It is not meant to be a doom and gloom style post on how Facebook is no longer viable for businesses as I believe quite the opposite that there is still quite a lot of benefits to be had from it, however it is all in how you utilise the tool at your disposal.
"It's not you, it's me!"
|Don't you love my computer drawing skills lol|
Recently I have seen a lot of small business pages closing their doors on Facebook, and while I know in some cases the economic climate has a big part in the situation, I hear over and over again that they feel Facebook is now making it SO HARD for them to conduct business and be seen.
So what is the answer to this problem?
Like I said before, I don't have all the answers but here are some thoughts from my point of view.
Do not 'prostitute' yourself to keep the relationship!
Some people feel that they have to pay Facebook for the pleasure of it's company if they want any chance of the relationship to succeed!
While I do not deny that Facebook ad promotion has its place, there are also some deep flaws with the process and I for one cannot say I have ever had huge success or sales as a result of the endeavour.That is not to say that it does not work for some people though.
This youtube video has an interesting view on the whole scenario:
Let's be honest here, as with any relationship, you want people to like you because of who you are and what you sell/create NOT because of how much you pay them. I want genuine likers on my page, people that are genuinely interested in what it is that I do. Instead of paying for promotion, look at the stats that Fb shows you and see what times of day give you greater reach and interaction to the current fan base that you have. If your products cater for stay at home Mum's, do your posts during the day while the kids are at school get a greater reach? Or do you get a better reach at night time when the kids have been safely tucked into bed and Mummy is relaxing with a glass of wine... or two. Do the hard yards and work out what gets you the best result.
Do not change who you are to keep the relationship!
The second thing I have noticed is that some brands are trying to post all sorts of things just to keep those post "likes" happening. They feel that they have to post quotes or sayings just to keep their viewers interested. While I know that there is some benefit to sharing a post that will then get shared onwards, let me be honest, if it has nothing to do with the type of business you run or the type of person you are - why are you sharing it?
For me I want honesty in a relationship, not a numbers game. I have un-liked pages in my newsfeed because they have started to cram as much cutesy images or pinterest links that they can into their feed as possible in the hope of keeping fans. This has two main problems that I see:
The first is that their product or brand is now a watered down version of what it was as their feed is now full of other peoples ideas, quotes, images and tips.
The second is that it is not generating interest in the actual products or service that the page offers, it is not genuine likers and makes it hard for your genuine likers to see the posts they really want to see.
Work out who you are and what it is you sell and then post things on your page because it is relevant to you, your product and your fans. I am not saying some of those outside sourced ideas, images and tips aren't worth sharing, however be aware of why you are sharing it and how often you do it.
BE YOURSELF and don't follow the trend of what others are doing!
Effective communication is key!
|I am SUCH a skilled drawer ROFL|
I have seen so many businesses lately post "If you can see this in your newsfeed please type '.' in the comments" or "Facebook has made lots of changes and to ensure you see my posts please type a smiley face below".
I am sorry for those of you that have posted this, I know it is done in an effort to effect change and beat the system... but it makes me want to click the un-like page button as fast as humanly possible!
If every day of my married life I asked my husband to respond to me with a smiley face or a full stop, I can tell you where our relationship would be headed!
Engage in GENUINE interaction with your fans! Post pictures of your work and ask them their opinion or what colour bead or material best suits this piece. The pages I like, I like because they have AMAZING work or things that I have on my wish list or offer a service I need. I do not like pages because I have commented with a ".".
There are plenty of other fish in the sea!
|Colouring in sheet that I adapted, sheet available via www.canaryzoo.com|
While I do not think you need to 'break-up' with Facebook, there is nothing wrong with playing the field in this instance! There are so many free social media marketing platforms available to you these days that there is no need to put all your hopes and dreams into Facebook. With any business success there is lots of hard work involved, expecting one social media outlet to answer all your sales goals and marketing needs is entirely unrealistic.
Twitter: If you are lazy like me, you can set it up so that your facebook business posts go directly on to your twitter feed. Easy as!
Pinterest: If you make beautiful things or take stunning photos, then pin them for the world to see (just make sure that you watermark them with your logo so people know whose they are)!
Instagram: Show your beautiful images or behind the scenes shots on Instagram, just remember #hashtag, #hashtag, #hashtag.
Blogger: This is a great way to provide a bit more detail about the things you want to share, rather than massive wordy posts on Facebook.
Flickr and You-tube: are also great tools for sharing and marketing.
For those of you that handmake your goodies, then try some online selling platforms to reach a new market.
Madeit: Is an Australian handmade online selling platform with minimal listing fees. It is a great platform that allows you to reach those looking for quality items made in Australia. Lots of bespoke, cute items on there!
ETSY: Is an International handmade online selling platform with minimal listing fees (click the hyperlink and you can even get 40 FREE listings to start you off if you haven't sold on there before).
There are also lots of other selling sites online that you can dip your toe into and see if it suits your products.
Website: You can do some great easy websites via weebly or pay for a professional web designer to set you up.
Fall in love all over again!
For those of you that don't have a Fb business page(and even for those of you that do), the most important thing with the changes in Facebook is to regularly interact with the pages you love!
If you want to see them in your newsfeed, click 'like' when they post an image you love. If they want your advice or help on a question, tell them your opinion.
DO NOT let some of the amazing artists and businesses that are hidden in the nooks and crannies of Fb disappear! There are some simply AMAZING artists out there, so SHARE their work, tell other people how awesome they are.
Don't take for granted the beautiful things in your newsfeed, a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into many of the things you see.
And if you find that Fb has been evil and removed them from your 'liked' pages, go back and fall in love with them all over again!