Don’t Like This
I was reading the story of a crop duster the other day. The self-taught aviator used his skills to spray farmers’ crops.
The optimal height to fly while spraying fields of crops was 8 to 9 feet. Yet in order to keep his clients happy he was enticed to fly at 5 to 7 feet. This was less than optimal as the pesticides were distributed unevenly due to turbulence. If he flew too high it would look like he wasn’t doing his job.
As the farmer was his customer he had to stay low in order to get paid.
Sometimes gathering Facebook likes is just like that.
I liked your business page. Now what?
For a lot of customers and social media marketers, obtaining and chasing Facebook ‘likes’ is the main purpose of social media marketing. Facebook is the fastest growing social network in the world and the number of likes a company or brand page has can be easily viewed by anyone. Top celebrities such as Shakira and Ronaldo have the most likes for celebrity pages well exceeding 1 million likes while YouTube and McDonalds have the most likes for brand pages. Paying customers view these numbers and are impressed. Marketers tend to hold onto their jobs thanks to this metric.
What does a person clicking the like button mean to your bottom line?
How does your company benefit from 500 people talking about your brand? Does it directly relate to sales? Does this mean 500 people have visited your website and have recalled your USP and brand?
To share or not to share
Till December 2014, Facebook charged your social media marketer a ‘pay to promote’ rate while reducing the reach to your fans. This basically means Facebook is taking more out of your digital marketing budget while not optimally disseminating your posts and reach. This was the logical procedure for Facebook as they needed to appease their shareholders.
Post December 2014, Facebook has killed organic reach[i] meaning that in the past your digital marketer used to create well curated content and then sink x amount of dollars to boost your reach. Experts showed that in 2012, Facebook marketing boasted of an average 16% reach. These days your marketer would be lucky to bring you 2% reach.
I hear you, so where do I go from here?
Identifying the clear relation between gaining likes and solving your business objective is imperative. Effectively create content that is loved by your fans and they will in turn do your marketing for you for free. A matured approach would involve integrating social media marketing into the basic essence of your brand marketing.
Your business starts to benefit once you are convinced of Facebook being a convincing medium for marketing.
There is a massive tussle between a control and command culture vs transparency and flexibility which leaves businesses apprehensive about getting their hands dirty on Facebook and other social media networks.
The reality of this situation is that this is an extremely miniscule section of social media marketing. A well rounded social media marketing strategy can be measured by metrics such as increased email list, more views for your blog content and an increase in search engine rankings.
Good, clear steps to remember while on Facebook
Facebook will always remain your premier channel for content distribution and customer engagement.
Some steps that can be taken are:
- ‘Buying likes’ are a bad investment.
- Don’t consider Facebook to be a free platform.
- Use your page to deeply engage the user and build customer relationships.
- Focus your budget on bringing in leads and conversions. Forget about likes and shares.
- Integrate your social media networks. While this may not mean the same post going onto 3 to 4 different platforms at the same time, build connections and advertise the layers of relationships to build your own engaging audience.
With the death of organic reach, Facebook may have rubbed agencies and consumers the wrong way. Facebook is now trying to educate us to create and deliver ‘timely and trustworthy’ content that their audience can relate to.
The absence of organic reach does not mean your business objectives cannot get solved via Facebook. Identifying and utilizing the powerful and cost effective methods for your brand to engage with its audience is the simplest yet hardest step to take.
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