Friday, 8 May 2015

Marketing with Facebook... Not as easy as some believe!

So a couple of years ago I had a client come to me completely exasperated. "My Facebook postings are only being seen by 10% of my fans! And there's a Boost button under my post now. Do they want me to start paying for my fans to see my posts!? I can't believe it!" I kind of felt sorry for him, but at the same time a felt like saying, "well duh, how long did you think the free ride was going to last?"

The result of that December date when Facebook changed their distribution algorithm, was to reintroduce me to a group of confused clients looking for more answers. They had been using Facebook as part of their on-line marketing efforts and now they were facing additional spending to continue. But that wasn't the only challenge before them. Or me.

For many the post boost feature seemed the most affordable first step, and they got on board spending and then seeing the resulting "Reach" (and metric) go up. It seemed to make sense. It was right there in front of them. Spend some money and get your posts out to more people. They didn't like it but at least it was understandable and the metrics told them it was working. Or so they thought.

It wasn't the same. The comments, likes, shares and general activity just wasn't the same as before they were telling me. And the metrics were confusing they said.

I tried it myself of course. Spent some money boosting, saw metrics move around, had friends and a few clients reference my facebook business activity. But my thoughts were "Wow, this is going to eat up a lot of time for everyone."  Clearly Facebook had made broad changes to their system as part of a monetization effort. Those wishing to use Facebook as a marketing avenue had to do some research before they spent a lot of time and money on a fruitless effort.

As I personally hadn't really used Facebook as part of my promotion efforts, I didn't have much to offer. "There certainly is a lot of information on-line", with a grin I told many of my clients.

Since then I have done my own Facebook research. Jon Loomer of offers some good advice. I particularly like the fact that he talks the long game, and not to get caught up in metrics watching.

The upshot of all this and my advice to small businesses and start ups is to take caution when getting involved with Facebook marketing. There certainly are many out there willing to share their insights. Some better than others and most willing to take your cash in exchange for some degree of knowledge. Do some shopping and find a course of some kind to take, download or whatever to gain the knowledge you need. You certainly don't want to go into it blind as the number of pitfalls are many.

But more important than gaining Facebook marketing knowledge, is the knowledge that it takes far more than just knowing Facebook to run an effective on-line marketing campaign. It takes quality products or services, and a sustained communication effort across several media types to create relationships.

Don't get too caught up in the technology. Take a bit of time and gain some knowledge about Facebook and other social marketing opportunities, but never forget "Content is King".

You can use many of the techniques presented by Facebook marketing advisers, but it's your content that you should be dedicating the bulk of your attention to. It's good content that returns visitors and creates relationships. Keep that in mind when working your market.

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