Why Facebook Is Not Part of My Social Media Strategy

ubersocialmedia
Shell Robshaw-Bryan Marketing Consultant, Surefire Media

Posted on April 24th 2014

Why Facebook Is Not Part of My Social Media Strategy

When it comes to social media, if a business is using it, you can bet that the first social network they levitate towards is Facebook. Whilst Facebook is still the largest social network in the world, active users here in the UK have been in decline for more than a year now. Ask any 20 year old what social network they are using, and Facebook is likely not to rank highly in their list. Econsultancy recently reported that the level of active Facebook usage fell by 3% in the second half of 2013, claiming that the gap between Facebook and it’s rivals is narrowing year-on year.

Facebook? No Thanks

When I launched a new blog for myself a little under 3 weeks ago, I took a carefully measured decision not to include Facebook in my social media strategy.

Despite the subject of my new blog, Camping With Style, seeming like a good fit, my experience of Facebook has shown me that the investment required for organic activities to be effective (i.e. driving  awareness, engagement and referral traffic), is just too high to make it a viable option for me.

Why Limit Your Messaging To Just 1%-2%* of Your Followers?

When it comes to starting a community from zero, the recent news that just 1%-2% (Social and Search News that May Change Your Content Marketing) of people who like a business page, will ever see a post in their News Feed, seriously damages the value that Facebook has for businesses.

Why invest time into activities on Facebook when such a small audience will be reached? I would rather invest my time in other social networks that do not limit my reach in such a way.

Organic Facebook Marketing Just Doesn’t Work

People argue that paid advertising on Facebook is effective. I’ve used paid Facebook advertising numerous times and have indeed received an acceptable return compared to say, banner advertising. My argument however, is that once you’ve paid for exposure and been rewarded with a page ‘like’, how do you reach that same person again? Organic activity is highly unlikely to work, so in order to reinforce your brand in the mind of the fan you’ve already paid to aquire, you have to once again, pay to reach them, and so it continues.

The demise of organic reach on Facebook is nothing new, but the latest News Feed algorithm changes mean, that when it comes to starting a community from zero, Facebook just can’t deliver

It has long been the case that growing a new Facebook community using organic activity alone, is a long and drawn out process, but it did used to be possible. It still IS possible for sole traders, events, artisans and some small local businesses, but for many businesses, attempting to grow any sort of meaningful community organically on Facebook is a waste of time and other social networks will present much more viable opportunities.

Pay To Play Or Stay Away

When it comes to businesses who already have a few thousand in their Facebook community, it is certainly still possible to reach significant numbers of their audience – 2% of 20,000 followers provides you with more engagement potential than 2% of say, 100 followers. So whilst there is still value in organic activities for existing Facebook communities, in my opinion, starting from zero, Facebook is likely to be ineffective.

Facebook is a media platform and as such, should be evaluated against other paid advertising platforms and not against other social networks

Whilst I am certain that the new blog would in time, find an audience on Facebook, I simply don’t believe that the effort required compares favourably with the investment necessary to achieve better results on other social networks like Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

In under 3 weeks I have built up over 280 Twitter followers, many of whom are highly engaged, regularly commenting, re-tweeting and mentioning my blog. Whilst it is still very early days, this engagement also translates through to referral traffic and newsletter signups. I have no doubt that this eclipses anything I could have achieved on Facebook in the same amount of time, and that is why Facebook is not part of my social media strategy.

*Various figures have been quoted, typically below 5% and most recently reported at 1%-2%. Adecdotal evidence supports the below 5% figure with my own clients typically seeing up to 4% engagement levels.

The post Why Facebook Is Not Part of My Social Media Strategy appeared first on Marketing & Social Media Blog | Marketing insights, tips and advice.

ubersocialmedia

Shell Robshaw-Bryan

Marketing Consultant, Surefire Media

is a marketing consultant and professional blogger who works for the Cheshire based digital agency Surefire Media, where she specialises in organic search, content strategy and social media engagement. Shell has extensive experience in consumer retail brand marketing, web design, SEO and content writing and ran her own web design and SEO business for a number of years.

As well as writing for her own Uber Marketing blog and for her clients blogs, Shell is also a keen snowboarder, whose other hobbies include travel, music and photography.

