Facebook: You’re Doing It Wrong.
As the social media landscape continues to shake itself out, it also continues to evolve. Regardless of what you may hear, Facebook is still the most effective social tool for independent jewelers. Other top players, such as Pinterest and Instagram, are simply not as effective in brand building and driving sales. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but the overwhelming majority of retailers should focus on Facebook. That’s not to say one should abandon channels like Pinterest and Instagram, but it’s important to manage time and effort based on potential reach. To that end, Facebook remains King… and you’re doing it wrong.
Holler If Ya Hear Me
The most important thing to understand about Facebook is that organic reach is now less than 6% and falling. That means less than 6% of the people who like your page will see any given post. In laymen’s terms, imagine sending out direct mail for your upcoming sale, but only 6% of the postcards were ever actually delivered to your customers. No bueno.
For some, the answer to this problem is to post multiple times a day. That doesn’t make sense, is extremely time intensive, and doesn’t work. That’s because the 6% or so who see the posts are typically a lot of the same people each time, based on how much they engage with your page. So you end up speaking to the same people, not really reaching new people, and wasting a lot of time.
So, what’s the solution? Like it or not, the solution is Facebook advertising. Social media is just that, media. It’s surprising when clients push back on this modest media spend. From a marketer’s point of view, it’s some of the cheapest, most well-targeted, and scalable media we buy. Use it. Determine a DAILY spend and apply to page-post advertising. Since you’ll now be reaching people every day with high-quality page posts, you really won’t need to post more than a couple times a week. Also, you’ll be able to reach other targeted consumers in your area, not just your current fan base.
Facebook, Your #1 Branding Tool
Understand that Facebook’s best function is branding. There are two different buying cycles on Facebook, direct and indirect. Direct buying times are things like the holidays: Valentines Day, Mothers Day, etc. Indirect buying times are everything in between – anniversaries, engagements, birthdays, etc. So your objective should be centered on consistent branded messaging. This provides great opportunities to move categories like engagement rings or custom design. Think good old-fashioned advertising. Develop category campaigns and get your message out. Over time, your branding efforts will help position your store.
Fans (page likes) Are Becoming Irrelevant
Yes, that’s right, I said it. Fans are becoming irrelevant. With an organic reach of less than 6%, simply posting on Facebook is an act of futility. Even if you have 10,000 fans, any given post will only reach around 600 of them. Sure there’s relevance in that, but not as much as reaching the entire 10,000! What you should be doing is focusing in on the post content and level of engagement. Again, Facebook advertising allows you to reach the rest of your fan base, plus other people you target in the local area. Moreover, if we’re being honest, rarely do people visit your Facebook page to see “what’s going on” or to look at your pictures and apps. So the value of the number of fans you have is irrelevant compared to the type of reach and engagement you get with strategically placed campaigns that people actually engage with. Fans mean nothing if you can’t reach them.
The Secret to Success
Look, Facebook isn’t rocket science, although the industry is full of articles, speakers, and companies telling you otherwise. Why hang on the edges, justifying efforts that don’t produce results nearly as much as more focused, strategic executions? Why not head straight to the core and focus your time and energy on the things that allow you to be more productive and deliver better results. There is a simple formula: time+strategy+audience = effort /money. The money part is Facebook advertising. Get used to it, because if you don’t have consistent, paid advertising on Facebook with solid strategies, you’re doing it wrong.