Were we all really that naive to think that the free advertising we’ve been enjoying on Facebook would last forever? In reality, Facebook has engineered the perfect heist with our full, outright cooperation. Yes they’ve been setting us up all along. It’s no longer an option, if you want your business page to be seen by fans and your potential market, you now have to pay.
For a while it seemed like a win/win- those who wanted more than the organic post views would simply pay for an added boost. This means many businesses were either happy with their organic views or could live with them. Meanwhile what Facebook was doing was a classic stroke of business genius. They gave us the drug for free and got us addicted so we’ll willingly pay down the road.
Trinidad & Tobago businesses, especially small and medium, have long depended on Facebook for free advertising that actually worked. At one time, I even called Facebook the next best thing to a website and it leveled the playing field somewhat, providing equal opportunity for capturing the nation’s attention.
It’s no secret now that Facebook has changed the way posts appear on one’s newsfeed. Citing the competition for attention, posts now appear after passing through a complex algorithm that decides what gets seen and what doesn’t (surprise, yours doesn’t). And as if the paid ads on the side weren’t enough, now individual posts can be boosted right on your newsfeed for a price.
The demise of Facebook Organic Reach
Many marketing studies have tracked the Facebook performance of major brands and found that the percentage of brand page fans who received a given company’s post has been dropping for some time. Overall, how many people actually see your Facebook posts have been steadily dropping.
Even if your Facebook Like count is in the thousands, only a fraction of people who chose to LIKE you are seeing your posts and status messages. But we didn’t need a a market study to tell us that right?
The rise of Facebook Ads & Promoted Posts
I’m sure you’ve noticed the more local ads on your Facebook page and frequent Promoted Posts in your newsfeed. The reason is twofold:
- Increase in popularity of online marketing as a tool in Trinidad & Tobago
- An effort to reach target audience no longer reachable organically
If you’re like me, you click on every local ad just to maco, which brings me to one of my pet peeves (yes I do keep several peeves as pets).
Most paid ads/promoted posts don’t work
I did an entire article on this so this is to remind, not rehash. The main takeaway from the article was that our Trini advertisers were not preparing themselves for the traffic they paid to attract, thereby not converting visits to paying customers. Read article.
Engaging Trinis is hard work
Trini people are a tough crowd. In general all online marketing tools and rules apply but all tools and rules require flexibility in the on the ground application. Some Trinis are insular and stingy with their LIKES and comments, often spectating with eagle eyes but you’ll never know they’re there, BUT…
Trinis not engaged are still being reached
Not all are stingy, for some it’s just their nature and I can say this because I’m speaking for myself. Personally, I rarely click LIKE on pages and hardly ever make comments or posts. I’m like thousands of other Trinis out there in contrast to the other thousands of Trinis who are the opposite. Why am I still being reached? See below…
CASE IN POINT: Cell Phone Company on Facebook
I’ve told this story before about a certain cell phone company which I came to know of only from Facebook. Their Facebook Page was impressive with lots of fans, heavy engagement and constant stellar reviews from customers. There came a time last year when my son wanted a new phone and guess where I bought it from? This was all due to the favorable impression I got from their page.
This month, I bought another phone, this time for my wife, from the same place for the same reason. From then till now everything they’ve been doing has remained consistent.
CASE IN POINT: New Daily Deals site on Facebook
For the past few months I’ve been seeing a new ‘daily deal’ site constantly advertising on the Facebook sidebar. For at least two months I’ve never seen a new deal on the site and the last Facebook status post was on April 8. Suffice it to say, it’s a fine example of wasted money and a finer example that local celebrity spokespersons won’t necessarily open the floodgates of new business.
Why Forward Multimedia doesn’t practice what it preaches
You would notice that the Forward Multimedia Facebook page (see sidebar link) isn’t buzzing with activity. Believe it or not, it’s on purpose. My online marketing strategy revolves around my website. Which is why I spent the time and energy to obtain top ranking for all my premium keywords (which I’ve achieved and consistently maintained). Eighty percent of my business comes from people finding me from Google search.
This strategy works for me and makes better sense because of the industry I’m in (B2B) but it may not work for you, especially if you deal with the general public. The key point is STRATEGY. I have one, do you?
TAKEWAY: Keep doing your thing and the right things!
There is no replacement for good business practice. Maintain and upkeep your Facebook Page by doing the right things, same goes for your website. I’ve written many articles explaining how. Like I told you above, because visitors don’t act right away doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted as they may act in the future.
Keep up to date with the latest creative trends, for example, infographics are very popular right now and so to memes, so sometimes you just have to go with the flavor of the month.
Facebook ads work, no doubt about it, you’ll get the eyeballs. But it’s all about conversion. You have to increase the size of the stream that flows through the funnel. And it’s a simple concept: Garbage In, Garbage Out.