Automaker General Motors recently pulled its $10 million Facebook campaign because it wasn’t seeing results—maybe you can relate? If the nation’s third-largest advertiser, who has a multimillion-dollar budget, can’t find enough of a value in Facebook, how can anyone else?
Are the days of Facebook marketing over? Should we all abandon our Facebook business pages and focus our social media attention elsewhere? Not so fast. Before you jump the Great Ship Facebook, take a look at the following 10 reasons why it might not be working for you, and consider what you might be able to change.
No Clear Objectives
First things first: in order to reach your goals, you have to set them. Success rarely happens by accident—so to achieve results through Facebook, you need a specific plan in place. What is it that you hope to find through Facebook engagement? A larger audience? A stronger community of followers? Increased traffic to your website? By setting specific goals, it’s easier to look for ways to reach them.
Not Knowing Your Audience
Who are your consumers? What are they interested in? What will they respond to? Do research, or enlist the help of a qualified Internet marketing company, to discover what your audience is looking for and deliver it.
On Facebook, resist the urge to post just to post. Instead, take the objectives you’ve set for your Facebook campaign and set specific strategies for reaching them. Maybe you’re a company that buildswebsite templates for podiatrists and your goal is to increase Web traffic. Your sub strategies could be featuring previous work or customer testimonials that link to your site, encouraging fans to click through.
Doing Everything Manually
Especially as a small or mid-sized company, you don’t have time to waste. That’s why, before ever pulling your Facebook campaign, it’s helpful to look for ways to streamline it, automating what you can. Take advantage of services like HootSuite, which lets you schedule updates across Facebook as well as Twitter, LinkedIn and others. There’s also Networked Blogs, which can auto-update your Facebook and Twitter accounts with your latest blog posts when you publish them.
Lack of Effort
While it’s true there are many ways to automate parts of your Facebook campaign, that doesn’t mean it won’t take time and effort. A lot of users underestimate the amount of time required for a quality Facebook strategy, which demands regular upkeep and sometimes outside help.
No Responses to Fans
This is a big one. It may seem obvious as a Facebook user, but for some reason more than half of companies are missing the value of responding on Facebook, according to a 2011 study. When fans comment or leave questions on your page, are you responding to them?—this gives them the sense of an actual conversation rather than empty business promotion, and it encourages them to keep coming back and tuning in to your message.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer providing kitchen gadgets or a safety company specializing in flame-retardant clothing: the most effective marketing campaigns answer the all-important consumer question of what’s in it for me? Make your Facebook page a place that yields real benefits for visitors, and you’re much more likely to keep their attention.
This goes hand-in-hand with being helpful: offer Facebook fans benefits that are not offered anywhere else. Whether discounts, specials, coupons or something else, give your fans some kind of value that keeps them coming back and encourages them to share. As an added benefit, when you run Facebook-only promotions, it’s easy to track how exactly your page is working.
The voice of your Facebook page should be consistent with the voice on your website and the voice on your Twitter profile and everywhere else—this strengthens your brand and your image to consumers.
No Measurement or Analysis
As with any project or initiative, you need to put specific measuring tools into place so you can continually monitor and adjust for progress. Use Facebook Insights to see what content is drawing attention and being shared and what content isn’t. Watch how your fan numbers are rising and declining. Taking the information you gain, see how you can adjust strategies accordingly.