Increasingly, people are genuinely interested in getting their business involved in social media but they're afraid that they would be wasting their time with Facebook marketing.
To be clear, I'm neither in love with any social media space, nor suggesting that Facebook is the be all, end all of marketing, but I am in love with what any space can do for driving business and building a brand.
One of the most prominent arguments against Facebook is something to the effect of, "They could disappear tomorrow and I wouldn't care. Don't you remember MySpace? There was a time that no one thought they would go away either. What makes Facebook any different?"
The answer is: who cares?
That answer, my friends, is the one that trips up tongues and stops arguments dead in their tracks. Why? Because seriously, the only people that should care if Facebook is triumphant are their investors. If you are one of them, then bless your soul. If you aren't.. get over it and leave the Haterade outside.
There's Work to be Done!
I remember back when I thought MySpace was starting to falter. I expressed that very fact to my friends. Later that same year I was able to successfully launch a contextual ad campaign on MySpace and leverage a 10-15 percent CTR on ads for pennies on the dollar.
This campaign was able to net hundreds of thousands of dollars for my client and their previous efforts on Google AdWords search network and beyond. I was able to run this on a limited budget and personally oversaw it for 2 very successful years.
You see, whether Facebook bites the dust in 6 months or 10 years, it should be irrelevant to you as a marketer or business owner. Instead, the productive conversation should be around how to make any viable marketplace work for you.
Why All the Facebook Negativity?
I currently have Admin access to Facebook pages and ad campaigns of several dozen different brands. The following screenshot is a random sampling among these Facebook Pages Insights reports which shows the reach and engagement of each of their Facebook posts. The results here are not uncommon in my studies and it is notable that each of the pages queried here have 3,000 to 5,000+ fans of their brand.
Wow! It's no wonder that people, even those actively working to market in this space might have a negative opinion of Facebook Pages/Advertising.
Let's take a minute and look at the pages that make up this report:
- Each has 3,000-5,000+ fans (well branded for an SMB on Facebook)
- Has Brand Recognition (each brand has people who recognize it on their personal social media outlet)
- Mix of B2B and B2C
- Each brand has $0 -> $500/mo in Facebook Ads per month.
- Each advertiser is pushing people to an off-site page to directly sell their services
- Each page is strictly reaching out with a "corporate approach", meaning everything on their page is essentially a post or reason why people should use their services
Experimenting on Facebook
Let's now take a look at a B2B Facebook page with less than 200 fans. They have decided to test a $300 monthly budget for Facebook Ads. They are spending 1 month experimenting with different styles of posts and content that could potentially relate to their existing fan base as well as their "Friends of Fans" potential outreach.
This brand is willing to experiment and is mainly looking to identify what marketing on Facebook should or could mean to them. They are trying traditional styled ads, more socially based ads, as well as a mix of traditional content and more experimental content. All ads are pushing people to Facebook content, of which 50 percent takes people off site and 50 percent keeps them on the FB platform.
That screenshot is just 2 weeks in to their testing! A relatively unknown business to business website experimenting with their Facebook page has well over doubled my sampling from established brands that have over 10 times a greater presence in the same space but aren't reaching their core audience in the same way.
5 Tips to Build Your Brand Socially
Although the testing from this company is far from done, I wanted to share how you might approach making the same sort of thing happen for your company:
- Don't worry so much about whether you are targeting Facebook, MySpace, Diaspora, Friendster, or Pinterest. The importance is not about how relevant they are to the entire world, rather how relevant they are to you.
- Don't try to push messaging down the throat of your potential audience. Instead try to understand why they are there in the first place and how you can compliment and expand that experience.
- Corporate messaging rarely works. If you are part of some bureaucracy, you need to learn how to lean with your weight in the right places that will help build your brand and break down those walls. Social media is called that for a reason. Don't stand in the rank and file. Break down the walls and figure out how people can relate to you and how you can relate to them.
- I've many times heard that Instagram and Pinterest should only be used by brands with something "visual" to sell. Baloney! Every company on planet earth has something visual to give to their audience. If you are willing to be creative and figure out what that is for your brand you will likely be rewarded far beyond your competition.
- If you can spend a little bit of money to help promote yourself in unchartered social media waters, be equally as willing to try different tactics and messaging in order to reach and better understand your potential base. This will pay off in your overall strategy and you'll be wondering why it took you so long to get to that point in the first place.
Have you taken a small brand and been able to build it up in social media or are you struggling to do so? Do you love or hate Facebook? Post your results or your questions in the comments and we'll try our best to help you out… or sing your praise!