You have been hearing it for a while now…
“You gotta be on Facebook, there’s 500 million people on there.”
“Facebook has over 800 million people, it can’t be ignored.”
“Every business should be on Facebook, there’s over a billion people there. If it were a country…”
It doesn’t matter that there are a billion people on Facebook. That matters to only 5-10 companies globally…you’re probably not one of them.
The Reality of Facebook Marketing
The reality of Facebook marketing is this: it’s horrible.
For every company that tells you about their positive ROI, we can find several hundred that simply lost money.
For every company that gives Facebook a pass on the necessity of advertising, you’ll find hundreds of companies that spent money amassing an audience that they don’t get to organically reach.
For all the hoopla and hype about engagement and conversations, Facebook marketing is nothing more than a two-trick system.
- The first trick is to buy visibility. On every other platform, this is unnecessary because those that follow you, get to see what you post; not on Facebook.
- The other trick is to play the EdgeRank game.
The EdgeRank game means: see how many likes, comments and shares you can get, regardless of the relevance that content has on your business goals. Do this so that more people will see your posts in their newsfeed, because remember, 98% of all activity on Facebook is in the Newsfeed and EdgeRank is an algorithm that focuses on meaningless crap. Likes, Comments and Shares are only legitimate indicators when placed on an even playing field. That is to say, unless every audience member can see it, there’s no way to tell how many actually like something, or want to comment or share.
Why Facebook Marketing is a joke
Facebook has created a scenario where you either need to pay to play, or resort to tactics that have nothing to do with your business. Legitimate, authentic, well conceived and executed content and communication will hit 6-10% of your fans.
Meanwhile this shit will get visibility in the newsfeed:
Posts such as “Like this post if you hate cancer” will garner a decent amount of passive engagement and “earn” its way into the newsfeed by being lazy. So many brands spend a majority of their time coming up with these sorts of posts, in order to create the opportunity that once in a while they can post something relevant and be seen.
Does resorting to gimmickry like this help your brand? Not at all.
So what’s a business to do?
Here’s what you do, stop getting seduced by stupid, meaningless numbers like: total number of users on Facebook. A billion people means NOTHING if you only reach 16!
If you really want to build an audience that cares about what you do, and at some point may convert into buyers, while STILL maintaining the possibility of increased reach through social sharing…start a blog and build an email list. TA-DA!
Syndicate that blog onto Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin. If people engage on Facebook, great! If not, move on. Your goal is to build your list and establish a position in your industry. Have conversations whereever they arise, but don’t get obsessed with Facebook.
No one can limit your blog traffic but you. There’s no algorithms to worry about (other than search rankings). No matter what you post, it will get to those that opt in. If they don’t like it, they unsubscribe.
It’s Social Darwinism at its best; content becomes survival of the fittest.
Do whatever you want, but if you ask me, it’s about time businesses start calling Facebook on their bluff.
We write on this blog frequently with our honest intention being to deliver relevant insights, opinions, information, and advice for our audience that has self-selected and opted-in. We bust our collective asses writing, thinking of content, sourcing images and soliciting feedback to improve. After all that, it sucks to reach 14 people out of 286. Mind you, we’re not blaming Facebook for how many people read, enjoy, or share our posts, just how many have the OPPORTUNITY to see it.
We wouldn’t mind needing to pay to reach NEW people, but to pay to reach the people that already stated “Yes, I would like to see this information,” is simply crazy to us.
Facebook is not the only game in town. Google+ is the 2nd largest social network on the web and the only real name in search. Twitter is still a beast and in my eyes the most conversational platform for brands. Pinterest is driving more traffic than almost anything else…and it’s traffic that converts. And Linkedin is the B2B conversion monster, nothing comes close on our Social Business Agency website when it comes to Time on Site and Conversions.
Do yourself a favor and start slowly migrating your audience to better social platforms and spend some serious time creating good content for your own site.
What do you think? Are we wrong?