We tell B2B focused clients to ignore Facebook, other than setting up a basic business page and sharing blog posts, which in turn will drive “Bing” search results and ultimately Google. Here’s why:
- Facebook is an Ad Platform disguised as a social network: success on Facebook is not going to happen unless you advertise.
- Organic ‘fan reach” is dropping rapidly, as consumer newsfeeds are too crowded and Facebook is continuing to grow.
- Some businesses are bailing on Facebook due to lack of real organic reach with consumers via status updates.
- Facebook’s platform is designed for consumers not businesses! It’s painful to use for a business. See: round peg in square hole.
- It takes 6-10 hours to set up a Business Page; what’s worse, requires an ongoing dose of Facebook Advertising to connect with and build a community of any size and downstream growth!
- Expect to see huge swings in Reach and Engagement on the order of 50-75% - the biggest impact for these numbers is NOT sharing content and engaging– it’s advertising with Facebook. Remember it’s an an ad platform dressed up with a stream of unending selfies.
- You thought Google Analytics might be a tad complicated or hard to use – wait till you see Facebook’s Insights; simple analysis is easy but deep dives into the data are not.
- Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm is highly optimized for images (see: Instagram acquisition) – and you’re competing with every “selfie” geek in the world (consumers) uploading images.
- Facebook has over 100K variables that impact a Newsfeed
Facebook Alternatives for Digital Brands in Need
Build your brand on Twitter – you’ll find a lot more businesses and execs on this platform. Google monitors “social signals” and indexes (finds and lists) most links shared on Twitter in 24-48 hours. #SEOSuccess
Create a Content Marketing Strategy – this can be as simple as 1-3 blog posts per week that are shared via Twitter and LinkedIn with a built in rinse and repeat cycle. Over the long haul content marketing does so much for a business.
Basic Content Marketing is: great for SEO (Google “sees” frequent updates), drives thought leadership, engages web site visitors, builds brand engagement (comments) & can be socially syndicated forever.
Setup a Business Page and Profiles for all staff on LinkedIn; join targeted Groups and post Blog content, answer questions, become a thought leader on this high-growth business focused platform.
Build a Newsletter list and use email marketing: it still drives stellar conversions for most businesses.
Create Presence and upload PowerPoint Presentations with SlideShare – it’s owned by LinkedIn and a paid Pro Account will drive much more targeted traffic than a
Google+ has grown exponentially in the last 18 months - it’s great for SEO. Jury is still out on real demonstrable traffic via the channel.
Exec Summary for Consumer Facing Brands Building a Business Page
- You should be using Facebook and we don’t want to equivocate on this point - advertising on Facebook is a great media buy with much lower costs than PPC or most ad networks.
- Whether your a big brand or small business, the key metric for effective social media marketing on Facebook is creating great content and engaging with the community.
- Your profile description should be complete and your web site URL should be showing right at the top so it’s visible to anyone who visits your page, not buried in your text.
- Use Tabs to give visibility for your other social platforms and email newsletter signs ups such as Pinterest, GetResponse (email vendor), YouTube, Awebber; the list is endless - you can have up to twelve tabs with four showing at one time.
- Your Cover Photo should be creative and your Profile picture can/should be your company logo at launch; change these later and rotate images you think add some sizzle to your page.
- Use Advertising on Facebook to accelerate growth for your page. But, don’t rely solely on advertising to build a large community, as engagement rules this platform: Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm is tuned to measure how this community is engaging with you: comments, your comments back, virality (shares of your content) and how/when consumers are sharing your content with their friends. Think of ads as the icing on the cake with your content being the foundation.
- It’s a fools game to buy “likes” on this platform. Don’t do it - these consumers (if they are in fact real) will never engage with your brand and if you do this at some point you’ll have to delete your business page and start over.
- Nurture your community on Facebook and cross promote your other social media channels and remember to “rinse and repeat” your content, as only about 20% of your community will see your status updates at one time.
- Hasthtags are the new short form currency of the content realm. Don’t forget to use the same hashtags on Facebook your brand is (hopefully!) using on Twitter and Pinterest. These should be a brand specific hashtag that you can “own” and a series of second tier hashtags. If you are GEO Targeting we love the TrendsMap platform which will give you a visual representation in locales for trending hashtags.
- Use WishPond to drive consumer engagement - they are the market leader in contests, email campaigns and landing pages. Their customer service is excellent, services are low cost/high value.
- Facebook has a built in content filtering capability for businesses: use your “like” pages to curate content you want to see and share. Many brands never even use this built in resource on a business page.
Key takeaways: if your business to business focused Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe G+ may be better channels. But, if your targeting consumers, don’t ignore Facebook. Just know advertising on Facebook is now a critical component to a successful Facebook presence.