Is Marketing on Facebook Hurting You?
There was a time when Facebook was considered the silver bullet in online marketing. In the late 2000s to the early 2010s, you will be in a bind if you look for a business that hasn’t found success or hasn’t benefited from using this social media to market their business. It was pretty much the heyday of Facebook, so everyone, including businesses who hitched their wagon to it found a lot of positive effects in using the platform for their online marketing efforts. Businesses were quick to form an audience with Facebook users and actually interact with them through their pages, so the engagement was very effective, resulting in more brand loyalty.
But of course, as with any other business, things change, things get complicated, and things will never be the same again. Facebook became a business that saw the opportunity of profiting from businesses that use their platform by restricting the organic reach of the business’ posts so these brands have no choice but to invest more in paid advertising. Facebook has gotten embroiled on data security concerns and lately on issues alleging the platform to promote the proliferation of fake news. Various businesses actually staged a boycott, cutting their Facebook advertising budgets, which although wasn’t that successful, signaled a huge problem with the platform. On the users’ side, Facebook’s reputation has gotten a beating with its involvement in the previous elections and the surfacing of so many pages peddling fake information.
Are small businesses getting hit?
With the various issues Facebook must face particularly in the areas of security and authenticity of its user database, the platform has no choice but to constantly upgrade its security efforts. There have been regular efforts (monthly or weekly, it seems nowadays) for fake accounts to be taken down and pages related to these fake accounts to be disabled. While these efforts are well and good, small businesses may have become victims of this. As recently as November 2020, business pages of some small businesses have been blocked by mistake by AI algorithms that mistake content on these small business pages as offensive ads. With their pages unusable during the biggest sales events of the year, businesses struggling from the effects of the pandemic yet took another hit that has caused them so much anew.
For many small businesses, Facebook has become a potent financial lifeline, but there have been drawbacks that include problems with the company’s content-moderation software, limited options for customer support and lack of transparency about how to fix problems.
As the growth in Facebook advertising continues it is tempting to think Facebook Pages are not a great way for a business to gain engagement. However, as with any social media platform, it all comes down to understanding both the functionality and the culture of the people using it. Facebook has always been a place where people connect with other people: friends, acquaintances, and (more recently) those who share common interests through groups.
Effective use: Facebook Groups
With Facebook’s pages being strictly (and in a lot of cases erroneously) policed by artificial intelligence algorithms, small businesses might want to look for other venues in the platform to seek the right audience and engage with them. One good idea for this is through Facebook Groups. Groups usually get moderated by its own administrators and members also get screened, so the chances of interacting with more authentic accounts who are genuinely interested in topics of that particular Facebook group is better.
Here’s a hot fact: customers are loyal to companies that treat them well. Inviting fans to be part of a community and engaging with them directly and regularly shows you care and builds invaluable loyalty and trust. If you want to take your relationship with your customer to the next level, a Facebook group is a great way to get serious.
So, how about your own biz’s FB page?
If your business doesn’t have a dedicated page yet, it is high time you should have one already, or you might get duped by someone who already made a page with your business name, maintained it for years already and will sell it to you at an exorbitant price. With the concerns mentioned earlier, just exercise control over maintaining your page. Make sure that the quality of your page is consistently high so that it doesn’t become a platform of followers with fake profiles and users from content farms who proliferate fake news.
Visit www.Facebook.com/Business and click on “Create a Page” in the top right corner. Keep in mind, you’ll need to link this business page to a personal account. Typically, the account of your social media manager (if you have one) is the best option. If not, use the account of the employee who will spearhead your Facebook marketing strategy.
If you have decided in making Facebook a major platform of your marketing efforts, get in touch with us.