How Marketers are Missing Out by Focusing on Facebook

rorymartin
Rory Martin Owner, Seattle Web Design, Development, and Social Media Marketing

Posted on September 5th 2012

How Marketers are Missing Out by Focusing on Facebook

With all the available social networking opportunities, businesses may forget why they came to social networks (like Facebook) in the first place – to drive traffic and sales.  Unfortunately, we see a number of marketing tactics employed each day, that send social media users to branded social networking pages, without any bridge to the business’s corporate website.  Though it seems counterintuitive, Facebook is not an ideal medium to broadcast your brand message.  That’s not to say Facebook is not useful in amplifying your marketing tactics.  Facebook should be used as a bridge for users to connect to your website.  Here’s why.

Your Posts are only reaching a minority of your fans.

ImageAccording to Datamation.com, “For the most popular businesses on Facebook, those with more than a million "fans," fewer than 3 percent of those fans are seeing the companies' daily updates… The picture improves for smaller companies. For those with between one thousand and ten thousand "fans," the percentage is just under 10 percent.

The report found a general reverse correlation between number of fans and percentage of fans seeing updates every day.” 

That’s a huge gap in your fan base, versus what your fans are hearing, due to Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm.  EdgeRank is Facebook’s solution to “social media fatigue” – only posting content if your Facebook page has a high EdgeRank.  How do you get a high EdgeRank?  Entice users to click or comment on, or generally interact with your Facebook posts by posting interactive content.  It’s a double edged sword because to gain EdgeRank, you seemingly have to HAVE EdgeRank already.   Don’t just assume your fans can hear you on Facebook like they would on your business’s website.

Facebook is a Social Platform, not a Business Platform.

Businesses can listen to and communicate to fans IF those fans go to the business’s Facebook page.  However, Facebook is not really a conversation medium.  There’s no good way to target specific audiences by specific criteria - the profile data to narrow down, and target your preferred audience is insufficient.  Even if you have a custom welcome tab that weeds out non-fans from engaged fans, you really only have ONE Page for your entire audience. And as John Schroeter says in his article on Facebook strategy, “… In an age of personalized content delivery, [this] runs counter to … marketing best practice.”

Facebook pages are not the place to drive deep, targeted engagement when it comes to content, because it’s almost impossible to target fans without running ads.  And running ads still doesn’t guarantee your ads will be seen since Facebook ads don’t show up on most mobile clients.  This is why it’s absolutely necessary to use Facebook as a bridge to your corporate website.   

Facebook is Not Your Website

It’s important to remember that while you may have copy rights to your logo, your brand slogan or motto, and your business’s content, anything you put on Facebook is subject to Facebook’s Terms of Use (“… you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook”).  Not only that, you’re subject to apps developed for Facebook, viruses from links, and hacked accounts.  That makes it extra hard to control who sees what, and where your content is being used.  While business accounts are safe – for the most part - the liability is enough to send any brand manager into convulsions.  This means that businesses NEED a corporate website for news, product, events, etc – and they need to not rely on Facebook alone.

Facebook is a tool and can be incredibly useful as a means of emphasizing your brand communications.  However, it’s important to remember that Facebook should not be your customer’s end destination but a bridge to your corporate website.  When used strategically, your business’s Facebook page can be the link that turns conversation into conversion.    

rorymartin

Rory Martin

Owner, Seattle Web Design, Development, and Social Media Marketing

RoryMartin.com is an innovative web marketing and design firm in Seattle, WA, that brings companies and their customers closer together. A team of independent thinkers, our diverse backgrounds provide a blend of creativity and technological expertise that translates into immediate and lasting business impact for our customers and their clients on the Social Web. We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.

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