What type of business owner are you?
In our experience dealing with different types of business owners in various industries, it seems that there are two types; The first group have an up-to-date Facebook page for their business and post content regularly. Yet, most of the time, they believe this is the only online presence they need and doubt there are any benefits to having a website as well. The other type of business owners we talk to, have a great website and a business Facebook page, but only make a post once every six months or so.
It appears there is team “Facebook” and team “website” in the pursuit of online marketing and brand awareness. So, who is right and who is wrong?
At this year’s Social Media Conference, guest speaker Cathy Mellet outlined: “You don’t own Facebook; have a website and nurture your list” – and we couldn’t agree more! Let’s decipher this statement further and help you, as a busy business owner to find your path in this overwhelming online world of endless options.
We’ll start with a quick look at who and what Facebook is, and the opportunities it offers for your business and how to take leverage from it.
Facebook in figures
- Had 1.94 billion users in March 2017, and will ultimately have 2 billion users in June 2017. To put this into perspective: that’s 404 times the population of New Zealand and 15% of the world population. (I don’t know about you, but that blew my mind)
- 61% of New Zealanders have an active Facebook account – that’s 2.9 million potential customers for you to reach!
- Amongst these active accounts, 2.3 million Kiwis will check Facebook daily – this makes Facebook the second most popular brand in New Zealand, just after Coca Cola
- Compared to the UK and Australia, we are a pretty Facebook active nation. We check our Facebook on average 14 times a day which adds up to about 50 minutes a day and makes it our second favourite ‘leisure activity’. Scary, isn’t it?
Now, you might be shocked and think about your own Facebook behaviour and wonder if you really spend that much time on Facebook each day, yet the business part of your brain probably got excited while reading these stats.
Facebook or Website
Using Facebook wisely is very powerful, and compared to other marketing options a well-priced advertising tool allowing you to potentially reach a large number of new customers.
Point for team “Facebook”. However, you need to remember: you do not own anything on Facebook. All the content you post could potentially vanish one day. The reality of that actually happening is unlikely, but it reinforces that Facebook shouldn’t be used in isolation. You don’t want to put all your branding efforts into one basket because your control over this online giant is very little. Yet, take as much leverage of it as possible.
Don’t forget, you do own every single piece of content of your website though, which you can then publish and use for content on Facebook. Facebook is a fantastic tool to support your online presence, we talked about the power of online reviews in a previous blog.
The biggest benefit of using Facebook as part of your marketing mix, is the large scale audience.
Social media brand awareness – The science of Facebook
This is where it gets tricky. Those of you having tried to work the Facebook magic themselves by posting great content on a regular basis onto their business page realised that even if you have 1000 page likes, you’ll be lucky if you reach 4% of your audience.
Facebook uses an algorithm, just like Google, to decide which posts are displayed in everyone’s newsfeed. The organic (unpaid) reach of posts has drastically decreased, due to Facebook trying to create a more personalised and valuable newsfeed for their users (more about this in the newsflash below), but also due to the amount of content being shared on Facebook: it grows faster than people’s ability to see it (even when spending that much time on it!).
Today, Facebook marketing involves spending some dollars to allow you to boost your posts to a larger audience, personalise the audience you wish to target, get more likes for your page and create awareness around your brand. The options are endless, but your time as a business owner to spend on Facebook is limited. It sounds and looks easy at first sight, but just like Google AdWords, you want an expert managing your ad-spend correctly.
Further to the above point, Facebook has rolled out a new version of the news feed on Tuesday this week (17/10/2017) called Explore. Some of you may already have discovered the little rocket icon on your Facebook app and in the desktop menu. Explore takes your news feed to a new era! It allows you to discover and explore pages, news and posts outside your current “range” which is limited to your friends and pages you liked and follow.
Basically Facebook is giving you two options for your newsfeed, that you can actively choose from: your original newsfeed will show posts from friends and family, and the “Explore feed” will display posts from other business pages that Facebook thinks might be of interest to you and you may want to explore, hence the name. Your friends and family newsfeed will still show posts from business pages, but only the ones that have been “sponsored” or “boosted”. When your friends share a business page post, you will less likely see them on your newsfeed too.
What does this mean to you as a business owner? To reach your audience you will need to step up your game, get your Facebook thinking cap on and look at facebook as a marketing channel you should highly consider setting a budget for.
How to make the most of your online marketing – Facebook marketing
To get back to our earlier statement, of team “Facebook” and team “website”, Monster Graphics recommends using both platforms for a successful online marketing strategy.
- Have a website, so you own the content and have control over it
- Facebook needs to be part of your marketing mix, allowing you to create a “complete” online footprint
- Use Facebook to market your website: Drive traffic from Facebook to your website
- Use your website to showcase your product/services and expertise (blogging)
- Use Facebook to share your story and let people take part in your businesses’ journey
- Facebook and your website go hand in hand and will nurture your list of customers by putting your brand out there as much as you can
- Remember to keep Facebook social and fun, while your website focuses on your professional image
Not only is this our professional recommendation, but we see the results of our clients who successfully market on both platforms – higher traffic to their websites which inevitably means a higher number of conversions and enquiries. Could you do with more enquiries from your website?
Stay tuned for next month’s blog when we delve deeper into nurturing your list of customers with email newsletters.