I’ve read posts from the top Facebook marketers and they all praise the new targeting tools that allow you to reach potential customers with pinpoint accuracy. Their metrics show great success when you can filter your audience down to the most minute detail.
I’m also following marketing experts who criticize Facebook for forcing businesses to pay to reach all of their followers. We all work extremely hard to build the number of Likes, but in the end, Facebook only displays our posts to 16% of those people. Inorder to reach the other 84%, you need to pay to use Facebook advertising and all of those fancy new targeting tools.So I guess in the end, Facebook has the potential of working if you’re willing to invest money into their advertising platform. But as a small business, your marketing budget is probably small. What we use to compensate for small marketing budgets is time, another valuable commodity that can help a business grow when used effectively. With that being said, is Facebook an effective use of your time?
Wasting time or time well spent?I get caught up in saying that Facebook time is time well spent, but upon closer inspection, I’m not so sure. I’ve been deluding myself into thinking that it’s productive time because 1. I’m using social media and staying abreast of what’s new and 2. I’m posting content that relates to the work that we do here at Terrapin.
But when I look back at the time I’ve spent, I can’t say that any of it has generated a new lead for the company or resulted in a sale. I’ve been chasing “Likes”, hoping that as that number grows, the number of interested parties seeing our work will also get in touch. That really hasn’t panned out. And as I spend time trying to grow the number of Likes, I’m still not going to reach all of those people because I’ll only reach 16% of my fans organically. Are you kidding me?!?
Alternative uses for Facebook timeI’ve decided to refocus my time onto other marketing activities that I think will be a more direct route to increasing sales...
1. Website content pages
The Terrapin site is our primary marketing tool, so it only makes sense to spend time here to keep it current. As our company has grown, our service offering and portfolio has changed and grown, but our site hasn’t kept pace. My goal is to comb through our extensive site, update the content and ensure that every page is optimized for search engines. The bottomline is that our website needs to be doing everything possible to generate new leads.
2. Email marketing
Our email list has been growing slowly, but steadily over the last few years, so I think it’s time that we put more time into the message that we’re sending out. We have a direct link to potential customer’s inboxes and have a great open rate, so it’s time to tweak our message to maximize effectiveness. Generating new content for the website should also provide great topics to promote through email.3. Blogging
I enjoy writing, but with so many hats to wear as a small business owner, I rarely allow myself the time to do it. I’m pledging to double my output and write multiple blog articles a month, each with a targeted focus that’s replete with keywords that search engines love.But blogging isn’t just about pushing out content… it will be important for me to read other blogs and create connections across the blogosphere. Commenting and sharing related blogs for small business and marketing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts will help to get the Terrapin name out there and hopefully build our expertise as one Southern New England’s premiere marketing companies.
Should you delete your Facebook?I know that a lot of small businesses across Rhode Island and Massachusetts are probably in the same boat as we are. Facebook keeps us busy, but is it really time well spent? For most businesses that we encounter, I do not think that FB makes sense. But if you can answer “Yes” to any 3 of the following criteria, I think you can tap into the power of FB marketing:
2. You offer a tangible product that photographs well
3. You have marketing budget to spend on FB advertising
4. You have time to dedicate to generating content
5. You have time to build Likes and interact with Fans of your page
Making the best use of Terrapin time
Full disclosure: I am not going to delete the Terrapin FB page - we’re just going to balance the time that we spend on it as a marketing tool. It won’t be our first priority in terms of time and money. It’s merely another tool in the marketing bag that we can use to get our message out. Our focus moving forward will be creating valuable content that we can promote through all of our marketing channels: website, email marketing, blogging, LinkedIn AND Facebook.