Marketing – Facebook

I wrote a post titled Getting More Eyes On Your Facebook Business Page. That post talked about the kind of time it might take to keep one of those pages going and the commitment overall it takes to have one. I always believe, just like I do with blogging, that if you’re not going to add new content to it don’t even start.

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Of course the overall question is whether Facebook is a good marketing tool or not. I tend to think “no” overall, and I’m going to tell you why.

First, initially the only people you can invite to your Facebook page are people you know. How many of you have loved ones or close friends that often read your blogs? Very few people do, and it’s the same with a Facebook page, for the most part. I was lucky enough to get 26 people to initially sign up so I could create that little widget over there to the right that I could put up on this blog, a couple other blogs, and one of my websites.

To date, that little widget has driven 3 people to sign up on that page. That’s not all that good when you consider I’ve had that page up over a year, possibly longer; I’m not sure where I created it exactly. I’ve promoted it of course but it’s one of those strange conundrums where you’re asking yourself if you want to drive people to your Facebook page or your blog.

At this point I have 204 people subscribed to the page. Most of the people I’ve invited through Facebook, and I’m happy they’ve signed up. There’s a good number of people who signed up through Empire Avenue, of all things, although I’m not sure if they signed up directly because of that page or because I asked some questions on the Empire Avenue Facebook page. It’s my assumption that anyone else who’s signed up might have seen something in the stream of someone they were following and decided to join, but truthfully I’m not really clear on that one.

What kinds of things do I put there? I post a lot of links from 3 of my blogs, but mainly from my business blog. Occasionally if I find something that pertains to a business issue I’ll post it there as well. I also occasionally ask questions, trying to get a conversation started.

How successful am I? Every once in awhile I’ll get one response; makes me wonder if people even see the content all that often, since Facebook’s timeline moves pretty fast, especially if you’re connected to a lot of people. Frankly, there’s a lot of effort for very little active return.

Is it a good marketing tool for me? I’d have to say no. Can it be a good marketing tool for others? Actually it can, and that’s proven by one of our local TV news stations. They’re pretty big on Facebook. They ask “the question of the day” and will put some of the responses on TV; people love that. They’ve hooked up with their own Groupon-like deals thing that they push through Facebook and people love that. They promote the page often during newscasts, even more than their own website, which has news but isn’t really all that interactive. And one of their top news announcers, a guy named Matt Mulcahy, has fully embraced social media as he’s also on Twitter, writes a blog, and shows up at a lot of local social media events when he doesn’t have to do the news.

For my purposes, it gives me backlinks to my blogs. Other than that there’s no real marketing on my end; nothing I can really do. I’m not sure what others think, but maybe if you have something more to offer you could share it here.

17 thoughts on “Marketing – Facebook”

  1. I think you are looking it only from one angle Mitch. Facebook is excellent tool when we are talking about business with good customer base. When existing customers are invited to Facebook business page, there is quick follow up and even it isn’t necessary to send newsletters anymore. Facebook API is opened for many year, there are games and apps another great way for promotion. PPC ads, well I don’t think that this is a good marketing way as ads are very expensive and for sure there is huge outcome and low conversion. About timeline, it is moving very fast only for people with many friends like you and me, but average user doesn’t have more than a 100 friends. Again there is other thing, sometimes link or promo shared on Facebook can become viral very easy, as friends share to a friend and their friends too.

    1. Carl, let me ask you this then. Do you have a Facebook page, and if so how many subscribers do you have? I did acknowledge that large companies and businesses can do wonders with it, but for the rest of us, unless we get that “spark” from an outside source we’re not going to do much with it. Not that I don’t try, but the folks joining are pretty much insular; can’t get that other group, those other 900 million, to even see that I have a group, let alone think about joining it.

      1. I have exactly 6 Facebook pages and I have created about 20 for customers. It depends on the niche, it seems that travel, hospitality and entertainment are going very well, but personally I think that Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and probably the best ways to announce promotion to existing customer, probably difficult to find a new one, but not impossible. As well I have 2 open groups – IT and health related – it seems that there is a lot of activity going over there and actually levels of traffic are very high. I must mention something, about 2 years ago, it was going much easier, but right now it is too much spam from groups, pages and apps, which is may be the main reason why people are not joining the groups.

      2. Carl, I didn’t even know those groups could get spam; I guess I’ve been lucky in that regard, but without any activity it doesn’t seem to make much difference.

