Facebook may be here to stay, but new businesses still have to make the decision of whether or not to put valuable marketing resources into a Facebook Business Page.
At Mygooi we’ve been building a FB community for six months and as of this week have 225,443 Likes. Some Likes have come from organic reach, others have come from posts where we’ve paid to get in front of potential followers. (Tip: Mobile FB advertising rocks!)
But did anyone ever make a purchase decision based on a Facebook status update?
Feeling the Pinch
The harsh reality in late July 2014 is that to reach your existing audience on Facebook you pretty much have to pay. Not always a lot, but something: 50 dollars here, 100 dollars there gets your updates in front of a few thousand of your friends and followers.
If you don’t pay, it’s likely your carefully crafted Facebook updates will reach under one percent of your existing followers.
The Rise of Click & Move On
Back in the early days of blogging, ca 2003, it was pretty standard to get a bunch of comments, thoughts and meaningful responses from people that stumbled across the content private and business bloggers were publishing online.
In the early days of social media, blogs were important digital homes and those businesses that built a strong platform of followers and visitors to their site through Google search, benefited in getting their message out.
Fast forward to 2014. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and to a lesser extent Google+ are the new blogs; Like buttons (or whatever a service is calling them) are the new Blog Comments. A visitor to your stream will either Like or ignore your messaging then quickly move on. If you’re extremely lucky you might get a couple of word response.
A New Sensation
Sites like Upworthy seem to have invaded our unconscious attitudes, teaching us to notice dumbed-down, sensational content before anything else. No wonder more and more business content on Facebook feels increasingly sensational.
But Is Facebook Worth it?
Since when has telling jokes, being rude and provocative, flashing the flesh, being outlandish, crazy or zany sold a photocopying machine?
Or medical reporting data.
Or multinational corporate law services ?
I’m aware I’m painting in broad strokes here but the point I’m trying to get across is that businesses in the B2B space have typically won customers by building trust, credibility and showing potential customers that they can “answer” the business problems that the prospect is trying to solve.
“What’s the best value copy machine for our office?” won’t necessarily be answered by a Facebook status update.
“Which legal services provider in my city will help us cover ourselves when selling to Belgium?” won’t either.
Build a Solid Base & Maybe Spice to Taste
Bottom line, if you’re working in the B2B sector, your website, its ability to be found in Google search when potential customers seek answers to their question or clear, precise and engaging copy – is way more likely to convert leads and prospects than something sensational on Facebook.
Sure, being on Facebook or Twitter might help you get people into that initial sales funnel, get your brand noticed, and humanize your brand. But frankly I don’t see it as a must-have platform for every new business starting out there today. Particularly as it seems you have to pay Facebook to even reach one percentage of the hard worn Liking audience you’ve built on Facebook.
A Social Marketing Recipe for Your Business
- Build a first-class website that is targeted to your ideal customer
- Make sure your website easily and effectively communicates your key value proposition – preferably under 2 seconds
- Invest in creating outstanding content that folks online will share, promote and remember as a valuable reflection of your key value proposition
- Put resources into the best copywriters and content marketers you can afford, who will help you build the credibility of your business online
- Invest the money you’d put into Facebook into creating quality content. If it’s good enough, a big fat Like button might just get people to share it on Facebook.
What would you bake into the marketing mix?