The FACT that is hard to remember, and easy to forget when we are making all these "social" plans: Social Media marketing to the consumer is 85% Facebook. Plain and simple. YOU as a business HAVE TO DO FACEBOOK. So let's look at some of the hard facts and possible strategies on Facebook that could grow your business.
+++ this post has been refreshed and revised from a Feb 2012 version, enjoy your summer +++
"Only 0.45% of fans engaged, if you subtract likes to isolate for more meaningful activity, including shares and comments. This confirmed something many readers already suspected: Facebook fan bases and actual engagement aren't the same thing." from ROI ROI ROI
In the same previous post, I said, "And the hardest part about Facebook is this: very few businesses are making ANY MONEY on Facebook. Sure, point to all the case studies you like, but f-Commerce is mostly myth. Even the largest retailers are starting to pull back their advertising dollars. And here's why: people are not on Facebook to learn about your business or services. And an average click-thru rate on a well-performing Facebook ad is about 0.03%. Hard to make a case for those numbers. And if less than 10% of those clicks actually convert (and that's a HIGH number) you are really going to be pressed to drive some big numbers to drive any significant revenue from Facebook."
This commenter actually answered her own question in her final paragraph.
"Am I deducing correctly that what you are saying is that you have to have engaging content on your Facebook page for those that may be a fan or so that you can boost your SEO, but that trying to monetize Facebook isn't really a worthwhile exercise if you aren't TARGET, McDONALD'S, and STARBUCKS?"
So, Jennifer, thank you for writing this post for me. (full post and comments here: ROI ROI ROI and Social Media; We Need to Have This Discussion Again)
Yes, that's the long and the short of it. You HAVE to include Facebook in your plans, but don't expect a huge amount of revenue or "engagement" from your FANS. It does happen, and you cannot ignore them. It's good to have FANS. But you need much more in your plans and goals than "USE FACEBOOK TO MAKE MONEY." And unless you're Dell or a coupon site, Twitter has a simliar "engagement" model. Tweeting coupons and deals does not mean you are going to generate significant numbers. In fact it is likely you will feel like you're tweeting into a vacuum, even with thousands of followers.
So what's the plan?
As a business online you have to make sure things like landing pages and search engine optimization are done perfectly. You have to design your website with CTAs (call to action) and well defined offers. And you have to make it easy to click and buy. Social media will provide the click to share opportunities, but if your site is not set up well, your results, and your assessment of social media marketing, will likely not be a good.
So dabbling in social media, putting up the Facebook and Twitter accounts, is more likely to turn you off to social media rather than build your confidence. Here's the formula.
- Have a goal.
- Map all efforts to that goal. (Measure your traffic and success with Google Analytics.)
- Create stories, articles, and posts that eximplify the qualities and benefits of using your product or service.
- Socialize everything you do.
- When someone DOES engage with a LIKE, ReTweet or a SHARE, be sure to thank them.
- Keep trying new things. (Compare results between each program.)
- When you find something that works for your business, keep at it.
Social media is part of the marketer's toolbox. Don't forget there are a lot of other parts of the success equation you have to get right. If you don't know how to do some of those things, get help. Your success is what Social Media Strategists, like myself, strive for.
The bottom line, "Have a plan."
REQUEST: I would love to have your Facebook Commerce ideas and stories in the comments.
Reference: Even Sexy Brands Struggle With Low Engagement on Facebook (Ad Age Digital)
Essentials of Digital Marketing:
- Social Media U – videos and best practices
- Workin Facebook – all the Facebook learning you'll ever need
- The Twitter Way – the Twitter book in post form
- The Other Social Networks – Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest
- Social Media Funnies – cause we need to laugh at ourselves and our social medianess
- Contact Me – let me know how I can help you grow your business online
Most people don't really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can't help it. (from Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)