  2. Hi Mitch, Facebook can be a tough nut to crack. Since you started out the same way and I did, just using it for family and other offline connections, there is a real resistance to expanding the scope of the network.
    I started my page fully expecting it not to do well but much to my surprise it did OK. Now that I’ve gone through some training with Amy Porterfield and Mari Smith I’m really starting to get the hang of it. But I think what has changed my mind about Facebook is the new Timeline for Pages they recently introduced. It’s the first cool change they made in a long time and I can see how it will make it easier for us to engage.
    For one thing you no longer need to keep switching back and forth between page and profile in order to add new friends who have liked your page. Also, pages can interact privately with profiles through the new messaging feature. That’s huge in my opinion, because in the past pages were so segregated. Hopefully Facebook will continue this trend of allowing Pages to interact directly with people who like the Page.
    Thanks for the post Mitch. I’ll be sure to share this post over on my page. 🙂

    1. Truthfully Ileane, I’ve never switched back and forth; I wonder if that’s why not so many people see what I post. Then again, you said we don’t have to do it anymore, so that shouldn’t be my issue. I understand you have a video on the subject, so I’ll be searching for it.

      Still, I keep wondering even if I get the page to grow if it’s still feasible as a place where I might get business, or even as a true marketing forum. It’s going to take some serious exploration.

  3. I built a FB page before Christmas and have configured it to automatically update from the blog so at least there is some activity on there, so the only tangible benefit I am getting right now are blog post backlinks for SEO.

    Here it is

    As Carl alluded to above, simply setting up a page and posting to it in itself is not quite enough – one advantage from a paid ad perspective to a FB Page is that ads are easier to get approved and supposed to be cheaper as compared to linking outside the FB platform (though I have still found them cost prohibitive as I haven’t got sales conversions worked out yet)

    I think its a good additional marketing option, if someone doesn’t want an RSS email, autoresponder email or to follow you on Twitter they have the choice of simply ‘liking’ the FB page.

    Like any marketing medium, to grab its full power you do need to create some sort of purpose driven message or even incentivisation like quizes, free samples etc which can go viral – I’m not there yet

    I’d prefer to concentrate on the site and SEO for now and leave this on my to do list – though I do have one idea under wraps at the moment.

    I’ve read numerous guides on this and there are so many opinions out there but if you dont want ot pay for ads you need some other high traffic source.

    Who said marketing was easy?

    1. Certainly not me Peter, and it’s also not cheap. Well, it is, but cheap might not be as effective. I don’t see me paying for ads until I have something worth paying for that I’m trying to sell. And since my page is based on my business, contests and the like don’t quite fit. So, I pretty much have to just get on with what I can.

  4. interesting post. Is it just me or is the new facebook page about as confusing as a mofo!

    Seems like wordpress is easier to understand than facebook.

    I never have been a big fan of FB though I see g+ or some new network taking over in the next 5 years.

    Have you ever seen that video of mark zukerberg sweating on the couch? hilarious.

    1. Jacko, it is very confusing to me, but some people really like it. I might like it later; just don’t have the time to really figure out what to do with it. And no, I can’t say I’ve ever seen any videos of Zuckerberg; only on 60 Minutes.

  5. Considering the popularity of facebook, it’s really important to have facebook presence for a business. Having a strategy to get more followers is really required.

  6. I agree. (like that’s gonna matter to you 🙂 ) I do have a Facebook account and I did set up a business page for my writing, but I found it very ineffective. Facebook is a fine way to keep up with friends and family, but as a business tool, I’m just not seeing the value… at least not for MY business.

    There is a coffee shop in town that uses Facebook as their web site, they post a few times a day, post the specials and offer discounts. The owner tells me that she does really well with it. It is one of the few businesses I have Liked on my Facebook account just so I can keep up with what they’re offering.

    1. Allan, I think we have similar business types, and it makes it harder for us to get what we need out of it. Companies do seem to have it easier, that’s for sure.

  7. I honestly have not had to much success on my fan page either. I do not really promote it though but always add it to my signature in my emails. I have had a couple of subscribers but with Facebook its a another marketing strategy to get people to your page and with this new timeline change it is going to be even harder. I honestly think Facebook did this because the small people were getting more exposure than the Big companies so they teamed up to try and stop us somehow. Good luck on Facebook!!

    1. Joseph, I’ve never thought about adding it to my signature, and I might consider it at some point. I have so many other things on my signature file that I’m not sure I want another line so I might have to remove something else. I don’t think Facebook really wants companies there either, but I’m not sure they made the change to really hurt any of us.

  8. You need to be creative when it comes to marketing a FB page. I have gotten business from my FB page and I have less than 100 likes. I am working on increasing this. Here is what you should do, join this group on facebook,

    It is facebook like exchange program, you like someone’s page and he or she will like yours. I also mail everyone who likes my page offering to like their page and I put in a small punt about my products.

    1. Not a bad idea Wade, and maybe this will work for others. I’m not a “I’ll do yours if you’ll do mine” kind of guy; that’s proven not to work so many times that I just gave it up.

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