seen in the same space as every other advertiser (small or big - there is no discrimination). What’s even better is that you could end up paying significantly less than the big companies to be seen by the exact same people. It all just comes down to the quality of your content and targeting of your audience. Have a play with boosting your posts or try running an ad and see what the results are, the cost might just surprise you.
LEAVE THE PAST IN THE PAST
Sure, a few years ago, life on Facebook as a business was good! You could post a link or photo to your product or service, shout to your fans and watch the dollars roll in. Free advertising for all and it was glorious! But over time, the algorithm has changed, Facebook has evolved, they have more accountability and businesses can no longer do what they have done previously and yield the same results. Work with the changes, many out there are have been create to help you as an advertiser.
TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR AUDIENCE
When I speak with businesses, they are still measuring the success of their page (or their competitors) by how many Likes they have. Don’t fall into this trap. One of the great things about Facebook is that it allows you to find your potential customers on Facebook. Don’t leave them there! Bring your potential customers over to your website, collect their data and continue to advertise and communicate to them on your terms! This point is worth an entire blog post of its own but please – just remember it like this – You rent the space on Facebook, they essentially own your page and can do with it what they like (and there is nothing you can do to stop them, so work with them). You own your website – bring your audience to your website, then get to know them and communicate to them directly via EDM’s or any other format you choose, any old time you like, and you won’t be restricted to Facebook’s terms.
Now don’t misunderstand. I am not saying you can’t use social media on your own. All I am saying is please don’t complain when something that worked for you an hour, week, month or year ago isn’t working. This social media thing is a full time specialised job. So read all you can, take all the advice you can – and implement it! You can’t rest on your laurels in the digital space. You need to keep learning, learning learning….or better still…..outsource!
Truthfully, I want to keep writing about this for days! I love it and think there is clearly so much that businesses need to learn about using Facebook and social media to yield the best possible results. Like most things in life, learning to work with Facebook, rather than fighting (and ranting publicly) against it, you have potential to raise your business profile and profits infinitely!
If you want to chat more about how this can work for your business specifically, let's have a chat (I promise I won't rant)!