We all understand that Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in Australia. However, recently some of our clients have expressed their frustration with their 'Facebook business pages'. The key frustration is that their business page just doesn't seem to be driving traffic and generating leads and there is little engagement. Lots of time and energy going in but not too many results.
Why are small business owners getting these results?
Let's take a closer look at why there might be a lack of engagement on Facebook business pages. Let's also explore how you might be able to work smarter and use Facebook more effectively and discuss some of the common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to using Facebook for Small Business Marketing.
Understanding how Facebook works
Facebook determines what people see in their "news feed" based on an algorithm. It's a mathematical formula used by Facebook to determine what to show people who are Facebook users. Facebook focuses on the posts that people 'like and engage with' most. Therefore, if people like, share or comment on a post from a particular Facebook page, Facebook believes that this information is more relevant to the person because they are spending more time 'engaging' with that content. As a result, more content from that page is placed into the person's news feed.
Facebook Small Business Marketing
Facebook is a "social" media tool and therefore will always favor content posted by friends, family and social connections over business content. Business content usually does not get the same traction as personal content and often requires a 'boost' so that the content can get in front of people. In general, business content gets seen by very few of the people who have liked your business page, these days you need to use paid Facebook advertising to get in front of your audience.
Business content on Facebook
Ultimately, like any other business, Facebook is a commercial entity and needs to make money and profits to satisfy owners and investors. As many of you may have already realized, Facebook knows it's worth and understands that it can be an effective digital marketing tool, that gives business owners access to a large world-wide audience and prospective customers! Facebook also understands that business owners are willing to pay to access new customers and reach new audiences and therefore has tapped into this market.
Boosting Posts & Paid promotions
One way to get more people to see your posts or news items is to pay so that you can 'boost' your post. Remember 'organic reach' which is not paid for, is very limited on Facebook nowadays particularly for business pages. Therefore, to get in front of your target audience you really need to consider boosting your posts or running paid advertising campaigns or promotions to increase reach and engagement.
How can I get some traction without paying?
There are a few ways, at the time of writing this article, but they take more effort.
Facebook "Live" which is a newer feature that Facebook has introduced, allows users to run live video streaming events. This is a fun and engaging way to reach your audience but you need to be comfortable in front of a camera and ready to answer questions and comments as there is also live interaction features that lets you know what's on your customers' minds. It's not for the faint hearted but gets better cut through and larger reach.
Facebook groups are different to Business pages and seem to be able to achieve more organic reach. Facebook groups are online forums that allow for small groups to communicate they generally focus on a topic of interest and are there to allow people that share common interest to interact and share knowledge, opinions and ideas. People can join groups that are often administered or moderated by one of more Facebook users. It could be a group that centers around a common cause or an activity such as mountain bike riding or photography, or it could even be centred around supporting others who are in a similar life stage or have similar circumstances such as a single parents group or an Autism Parents network or a group specific to small business owners.
With so many different options on Facebook it's sometimes difficult to determine what is the best option to go with or sometimes even where to start.
Keep in mind …
Don't create a personal profile for your small business.
Some new business owners and entrepreneurs create personal profiles for their businesses and brands, instead of creating a relevant Facebook Business Page or group. This is not ideal as it puts your business at a disadvantage. This is because Facebook business pages offer you a host of content creation tools, paid promotional opportunities, and analytics that are linked to a Facebook Business Page and will not be available to you if you set up a personal page.
Use Calls to Action
Once you've set up your business page, use a Call to action to get visitors to engage further with your business or brand. Is Facebook a referral source but you ultimately want to get visitors over to your e-commerce store or website? What do you want them to do when they get to your Facebook page? Call to actions are buttons with text on them like "Watch Video," "Sign Up," or "Book Now" These buttons can be customized or can include a (URL) web link to a ticketing page or e-commerce site.
Use your resources
Get help or use online resources, if you are unsure of where to start with Facebook, jump online and check out Facebook's help center. There is plenty of information for advertisers as well as tips and helpful videos you can watch. If you run a small business, are time poor and just want to find out how to improve your marketing reach or how to use Facebook more effectively, consider getting in touch with an agency that offers small business marketing services . Best of luck with your marketing.