Recently, I’ve been asked the question of whether or not Facebook is really valid for small businesses or for any business for that matter. The major point of contention between business owners is that Facebook has decreased the percentage of followers that a business page may reach via an organic post (no advertising) to approximately 6.5%. The gradual (and not so gradual) reduction has been happening for years, but when you spend additional marketing dollars on a content marketing strategy so your page and presence looks professional on Facebook, you obviously want to get the most bang out of your buck.
I have been working with Facebook for business since its inception so I understand the pain point very well. My own take on it is that Facebook is like the Yellow Pages used to be, but with one caveat, Facebook has the unique ability to target consumers with their advertising better than anything other than Google. Couple this with the fact that according to the Pew Research Internet Project, “Social Media Update 2014,” 58% of all adults use Facebook, followed by Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram all in the low 20%’s. So, while we may not be able to enjoy the free-wheeling days of the mid-2000′s where organic posts were reaching a great deal more of our followers, the ad rates that Facebook charges and the pay per click model that Facebook and Google have built their businesses is here to stay. Get used to it. With digital advertising, you know your customer looked at your ad. Not only that, but you have an opportunity to capture that consumers information with relevant landing pages and free offers for your valued services. Give folks a free taste and you will be surprised how many engage with you.
As my Dad always says when I’m complaining about my golf game…”Play Better.” In this case, start advertising digitally, build your audience, foster those relationships (convert your contacts to a database) and follow up with them via email drip campaigns. Marketing is the same game, it is just morphing into a digital form. Social selling is based along the same principles as traditional selling. Meet people, however you can, meet people, online, offline, in the grocery store or on Pinterest, but engage and develop relationships. It is conversations that have meaning, not the platform where they happen.