19 Mar Is Facebook Marketing Still Worth The Effort?
Since it’s IPO (May 2012), Facebook has dramatically shifted how it determines your reach. That in turn it has impacted the effectiveness of unpaid promotional material on Facebook and thereby for many businesses the effectiveness of their Facebook presence.
In 2014 Edge Rank Checker reported a 40% drop in reach for Status Updates alone. Other studies have reported Brand Reach dropping to an average of 3% (previously Facebook had officially stated Brand Reach was around 16%). Then to only add salt to the wound, social media users increasingly began spending more time on their mobile devices while simultaneously gravitating to more visually impactful (e.g. Instagram) or more succinct (e.g. Twitter) – leaving Facebook scrambling (& purchasing) not to be left behind.
So is Facebook marketing still worth the effort?
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have never been a true Facebook fan. Despite my chosen career in digital media I am far from active on my personal Facebook page. I heavily favor my Twitter feed over Facebook’s overcrowded news feed any day of the week. Nevertheless, since it first opened accounts for non-students I have strongly advised businesses to at least have a professional presence Facebook.
The fact is, despite it’s recent decreases in reach and predictions of losing 50% of its audience before 2020, any honest review of the Social Media giant will show it is just that… a GIANT. Sure one day it may go the way of the dinosaurs (or MySpace), but this simply means that you need to keep your eyes open. For now maintaining a presence on Facebook continues to be practically as important as launching your first business webpage.
So how should I change my use of Facebook as a marketing tool? …or should I?
Obviously a lot depends on where your audience is, digitally speaking? How large is your current Facebook audience? And what type of business you have? Etc… But there are some general recommendations we can make (how “intensely” you implement each depends on your answers to the questions above).
- Continue to maintain a presence, including regularly posting (how often will vary depending on… well you know).
- Consider establishing a budget for paid promotions on Facebook – I tend to favor re-marketing & selectively boosting. If you have already established a large audience, being able to extend your reach on the right messages can prove more than worth the cost…. Just remember, be selective both on message & how much you spend.
- Don’t fall into the trap of “Reach is more important than the quality of your message.” Over the past few years especially Facebook has become a haven for “Cute Kitten” pictures, semi-inspiring quotes and some questionable practices. Now don’t get me wrong… I like kittens too. But especially if you are attempting to expand your reach you need to ask yourself – “Will this post attract my target audience & encourage them to buy from me?” or will it just be more noise on an already crowded platform? If it’s the second, you maybe doing more damage to brand than good.