Can Small Business and Startups still Brand Effectively on Facebook?
You probably have seen the demise of your posts’ reach on Facebook with most analysts reporting less than 5% pick up, even if you have a good following of 1,000+ on your business page. Looking back to the heady days of a few years ago, you could reach almost all of your Facebook page followers. So what can you do?
Facebook and its users have reached the 7 year itch where it has changed from the warm, loving, cuddly spouse who smiled at the sound of your voice, to the slightly more mature, sit alone in a comfy chair type of spouse.
It was all so idyllic in the beginning, and when they started business pages it was Utopia for companies with a decent brand to reach out to more people on the platform, and also for startups with little budget who needed brand awareness. Now even companies with millions of likes and a decent sized digital marketing team are reluctantly sharing content.
Then they introduced promoted posts to get you what you got before, but with a small charge,. The reason? Shareholders!
Let’s be fair at some point in any relationship it comes down to the rent! Every digital company woos its potential audience in the beginning to slowly building up to ‘pay us stealth mode’ it all comes down to how well you introduce this hot topic.
If you are a startup it’s all bad news, because Facebook wants the one thing you have the least of right now, and regardless if you have a video of you capturing a live alien at Area 51 who is giving you the best testimonial in the universe, chances are people will not even see it!
Mr. Z. and his team, are torn between making faceless shareholders happy, and giving you a wholesome ‘family and friends experience’ with the least amount of advertising. Tricky job being in the middle I would think but a nice problem to have, if you’re Mr. Facebook.
Now they are really promoting groups, pages are your business, and your group is the link between you and your altruistic side and your business. This is not a new idea. I can think of one business that has very successfully combined this strategy since the medieval times:
I’m talking religion of course. As I got older, I travelled, read books and surfed the internet with a view of things that is my own truth. I began to realise that the people who gave us religion have been the richest people on Earth since man started looking to the skies wondering where he came from.
Networking before it was called Networking was called Church!
Groups are Facebook’s answer to keeping the happy medium between the people who want the profits and the single mum who wants to see her friends and not business on Facebook.
Groups can stealthily promote business to a more targeted audience and if you have been a member of, for example the English Teaching Thailand Group on Facebook (currently 16K members and growing), and then you see a guy selling text books to help you along as a teacher, well it is a native advert and you are more forgiving, right?
Facebook are now even giving super admins (maybe not their term, but the term we give to people who start groups and cannot be kicked off by any newer admins they add) the ability to monetise sub groups from your main group, so again, for example, in our English Teaching Thailand group we could start a sub group where we have online teachers and we can monetise through Facebook by offering pay per view English Language training videos and share profits with Mr. Z. and the faceless board at Facebook.
Facebook is not going anywhere soon and you either tune in or drop out, and most of us, as ‘boomers’ cannot be bothered moving after we put so many photos and statuses on this program it has almost become our life diary now.
I train business day in and day out on Social media issues and how to brand your business on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. and the one lament that is consistent between all my clients is the time it takes to do well and get a return on investment.
It is hardly surprising that there is a role in every company for a Digital Marketing Manager (D.M.M.), and they get paid well. Most smaller business could not afford one, so they have to spend at least 3 hours a day writing blogs and press releases and sharing to the page and groups and share to other groups and as many other sites time permits, then another 2 hours a day on seminars learning about the latest evolutionary progress by the top sites.
Feeling tired yet? don’t feel guilty. The happiest people are the ones who tell body builders they look great and admire them, but are just as happy with their beer belly; I know which one lives longer by all statistics.
In my experience around 2% of startups and small business owners who can’t afford a D.M.M. will do it themselves and add 5 extra hours to their day, and forget they ever had children, and sacrifice the work/life balance in order to get ahead. Well it makes you wonder if these kinds of driven people had wretched childhoods, and sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if my Dad had left me outside a pub every weekend instead of taking me swimming? Love you Dad!
If you are like me and you look for a smarter way to do things, a trait some people call ‘being lazy’ (and I like lazy people as they come up with ideas rather than just try the same old way) then you understand that we wouldn’t have electric light if we all just did what the last generation gave us!
My idea, after seeing the pain most people go through with social media and other sales leads generation activities, is to use the network I developed over the years to help business to go straight for the kill, and match buyers up with sellers through a business directory that I started in 2012 and have now got to nearly 6,000 members (and they are all business executives and decision makers who tell us the things they are buying each day).
All you have to do my lazy one, is click Sales Leads and scroll down to your category of business and click to see the buying requests. When you see what I subliminally ask you for to get you talking to the decision maker who wants to buy what you sell right now, you will see how cost effective this really is.
“Whilst you debate about the impossible, someone has just created the possible”