Use Facebook For What It Is
By Shane O’Neill, Vice President
Ahh, Facebook, the most widely discussed social channel. Every trade show is packed with speakers on the subject. “How to get the most from Facebook”, “How to Sell on Facebook”, “Get More Fans on Facebook”, the list goes on and on. Yet, almost all of you are using the channel wrong and wasting tons of time trying to work the fringes of the social network.
Let’s Cut to the Chase
Facebook wasn’t built for businesses. Businesses started using Facebook because they thought they could make money off of “free” marketing. Well, nothing is really free, at least not something truly effective. Fans? As Joe Biden would say, “Come on, man!” Truth is, an overwhelming majority of your “fans” never log into Facebook to see what’s going on at Main Street Jewelers. Sure, maybe here and there, but those people are on the fringe and that’s the point. Why would you want to spend so much time working the fringe instead of going for the core?
Many retailers spend hours and hours creating content for their Facebook page only to post to their feed for a handful of likes. These are called organic posts because you don’t put any marketing dollars toward promoting them. That’s a waste of time and effort for the type of results you’ll get. Some agencies or “gurus” will say “Post multiple times per day to increase your reach”… to that I say, “Come on, man!” Let’s get down to the facts; organic reach on Facebook is now under 3%, meaning if you have 2,000 fans you might get 60 to even see your content. Moreover, only your current fans will see the content, unless they share it with someone. Also, an organic post has a lifespan of only about 2 hours. It’s simply not worth dedicating that much time for so little results. You’d be better off creating blog content for your website. If someone offered you a free billboard in the middle of the woods, would you take it? If you answered yes, what are you hoping your ROI is on this endeavor? Is it even worth the cost to print the graphics? The answer is no. You’re better off spending your time elsewhere.
Facebook is Just a Media Spend
That’s right, Facebook is just another marketing medium, and an effective one at that, if that’s how you approach it. Facebook advertising allows you to post a couple of times per week, yet your posts will be seen by more of your fans as well as others who meet your customer profile. You’ll go from a handful of likes to maybe 10x as much, or more! Plus, you’ll save more than half your time to do something more productive.
The point is to stop romanticizing Facebook. It’s a great publishing tool, but you have to get your content in front of people, and that takes dollars. Facebook is just a media spend. Even the category Social Media has been telling you that all along.