The more I focus on Social Media as a service for our clients, the more I focus on the value of Facebook. The biggest reason is that I have witnessed time and time again is the impact it has on sales for my clients. Other platforms have their place in an overall Social Media Strategy for your business but none have matched Facebook's ability to truly drive sales.
Having participated in a social selling strategy and clearly seeing the results for my clients, I can confidently stand by the value of Facebook. And even with that evidence in hand, I find myself having to overcome misconceptions and outdated Social Media beliefs.
I wanted to discuss these three hurdles that I most commonly have to overcome with my clients. Unfortunately, the reason we have to discuss this time and time again is because so many services providers are pounding messages into Automotive that incorrectly define how to manage Facebook in 2016.
- Likes – Early on when Facebook first came out the only way we knew to gauge success was the number of “Likes” you could get for a page. That is very outdated way of thinking. Building an audience is still important but you want to be sure to build a relevant audience that are liking your page for the right reasons. Contest and giveaways (also outdated) are the worst way to build an audience. In my opinion, even Facebook "LIKE" ads are an outdated practice and aren’t worth the money. If you are posting relevant content and using the proper advertising paired with targeting to ensure exposure to that targeted audience, you will see steady growth of your fan base. People that can actually walk in your door and do business with you are who you want to speak with anyway. Any other “likes” really shouldn’t matter to you. Facebook for business is pay to play. They are making that very clear. You will hear of tricks to “game” the system but the unavoidable truth is you have to spend money on Facebook to truly get results. Having a page full of purchased likes or irrelevant likes that are inactive just cost you money in wasted advertising and show your customers that you are talking to an empty uninterested room. And that is NOT the message you want to send to potential shoppers.
- Engagement – I see people still extremely focused on engagement. Don’t get me wrong, it is still an important part of a successful Facebook strategy but relevancy is more important than the numbers themselves. Getting lots of likes, shares, and comments on content that has nothing to do with your business does nothing for your business. People don’t remember who posted the latest gossip about the Kardashians, they only remember the gossip. If you keep your post relevant to your business, your audience stays relevant to your business. Remember, nothing else matters. And to be clear, engagement is important. You just have to do it the right way with the right strategic messaging.
- Sales – Because the above outdated practices are still alive and well in many offerings throughout the Social Media world, so is the thought that Facebook is not a way to generate sales for your business. WRONG. Facebook (when implemented properly) is one of the most effective and affordable ways to drive sales. I am not referring to the timeline. That is still mostly used to provide information and build rapport with your fanbase. When the timeline is properly conditioned it will also generate opportunity but for the most part I am talking about Facebook advertising, specifically unpublished posts. Using Facebook’s provided data, you can serve up relevant posts that only show up in the timeline of the person being targeted. This targeting is important because they have expressed interest or illustrate the behavior that they are in the market for your products or services. On top of all of that, you actually have the ability to create custom audiences using lists generated from your own database. You can market directly to that list OR have Facebook generate a lookalike list based on similarities of the profiles. The possibilities are endless. We have successfully used data to increase sales, recruit new employees, and bring awareness to all aspects of our clients business and involvement in the community.
This is Facebook in 2016. Stop worrying about whether people like you, put the humpday camel out to pasture, get serious about social in 2016. Set a budget, have a plan, incorporate real strategy and get help if you need it. I am more than happy to discuss it with you.