I am a big fan of Facebook Pages. I have spent a lot of time reading, blogging, and educating myself about using Facebook Pages as a marketing tool; just look at my last few blog posts. I think Facebook Pages are a powerful way for businesses to connect with their customers. Even so, I am a realist. I know that given the media attention Facebook is getting these days, that there are a lot of misconceptions about Facebook Pages. While I encourage all marketers to embrace the use of Facebook Pages, those of us who have been through the learning curve have a responsibility to cut through the hype and inform those that are new to Facebook marketing about the realities of the medium. With that said, below are three hard truths about Facebook marketing.
1. Facebook Pages won’t drive instant sales
Marketers that build Facebook Pages looking for instant sales are going to be disappointed. Why? Because Facebook Pages are not intended to target the ready-to-buy consumer. While a very small percentage of users may be ready to buy while browsing Facebook, the vast majority won’t. So why have a business page? Because it gives you the opportunity to engage in relationship marketing and build and maintain a loyal customer following over time. It lets you stay engaged with the not-ready-to buy market, which in most cases will be significantly larger than the “ready-to-buy” market. It’s all about awareness and making sure that when your customers are ready to buy, your business is top of mind.
2. Cultivating Likes is hard work
I have spoken to numerous marketers who build Facebook Pages. Many of them find themselves frustrated over the number of people that have Liked their page. With all the hype surrounding Facebook, many marketers have fallen prey to the “build it and they will come” mentality. The same thing happened with the dot com frenzy back in the early 90’s. Building your Likes is not a one-time event, it is an on-going task that requires a significant amount of work. It involves integrating Facebook into your entire marketing mix and promote your page from other channels; including every print ad, direct mail piece, collateral, press release, website, company newsletter, in-store signage, and so on. More important is the need to continually come up with interesting content that resonates with your audience and gets them engaged, which is sometimes easier said than done.
3. Few people will visit your Wall after they have Liked your Page
This one hurts, especially after having spent so much time customizing your Page with carefully chosen graphics, apps, pictures, video and the like. The reality is most of your fans will see your updates in their Newsfeed, not your Wall. This does not mean that all of the work you put into building the perfect Page was for naught. First time visitors will surely explore your Page, and making a good first impression is key to turning visits into Likes on Facebook. It means that when writing updates, you need to write for the Newsfeed, not the Wall. You need to make it easy for people to interact with your brand. Avoid posts that say things like “click on our coupon app to get today’s special offer.” This is of little use to fans reading your newsfeed. It is fine if you want to reference another part of your page in your Wall posts, but remember to write for the Newsfeed and not the Wall. Include photos, videos, polls and questions to draw your audience in.
Do you have any advice to share with someone new to Facebook marketing? Please share your thoughts below.