I just do not understand it, and I’ve yet to have someone rationally explain their need to continue to beat a dead horse. Facebook is the dead horse in this case; as they continue to nerf the organic reach of business pages, they are steadily going to reduce the number of people using the platform for business, ultimately destroying their profit and business model.
With it becoming more and more difficult to reach anyone on Facebook using a business page, I often try to urge business owners that I know in real life to start looking at other marketing platforms. I must admit, my attempts so far have been in vain. I often get a really stupid response, something like “But all my fans are on Facebook” or “But I have no friends on Google Plus.” If this is your reason for not trying out another network, you need to seriously rethink your marketing strategy.
“But all my fans are on Facebook”
First off, maybe you have cultivated some fans on Facebook, but this is no indication that ALL of your fans are on Facebook. If you are not putting forward a dedicated, strategic effort to grow profiles on other social platforms, then how could you possibly tell that ALL your fans are on Facebook?
“But all my friends are on Facebook”
This has to be one of the most stupid reasons I have ever heard to market on Facebook. You have friends on Facebook– good for you, so do about 1.1 billion other people that have signed up for the service. Marketing your services on a particular platform just because your friends are on it is like trying to push your products and services on your friends when you go out for drinks with them.
Example: A life insurance agent is out at a bar with some of their closest friends.Let’s drop in on the discussion.
Agent: “So Paul, have you thought about what might happen to your children if you were to unexpectedly pass away?”
Paul: “I think I’ve had enough to drink, I’m headed home.”
Agent: “Since you have just had a couple of drinks and you are now going to be driving, I think it’s my duty to sign you up for a life insurance policy right now.”
Paul: “We are no longer friends.”
Even though people can theoretically ignore your business-related Facebook posts, this is basically what you are doing on Facebook by marketing to your friends. It impacts your trust factor and can ruin your friendships, leaving you out in the rain all alone.
Are they really your fans?
I know people think a lot of their fans are listening to them, but that may not always be the case. Even with Facebook nerfing the organic reach of your business pages posts, you should still see some interaction from your fans. If you share a post and it is seen by 25 people, and not one of them likes, comments, or shares it, well, no one else is going to see the post. If this happens to be the consistent result you see for your posts, you have to question whether the people that have liked your page are actually your fans.
Take a closer look at your fans
Many of the business owners that give me these excuses for trying to market their business on Facebook often have a lower count of fans– somewhere in the 100 – 500 range. Respectable numbers, but when you look at who your fans actually are, maybe the picture will become a little more clear. When you scroll through the people that like your page, how many of them are your personal friends on Facebook? I’m willing to bet if you fall within this range that most of your friends have liked your page. Next I would like you to think about all the networking groups you are a part of. How many of your fans come from those groups?
So the question now becomes, do you even have real fans on your business page? If your friends, family and networking connections are your business page fans, then how can you even be sure they really like the content you are putting out? Well, they would engage with it if they liked it, right? Posts that receive very little to no engagement should be a clear indication that your friends are not interested in what you are currently posting, or are not interested in your services in the first place. They may have simply liked your page because you have asked them to, which means they have no real interest in engaging, which makes your marketing efforts so much more difficult.
Of course, one of the first things you should do at this point is take a look at your content and see if you can improve it. However, even if you are creating amazing content, your Facebook audience still may not be interested. So now the question is, if asking your friends and networking connections to like your page isn’t working, how can you grow your Facebook fan base?
If you are a brick and mortar business, organic growth of your Facebook page should not be too difficult if you are providing valued products or services. Targeting your actual customers is a fantastic way to make sure you have fans that are truly interested in what you may have to say.
“Well, how do I get my customers to like my business page?” This is actually easier than it sounds. You don’t have to verbally ask every single person that walks into your establishment to like your Facebook page. Instead, create value propositions that allow your customers to choose whether they would like to be a fan of your page or not. You could put a static cling on your building windows or doors that lets people know there is a quid pro quo for Facebook engagement.
EX: Let’s say you own a Massage Therapy business in Orlando, and most of your online business comes from Yelp.com. Put a simple sign on your door that says “Like our page, and check in on Facebook to receive $10 off your visit! Already liked our page? Simply check in every visit for $10 off!” This kind of promotion not only encourages more of your visitors to like your page, it adds a social sharing element to it. When your customer checks in, their friends will be able to see their activity, and since they are getting $10 off they may have also decided to visit more frequently, giving your business more exposure to their Facebook friends.
If you do not have a brick and mortar business, or you seldom see decent amounts of foot traffic, your Facebook advertising strategy may be slightly different…
Enter Facebook Ads
Between having the wrong people liking your page, and Facebook reducing yourpotential reach, you are going to have a very difficult time attracting people you are not connected to. This is where Facebook Ads come in. With an ad, you will be able to reach the friends of your fans without your fans having to like your posts, or you can even reach new people using custom targeting!
When using ads to promote your posts, refrain from only using the boost post option on the post itself; make sure you check out Facebook Ads Manager as well. The Ads Manager gives you more options for targeting, so if you are looking for something very particular (like women in Orlando ages 25 – 30 who just got engaged), you would want to create your promoted post using the Ads Manager. Putting some money behind your post is the ultimate test for the content—with the ad being shown to so many people, someone should interact with your post. The more people that do, the higher number of people that will see your post organically, even from paid interactions.
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your Facebook page there are different ad types to suit your needs. Want to know more about ads for your Facebook marketing campaign? We have a free downloadable guide on using ads for your Facebook Marketing.
They say there is nothing more valuable than a true fan. I know that your mom and your college friends may be supportive, but they can’t be your only fans if you expect to succeed at Facebook marketing. Don’t get stuck with what you have—if you are struggling with your Facebook marketing, take a look at your ad options or take the leap and go explore another platform.