Facebook Marketing gets Expensive

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I remember that about five years ago, the Facebook content marketing made so much sense. It was great for small businesses, and effective enough for medium size companies to start a campaign. The response on Facebook pages was awesome. Many who gained followers found a way to monetize them right away.

Today, the only person trumpeting Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg, who announced record revenues for Facebook for Q1 2014. Mark reported that revenue increased 72% in the Q1 and net income nearly tripled. Advertising grew at its strongest rate in three years, with 59% coming from mobile ads — double the level of a year ago.

How Awesome is that?

Well, it is for Mark but not for you. As a small business owner, you have to deal with a empty news feed if you don’t know what to create as part of the content, and even if you DO post something on your FB page, what you will get is this:-

1f7592b Post 1 is what you see when you create an awesome post for your FB page, and post 2 is a paid promoted post. This is assuming that you have less than 10,000 fans or likes on your Page. The ballpark for each promoted post is US$10. Even then you’re not seeing the total reach increase by very much after promoting a post. It never hits 100 percent. One of the problem with this is that your real clients could be that 10 percent that you don’t reach. Humbug! You could increase that with a credit card on standby for Mark to swipe.

Let’s not delve into the technical issues of content marketing. You don’t have engaging content, chances are that a promoted feed will be ignored the same way as any other newsfeed item.

Can I post Porn Links to Bring in the Eyeballs?

I think there is a rule against that even though on paper, borderline porn seems to work a lot better but that’s not the issue here. Facebook itself is detuning your reach.

1787d3fYou won’t find new sources of customers as the organic reach is very low. So low now, it could even qualify as a member of the Hobbit community. This says a lot about the effectiveness of a post versus what you think you are able to reap from it.

Change Strategy to Improve your Reach

Don’t put all your eggs on Facebook. That’s it. Remember Twitter and Instagram? They have an audience too but unlike Facebook, they are not the great white shark on top of the social media chain. Instagram will transition to a model similar to that of Facebook, eventually. For now it is anything goes so remember to strike when the iron is hot.

Google+ is a good place to start working that page for your business. Post useful stuff and find the right audience. You will be rewarded. Right now, the G+ pages are not well managed so everything shows up on the timeline. The post are often too big and people get a heap of stuff served to them at any one time. But there are no restrictions on what you post and how you post them.

Hashtags, which were made popular with Instagram and Twitter is used on G+ pages. It makes for easy searches if people used hashtags to find stuff.

Content can be duplicated across Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, G+ and Pinterest without even touching Facebook. For the most part, Facebook can be used as an afterthought. There is no need to work those post into your Facebook feed alone if you don’t have the money to promote those post.

Diversifying your Eyeballs

The Internet is a very loud place, sometimes you can’t even hear yourself talking. There are people screaming all over and just to get heard, you need to be screaming at niche markets to gain attention. These audiences lurk just almost anywhere and it is your job to dig them out.

Facebook was the coolest place to hang out your business billboard in the past, now you just have to keep it there and find other social media outlets to do that same thing.

Expanding your reach isn’t going to be cheap. It will cost you lots of time if you do this on your own and it will also cost you lots in money if you don’t want to spend the time to do by engaging a digital agency to do it for you.

Gone are the days where it was a free ride on Facebook. So please do not think for one moment that going digital to promote your business is going to be any cheaper than putting an advert in the local paper.

Strategy versus Reach

Let’s face it (pardon the pun) the real intention you put up a Facebook page was that it was free and effective, not to mention cheap. Once it is no longer cheap, would Facebook still make a difference?

Facebook has one feature that often helps you get discovered, that is when people check into your shop or outlet. This is crucial as they are able to obtain more information about that particular outlet. You can also try reach out to your past customers who have patronized your business.

So far, the check-in mechanism is probably something you’d find more useful, not including the fact that in terms of SEO, your Facebook page will get listed on Google searches. Your engagement on FB Page also counts towards your overall SEO.

The idea here is to maintain that Facebook page even though it won’t be used to draw in the bulk of your customer. This sort of presence, however small, will go a long way to helping your SEO ranking in the future.

FB Pages allows people to find you, it’s like hanging out that billboard sign to point to where your business is and no matter how much traffic it generates, it will help your business in some ways. It doesn’t matter if you don’t advertise in FB to promote your post. You don’t have to as long as your presence in other social media networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr, Foursquares and Twitter. It is the engagement of choice if you get what I mean. You will funnel those eyeballs to your website once you have these activated.

Facebook is also a lovely place to make friends and in turn show them your wares. As a business owner, that counts heaps even though you may not promote any of your post on FB. Customer who have never heard of you may walk right into your shop, befriend you and in turn become a life long customer. That sort of social linking makes a difference.

The best strategy to do everything for free is to get your Likers to follow you on Instagram or Twitter and funnel that to your website of choice. Facebook alone is just too expensive and won’t deliver the results unless you have money to advertise. That said, it would work very well  if you had money to throw at them.

Likers who follow you on Instagam will get a regular feed with pictures. Twitter does the same thing so for this, you’re pretty safe from FB.

So keep that FB page humming even though you don’t have the organic reach to justify it. The strategy to diversify your business post will pay dividends so keep that going. Pick and choose the social platforms you want to be active in and don’t get blown away by neglecting them. That is not the way it works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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