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Comments

Filip Winter
Posted on April 24th 2014 at 1:03PM

What, then, is part of your social media strategy?

ubersocialmedia
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 3:04PM

Due to a limited amount of time available to manage social media each day, I've chosen to limit my choice's at this stage, to Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and instagram.

David at Growcial
Posted on April 24th 2014 at 3:11PM

Sorry Shell - I just cannot agree with your tactic here. It IS possible to get positive engagement organically, it just takes a lot of corss-reffing insights to see what works/doesn't work, as well as adapting your content as your audience (and what they respond to) become part of your authorship. We've worked hard at our Facebook account, and whilst we only have a mere 451 follwowers our PTAT is running at about 25% - 30%. We also use the same methodology for clients, with several running at a constant of 45% - 50%. Combined with GA we can also measure click-throughs to our website, and subsequent email signups (we've gained two new clients recently via FB). I agree, Facebook is hard work for sure, but the size of the potential audience is too good an opportunity to miss. You say your Twitter followers are engaged, but has this translated into new business?

By the way you have a typo in your highlighted text (such spelt shuch):

"Facebook is a media platform and as shuch..."

"

racheltorg
Posted on April 24th 2014 at 6:21PM

I have to agree with David on this. I would argue the importance of knowing how your audience interacts and engages in social media with your industry. I use Facebook for my wedding photography business, and it's been the most successful way at reaching new clients.

In 2012, Facebook was the only way I was marketing my photography business, and in 2013, I saw a 500% increase in business. I've since implemented Pinterest, Twitter and a Blog into my marketing strategy.

Facebook's new strategy for paid advertising will certainly have an effect on how many fans see my post. However, because I'm tagging my wedding clients in a professional photo on the same day as their wedding, my ROI is much higher.

 

ubersocialmedia
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 6:38AM

Great to hear it's working well for you Rachel. It's also working well for some of the clients I manage. However with my blog being a personal 'free time's project, I've chosen to concentrate my time elsewhere, where I believe the return will be better.

ubersocialmedia
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 7:02AM

Thanks for your comments David.

I agree, it's possible to generate organic engagement. I've grown many successful Facebook communities for clients over the years.

I'm talking about a personal strategy here though, for a new blog. You ask if this engagement I've generated elsewhere has translated into business? The blog is less than a month old, and it is not a commercial venture, it's a personal free time project, though of course somewhere down the line effective monetization would be nice!

With limited time available I've simply chosen to focus my time elsewhere.

Whilst Facebook organic activities are still possible, starting at 0 now is very different to dealing with an existing community,  built before the most recent changes.

My clients range from absolute starts ups (after 6 weeks one has 17 Facebook followers and zero engagement) through to large, vibrant and highly responsive Facebook communities of 35,000+.

It is hard work indeed and for some businesses willing to invest, it can work but people need to stop seeing it as the best solution because that isn't always the case.

 

The opportunity cost is too high for me to want to use it, and I'm pleased with the results I've had so far.

 

Thanks for typo heads up too.

dell_kathryn
Posted on April 24th 2014 at 3:55PM

Hi :) Really good article and totally reinforces what me and the company I work for have been feeling for a while. 

Just thought I'd point out, you have a small spelling mistake in the bold paragraph under the heading 'Pay To Play or Stay Away'. I think it's supposed to say 'such' where you've written 'shuch'. 

Great article though!! 

ubersocialmedia
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 7:05AM

Thank you. Sorted now.

MarketingXLerator
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 12:28AM

Shell:

while I personally don't enjoy Facebook marketing for many reasons, some of which you mentioned, we just can't ignore it, especially in B2C it's a must for many.

Best,

Natascha

ubersocialmedia
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 6:44AM

Hi Natascha. I must say I disagree.

Facebook is not the best or right social network for some businesses to use. There are lots of businesses for example, some b2b industrial or highly technical or scientific brands. Too many people immediately jump onto Facebook due to familiarity without stopping to think if their audience is there and if so, about the investment needed to reach them.

I don't claim that people should ignore Facebook, I simply state my case for why I've personally chosen not to use it for my new blog.

MarketingXLerator
Posted on April 25th 2014 at 5:56PM

Shell:


I think we agree. I was brief in my answer and wanted to mainly express that I am also not a big fan of Facebook marketing but sometimes it's the best avenue for my clients. Overall, not a fan of FB marketing at all.

Best,


Natascha

ophiliajames
Posted on July 17th 2014 at 6:32AM

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