Is Facebook failing your business?
Or is your business just failing to make the most of Facebook?
Most business owners I’ve worked with over the last year have spent a least some time confused, frustrated or angry (or all three!) with Facebook. This is an understandable response to what seems to be less and less visibility for Facebook business page content—even to that page’s followers—in exchange for continued efforts to engage and share on that platform.
The majority of the blame for this growing phenomenon has been directed toward Facebook’s so-called “algorithms,” which keep changing, making it more and more difficult for business fans to see what’s being posted. Some businesses have been so frustrated by this that they’ve joined with those who’ve decided that this is happening primarily because Facebook wants more of our paid advertising dollars. It feels to many like Facebook is deliberately keeping business owners and their fans apart, while Facebook—who owns the only bridge between one and the other—refuses to open the bridge for easy passage.
Regardless of the extent to which this may or may not be true, business owners clearly can’t control what Facebook does. So, it seems to me that our choices are:
Option 1: To opt out completely, leaving Facebook the domain of other businesses;
Option 2: To keep making a minimal effort to communicate with our followers via Facebook, commensurate with the (low) level of results we expect in return for those efforts;
Option 3: To be as strategic and creative as possible in response to the changing aspects of Facebook, in order to optimize the opportunity it offers us.
It seems obvious to me that Option 3 is the most productive direction to head in, but you still might be asking the following questions:
1. Is Facebook worth the effort? Isn’t it in decline?
2. If it is worth the effort, why is no one seeing my stuff?
3. Is it even possible to figure out how to improve the reach of my business page?
First of all: “Is Facebook worth the effort? Isn’t it in decline?”
Still by far the largest social media network in America, Facebook is also the most popular platform, by a substantial margin. Roughly 79%, that’s eight-in-ten, online Americans use Facebook and the rate at which these individuals are logging on daily also continues to rise, with 76% of U.S. Facebook users reporting that they visit the site every day, 45% are logging on multiple times per day.
Take a look at this infographic to understand how Facebook fares in context with the other social media platforms:
Second, “If it is worth the effort, why is no one seeing my stuff?”
You still might be wondering why these incredible stats aren’t resulting in big numbers for your business page. And that’s a fair question. Though large groups of people are clearly on Facebook, and undeniably at least some of those people would be interested in what you have to offer, for some reason they aren’t finding you and your business. Why is this?
Third: “Is it even possible to figure out how to improve the reach of my business page?”
The third and most important question you might still have: How will you work with this platform to make it easier for them to not only find you, but engage with you? What can you do to be more strategic and creative, resulting in more positive and measurable outcomes for your business—results like more fans, more engagement = conversations, likes and shares on your page, more qualified leads captured and more conversions to email signups and sales?
This is where our expertise can help you to start moving in a better direction.
Below are some mistakes you might be making when it comes to your Facebook business page:
You’re only posting about your products or services.
While it seems natural to do this, social interaction is about far more than selling. Generally speaking, only 20% of what you share via social media should relate directly to sales.
Images: Posts with images drive 2.3 times more engagement, so being visual helps.
Videos: Video is in high demand and 43% of users would like to see even more from marketers. However, only 15% of Facebook videos are watched with sound. Video should be accessible, easy to digest and always have captions. Create videos that catch a user’s attention and provides something worthwhile.
Links: Links are perfect for sharing industry news and your own blog content. Find your most engaged content and continue to share it on Facebook. It’s not easy doing so organically, but it shouldn’t stop you from posting your best content.
Facebook Live: Live content drives three times more engagement on Facebook. With in-the-moment content growing in popularity, see how your brand can give sneak peeks into industry or office events, product launches and other behind the scenes content. Go Live, wow your audience and engage.
Facebook Stories: New to 2017, Facebook Stories are in-the-moment content clips. This was based off Instagram Stories, which ultimately were from Snapchat Stories–seeing a trend here? Brands have tested their efforts on Snapchat for a few years now. But with the newest release, you can attempt this style of content with one of your biggest networks. Follow our Snapchat guide for ideas!
* Italicized content by Sprout Social.
You’re not posting consistently or frequently enough.
Your fans don’t know when they can expect to hear from you and Facebook’s algorithm won’t reward you if your page isn’t sharing fresh content on a regular basis. You need to post creatively (i.e. with variety and interest) but you also need to post often.
You’re thinking more about what you want to say rather than about what the customer really wants to hear.
Be generous with information and ideas and support, and you’ll develop an engaged audience. Thinking about how you can serve your customer better will result in stronger relationships, greater levels of loyalty and increasing sales numbers. Don’t wait for your audience to interact first; be a supportive listening community for them, one that initiates conversation and encourages authentic sharing of ideas and issues. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn through these conversations!
Your Facebook Page shouldn’t be like a used car lot–full of ready-to-pound salesmen. The content you produce should be compelling, entertaining or helpful to your audience. People know they can get an elevator pitch on your website or ad. But this doesn’t mean your social networks, especially Facebook, have to be a home for promotions. Highlight your brand values, identify your audiences and create a space that is unique to your company.
To learn even more about how to optimize social media and Facebook for your business, register for one of our November workshops. Details here.
We hope to see you in class soon!