If you’re a business looking to establish your online presence, setting up a Facebook page feels almost like an obligatory rite of passage. With over one billion active users a month, Facebook isn’t just the largest and most popular social media network on Earth, it’s a ubiquitous presence in our lives. And while people who don’t have a Facebook account do exist, it’s safe to assume most of your customers probably do. Looking at these numbers, it’s quite understandable to feel your business should have a Facebook presence. But is Facebook actually worth the effort you put into it? Surprisingly enough, the answer is “Probably not.” Here’s why.
Facebook likes are meaningless
If you think having a lot of page likes equals Facebook marketing success, you’re wrong. Ok, so your page has a lot of likes. But what does that achieve, exactly? Granted, social proof is important in online marketing. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle. It also takes time to achieve. Getting your Facebook likes to a level where they set you apart as influential and authoritative (think thousands of likes) takes a high level of commitment. Before you know it, your Facebook effort could be eating up an unreasonable chunk of your time. And for what? The value of Facebook likes as social marketing currency is dwindling. Click farms have made it harder to gauge actual interest in your page. Besides, whilst your Facebook page does turn up in search results, Facebook likes themselves don’t affect your search rankings. More importantly, Facebook likes don’t put food on the table. Unless you find a way to monetize your likes and turn them into paying customers, they don’t mean much for your business. Very often, that means luring people away from your Facebook page to your website. Might as well focus your efforts on marketing your website in the first place, right?
Facebook wants you to pay for reach
There was a time when Facebook was a really cheap and effective way to create engagement and communicate with your customers All you had to do was set up a page and post regular updates. Sadly, those times are long gone. Once the number of business users blew up, Zuckerberg and co quickly realized they had a huge money-making opportunity on their hands as a vehicle for online marketing. And they were quick to monetize it. Over the past few years, Facebook has rolled out policies which reduced the organic reach of business pages to less than 2%. And it plans to make that figure even lower. As things stand, nine out of ten people probably won’t see your posts unless you pay to promote them. Unfortunately, paying to promote your posts is rarely enough to secure results.
Quite frankly, that’s putting it mildly. The sheer amount of users on Facebook might be what convinced you to set up a Facebook page for your business in the first place, but it’s also a double-edged sword. Recent surveys found that a majority of small business owners don’t see any return from their Facebook activities. This isn’t particularly surprising. It’s said that Facebook users are exposed, on average, to about 1500 pieces of content per 20-minute session. Besides, Facebook is mostly seen as a way to connect and stay in touch with friends and family. Most users simply aren’t interested in or receptive to advertising. What this means for your business is that your odds don’t look good. You might be paying to promote your posts only for them to be lost in the constant barrage of information or completely ignored by mostly unreceptive users. It stands to reason that you’d be better off investing the bulk of your efforts in online marketing strategies proven to have much higher ROI – like email marketing, for example.
Re-thinking your Facebook efforts
Of course, swearing off the biggest social network on Earth might be a tad too radical for some. And truth be told, most businesses could still benefit from a Facebook presence, despite its many disadvantages. But that’s a whole other blog post. The point here is that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. So if Facebook is too big a chunk of your online marketing effort, perhaps it’s time to re-think your strategy. Do you need help crafting an effective online marketing strategy? Get in touch with us today.