FACEBOOK IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTIVITY AND ALWAYS WILL BE. But will businesses continue to have a part in that connection? Or will they be sidelined to pull the focus back to more personal posts on friends and family as looks to be the case.
According to a recent article by Sam Biddle, Facebook is ending the free marketing ride for businesses. This looks to be happening gradually, by reducing the 'organic page reach' for business posts to only a small percentage of their followers, while offering only paid advertising to ensure your followers will actually get to see your updates.
There are split views over this, because of course most of us do not want to be sifting through advertising to view the personal posts that matter to us, yet for those small organisations, such as artists and craftspeople, the investment of their time and their reliance on Facebook posts to generate interest in their business, is what helps them get by.
For a lot of businesses Facebook has become the number one place for marketing, and the complete reliance on a free media that is so changeable - in both it's conditions and in how it operates - is a mistake.
Remember to direct people to the most important target - your website.
Facebook, like a variety of other Social Media sites, has been until recently a free source of marketing and a great opportunity for businesses of all types to promote themselves. Now, we need to increase our marketing awareness and see Facebook for exactly what it is. An opportunity, and most of all - A Portal.
Making Facebook and Social Media your Business Portal
By all means keep using Facebook for your business, keep adding things and keep updating your news, but in doing so you should be pulling people back to your main business marketing investment - your website.
My best advice would be to treat Facebook like a teaser. Say you've done something really cool - your business may have started a new product line or completed an outstanding project - put a couple of pictures on Facebook, and enough information to tease people into following a link back to your website for the full story.
It's your website that you want to lead people to, because it's through your website that you can:
- Provide more information on your current news and projects
- Offer your contact details, including a form to make it easier to contact you
- Provide a map right to your door
- Offer a wider range of products and services
- Increase your range of products and services - if you have a good content management system that you can edit easily and independently
- Provide information that showcases your business as experienced and legitimate.
- Make your website your best business one stop shop, unchanging in it's location and online accessibility for anytime day or night (and if responsive - on any online viewing platform including iPad and iPhone)
- Reflect and enhance your brand in what should be a professionally designed site that is easy to navigate, and straightforward in the information it provides
Use your Facebook page to start a marketing database
By including "subscribe to our newsletter" functionality on your website, and adding this link intermittently to your Facebook posts, you can turn your Facebook followers into a list of interested people that WANT to hear from you regularly.
This will make using Facebook far more worthwhile, as you never know how much longer you will be able to post for free as a business at all, with online media that offers no guarantees. Your loyal Facebook followers will leap at the chance to hear from you in a regular newsletter, rather than remain hoping to be in the 1 - 2% that will actually be able to see your posts.
Follow this link or Contact Us for more information on our ActiveMail Email Marketing System, where we can enable visitors to "subscribe" to your newsletter list, and where you can create beautifully designed email newsletters for your contacts. ActiveMail also offers the ability to view real-time statistics for each of your newsletter campaigns so you can see what works and what does not, helping to evolve your marketing strategy to benefit your audience.
So Facebook are changing their rules, again. So they're changing their costs and their fees, again. So they're changing what you can do and how you can do it, without consulting you or perhaps without your knowledge, AGAIN.
But what does it matter to you if you're using this free social media platform to invite people back to the online home of your business, your most important business asset and the main port of contact and reference for your customers - YOUR WEBSITE!
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- Website and Social Media Tips for Nonprofit
- 3 Ways Small Business Can Use Social Media
- 6 Startup Tips to Make your Business Successful
Posted in Branding