In many ways, the rules, rewards and risks of marketing a small business on Facebook have changed. Whether or not that is good or bad depends upon not only whom you ask or your “secrets of social” savvy, but also, your social media strategy and budget. On the next episode of The Marketing Mojo Show, we have summoned a bit of divine intervention from Ramon Ray, marketing and technology evangelist and best-selling author of the Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing. Tune in, join the conversation or download the show (after 6/18/14) for the ammunition you need to make sound social media advertising decisions.
In the meantime, here are several takes on Facebook marketing worthy of consideration by small business marketers.
From Ramon Ray, Small Business Evangelist- Infusionsoft; Technology Evangelist- Smallbiztechnology.com; Author
… The key to better advertising in any medium – social, billboard, magazine, etc – is to know your target audience, be able to target that audience as granular as possible and measuring the metrics of the advertisement’s success (or lack thereof).
… If you have not tried advertising on Facebook, or found your results not so great – consider trying it again. But before you do any advertising ensure you know your target audience and that your advertising copy is well crafted.
From Tabitha Jean Naylor, Founder – SuccessfulStartup.com
So, does Facebook marketing work? …Well, this depends a lot on your approach. A lot of businesses have abandoned their Facebook accounts because they were not working as they were led to believe by the information they got online. In business, most strategies will work; it all depends on how much time and resources you are willing to dedicate to them. …For a business account, you will need to update calculated information that will not only get the audience interested, but make them want to visit your website or your physical business.
…Bottom line, Facebook can be a very effective marketing tool.
From Joe Lazauskas, Editor in Chief, @Contently
According to a new report from Simply Measured, the total engagement for the top 10 most-followed brands on Facebook has declined 40 percent year-over-year—even as brands have increased the amount of content they’re posting by 20.1 percent.
For brands on Facebook, these are dark days. They can choose to spend more money to reach fans they had already accumulated in the past, but Facebook will likely decrease branded reach even further.
From Victor Luckerson, Reporter-Producer, Time.com
There will be no summer vacation for Facebook — the company is spending the season trying to convince small businesses to buy more ads on the social network.
… Some frustrated business owners have cast the decline as a bait-and-switch meant to force businesses to buy ads to make their Pages useful. Facebook says the issue is a logical outcome for a social network where more and more users are posting more content every month.
… Controversy over reach has not stopped businesses from opening new Pages. Facebook revealed that 30 million small business owners now have active Pages, up from 25 million at the end of 2013. 19 million of these small businesses manage their pages via mobile devices, and 1 million businesses in total advertise on Facebook each month.
From Elan Dekel, Contributor, Forbes.com
Facebook, you can’t have it both ways. Either ask businesses to pay for likes, or ask businesses to pay for posts. But asking them to pay premium rates for both is unreasonable and drives the cost of marketing on Facebook into the stratosphere. Perhaps this model works for celebrities or famous brands that can build up huge followings organically. But for small businesses that closely track their spending, Facebook Pages in their current incarnation are a bad investment.
From Cotton Delo, San Francisco Bureau Chief, Advertising Age
…Facebook contended that algorithmic changes had been made to weed out spammy, non-engaging content, but that the median reach of pages hadn’t budged. It particularly objected to the inference that the changes had been made to spur marketers to spend more on ads to make up for lost reach.
But now Facebook is making the case for marketers to do just that. In the document, titled “Generating business results on Facebook,” the paragraph in which the impending drop-off in organic reach is revealed concludes with an ad pitch; marketers are told they should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.”
From John McDermott, Staff Writer, Digiday
All hope is not lost for Twitter, however. Facebook burned quite a few local businesses, which spent years urging its customers to “like us on Facebook,” only to find Facebook would turn around and not show businesses’ updates to those customers — unless, of course, they paid for ads.
“You can have a fifth of the following on Twitter, and it’d be a better buy,” said Tony Maggiotto, business adviser at the New York State Small Business Development Center.
Maggiotto added that Facebook could increase its value to small-business owners by teaching them how to more precisely target their desired audience when using paid promotions. Again, the key is education.
So what’s your take on Facebook marketing? Is it a game change for small businesses? Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and feedback on social media advertising in the comments section of this post.
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