Many have big hopes and dreams when it comes to social media and Facebook business pages. They dream of a blue and white platform that is going to solve all of their business problems. They dream of ROI and maybe even being the most popular kid on the block. You know the one. The one who has all the likes, comments and highest edge rank.
However, for most business leaders, it isn't long after you setup the Facebook business page that you realize it's not the magic genie you thought it would be.
You realize it is going to take real work. You got that right! So let's roll up our sleeves and crack this Facebook nut!
Regardless of when you started your Facebook business page, we all have the same challenges.
- Need more likes
- Need more comments
- Wish people would come back after they click "like"
- Need people to talk to you
- Don't know how to achieve business objectives
- Don't know how to measure, analyze, improve
- And how about just knowing that people simply know your page exists!?
If you are not seeing results with Facebook you probably do what everyone else does, focus internally and within your Facebook page. You post, you repost. You try to post different stuff. You post photos. You post links. You post funny jokes. You may have even tried asking if your fans prefer diet coke or coke?
However, no matter what you do, you are not seeing results. You post what you think are relevant status updates. You ask questions. You provide useful content from other sources. You ask or may have even fallen to begging for likes!? Unfortunately your methods are not working. You know it. Your boss knows it. Your customers know it.
So what is a marketer to do?
It's easy to over analyze your content, dig deep into Facebook insights, and beg for likes. It's easy to blame it on your fans. I've heard many business leaders say "our fans don't like to talk" or "our fans are boring." Hmmm..... maybe you are the one that is boring? Maybe you are the one who is not providing anything of value? Maybe you have never connected with them in the first place?
It's time you try something different. Right here, right now I want you to commit to stopping the begging, desparate behavior. It's time to get serious at driving real results.
Get off of Facebook!
Have you ever thought that maybe your answers might be outside of Facebook versus within your Facebook fan page? If you are not seeing the desired results on Facebook, I challenge you to spend a few days outside of Facebook.
Why you must get off of Facebook?
1. There is life outside of Facebook. There is a whole other world of awesome peeps who do not eat, sleep and breathe Facebook all day. These same peeps might come visit your page if you so inspired them to do such.
2. Your fans may not be the right fans. Are they mostly the folks who did the "courtesy likes" such as family, good friends and neighbors? Sorry folks, they are family fans and they are not who you should be focusing on.
3. Facebook is only one piece of a real online marketing strategy. If you are putting all of your eggs in the blue and white Facebook basket, do so at your own risk.
4. If you are only focusing on Facebook insights data, then your data is skewed. It is only a small set of your target audience. You need to try other platforms to better research and understand your audience behavior.
5. You need to get to know your fans and target market. Since nobody is talking to you on your current page, I don't think it's happenin' there.
1. Take inventory of all other online social network profiles and assets you have created. Make a list of them, document the login and password information if you have to reset everything because you haven't been there in so long.
2. Take inventory of the data available to you on other platforms. If you have a blog it's time to dig deep into Google Analytics. Both LinkedIn and YouTube have good insights you can learn from. Check the help section of each platform or do a Google search for each platform. There are plenty of blogs and people who can help you.
3. Data junkie time! Dig into the data and insights of each platform you have participated on. See who is connecting to you on LinkedIn? What search terms is your profile coming up in search on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? What videos are people watching on your YouTube channel? Do men or women watch longer? How does the demographics on one platform compare to others? If data is not your "thang" then hire an data junkie or agency who can help you.
4. Dig deep into Google Analytics. If you have a blog, the insights data can be the master social grail. Look at referring sites, top content, bounce rates. What content do people like, what pages are top exit pages. Are you providing anything of value to your audience that keeps them sticky on your blog? What content are they sharing?
5. Summarize and analyze the situation. After you research and analyzed the data you should see trends. Look for the hot and cold spots. What do people like? What do they ignore? Does anyone know you exist? Do they talk to you? Chances are you will see trends across the different platforms that will provide many answers. Compare these results to insights within Facebook. Is it similar? Different? Why is it such?
6. Are you providing anything of value? This is the most important question for you to answer honestly. The data will speak loudly to you if you can be brave enough to listen. If you provide valuable content that inspires and connects with your audience then the chances are good that people will want to come join you, connect with you, talk to you and "like" you possibly even on Facebook! A blog filled with good content can do wonders for helping you achieve your business goals and seeing success online.
7. Get outside in the real world! Don't sit all day talking to nobody on Facebook or Twitter. Get out of the walls of your corporate, virtual and home office. Go to talk to real people, in real life. Ask them questions, listen to them. The more you listen the more you will learn how you can connect with people. Chances are you might be inspired for a few new blog posts as well.
Get focused on your business.
1. Reassess your objectives. Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business. If you want real results with social media you must understand it is not going to happen overnight. Results are also not going to magically appear by throwing up a Facebook page. You must know what you want to achieve in your business and why.
2. Align social media where it can have an impact on business objectives. Not every objective can be solved or even improved by social media. Select goals and objectives where you think social media can help drive more engagement, increase brand awareness, improve customer service, provide insights into community of clients, partners, prospects etc.
3. Focus on business before tools. Social media is nothing more than a communication medium for you to develop better relationships, improve communication, increase brand awareness, improve customer service with your core stakeholders and audiences. Focus on more of the art of social than the science. If you go straight to the tools, then you will wind up wondering what to do with them. Know first what you want to achieve so you can implement them in the right way to drive real results.
4. Plan yer work and work yer plan (as Granny would say.) Develop a plan that integrates with your business. Start with your audience, objectives and the why you are doing social in the first place. Business first, tools last.
5. Don't forget the metrics. Set realistic, time bound goals. Be clear on how you are going to measure results. Know the difference between community and social metric goals versus business results. This will help you in communicating with internal and external stakeholders.
6. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If none of the above makes any sense to you then you may need to ask for some help. Even if you don't have the budget right now to hire the right skillset via a direct hire, consultant or agency you need to look at the opportunity and direct cost of not doing such. What is the cost of wasting another year doing what you're doing versus gaining the right knowledge to do it right?
Do what ya' always do, you'll get what ya' always got!
So where are you? Are you ready to jump off of Facebook so you can make Facebook work for your business? Have you already been there and back and are now seeing results? What tips can you offer others if you have already cracked this nut?
Heartbeat of Social Media Series
This blog post is part of a new series titled "The Heartbeat of Social Media". It will include a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.
Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive in 2012!
I'll be hosting a free "Facebook for Business" webinar with focus on social media optimization which will deep dive into some of the topics discussed in this post. Subscribe to the series for updates and early invitations.