Facebook: a wasteland for marketing? 

Imagine yourself in the 2000s. You’re sitting at your desktop, CPU whirring away and your dial up connection feverishly trying to load your webpage.

Finally, the icons load and you see it. A poke from your crush. What an exhilarating time Facebook was back then. 

Exit the flashback to today, and you probably don’t get as much excitement opening your Feed anymore. That’s probably because Facebook has changed so much over the years and it’s not just personal accounts that are seeing this, but business ones too. 

 

What is the difference between a personal Facebook account and a Facebook business page?

In November 2007, Facebook introduced Pages for Businesses with 100,000 companies signing up. The platform was set to be accessible even to small businesses.

This allowed businesses to advertise on the platform in a way they couldn’t before. With a Business Page, they could now share updates and promote themselves to ‘fans’ of their page. 

Business Pages offer similar abilities like sending and receiving messages, liking, commenting and sharing other users’ interactions and post updates.

However, a Business Page is meant to represent a business or a brand and their available services or products. This is opposed to a personal account that is usually used to share a user’s personal life with friends and family. 

 

Is Facebook still relevant for business?

With nearly 3 billion monthly users, it seems safe to say that using a Facebook Business Page will expand your web presence and increase your brand’s visibility, but stats show that engagement levels have been decreasing since 2013.  

In the early days of Facebook Business Pages, marketers were drawn in by the opportunity of reaching a vast amount of users at once and engaging with them. But recently, the new algorithm that selectively displayed posts based on their previous level of engagement such as likes, comments and page visits caused a dip in organic traffic. 

 

The decline of organic traffic on Facebook

It’s been noted that engagement with business accounts are down as well as organic reach. In February 2014, Ogilvy found that organic reach hovered at 6%, down 49% from October of the previous year.

With over 140 million businesses using Facebook to connect with customers, less than 35% of these pages’ followers are able to see their content. This begs the question then: is it worth posting for your followers when not even half of them will end up seeing your post?

To remedy the selective reach, businesses tried to accompany their posts with ‘like-baiting’, tempting their followers to like a post by appealing to their emotions or curiosity to increase engagement. For example, “Like this to find out how you can win $1 million.”

But users were unhappy about these kinds of posts.

More than 80% of Facebook users said that they either rarely or never click on Facebook ads.

32% of users said that promoted posts should not exist and nearly 60% disliked too many promotional posts.

So with these stats, using Facebook to promote your brand, products or services doesn’t look good. Rules and algorithms can change, affecting your marketing strategies and the resources you dedicated to them.

In order to get the same reach that your Business Page had in the past, you need to pay for advertising. But, since impression growth has declined and the cost of impressions have increased, it’s important to keep an eye on metrics to make sure that your website traffic, leads or sales are benefiting from a Facebook Business Page.

If you are spending hours a week for a couple of likes and comments and not seeing those benefits, it’s time to delete your page.

 

Where can I advertise my business other than Facebook?

  • Instagram

As the 5th most visited website, it’s great for marketing because it has almost all of the same benefits as Facebook does. You can also sign up for a business account so you can track analytics, create sponsored ads, repost user-generated content and partner with other influencers for a wider reach.

  • Twitter

Twitter is a good place to start developing relationships and get noticed. You can do this by creating Twitter campaigns, keyword targeting with Twitter ads, sharing images and videos and directly interacting with followers.

This can increase your visibility, provide quick customer service because Tweets are in real-time and feedback can be instant. Goodreads uses Twitter to effectively help out their customers.

  • LinkedIn

Not just used for public resumes, LinkedIn is considered one of the best networks to generate leads. According to a study by Hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than other social networks.

It’s also beneficial for engaging with thought-leaders and influencers, taking part in community discussions, which can position you as a leader as well, and improve visibility and credibility.

Can I boost my Facebook stats?

If you decide that you’re just not ready to give up hope with your Facebook Business Page, here are a few things you should consider that may boost your stats.

  • Engage with your followers

Facebook makes it clear that their main goal is to get users to engage and the algorithm will reward you for it. Try making posts interactive by posing questions to your followers, using callouts or updating them on observations about your industry. This will also keep your content varied and interesting and promote brand loyalty.

  • Know your audience

Facebook has built-in tools that can help tell you key information about the demographics that are engaging with your content. You can use them to better target your content by knowing what your audience cares about. This will build a relationship with them because they will see you as authentic and valuable.

  • Use Facebook Messenger

Customers expect you to respond to your queries and messages, and they also expect them to be quick. Use Messenger to communicate with your followers to give them efficient service.

Facebook also tracks your response rate and the times that you respond and display this information for your followers to see so they know when to expect a response. The faster your rate, the more attractive your brand will look. 

  • Be personable, not just promotional

Users don’t want to see adverts flooding up their Feed all the time. They typically see Facebook as a fun and social place so becoming a part of their community and joining in on their kinds of conversations will seem relatable to them. The general rule is to:

  • Post original content 70% of the time.
  • Post content relevant to your followers’ interests 20% of the time.
  • Post-self-promotional content 10% of the time

 

  • Be highly visual

Visual content tends to receive more engagement than plain text. The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. You could use memes, infographics, videos or GIFs. Make it easier for your followers to understand the story you want to tell them.

The Takeaway

Facebook seems to have become a wasteland for marketing with organic traffic decreasing and other platforms offering better benefits with better rewards. If you aren’t seeing the same statistics as before, it’s probably time you deleted your Facebook Business Page. Worried about how you’re going to handle your social media marketing if you do? Don’t, because we’ve got you covered with our social media management services.

 

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