Facebook has grown and changed as much as any baby-faced fledging turns into a man. And during that time the role that businesses have in its structure have changed as well. I have often contemplated the ‘need’ for a business Facebook page, I’ve gotten so CLOSE, even beginning the initial setup, ultimately to close the browser window.
In 2007, Facebook introduced Facebook “Pages” which not only encourage but actually forced us to use business pages instead of our personal profiles for business posts, lest you would get locked out of your account altogether.
Initially, Facebook Business Pages was like a personal profile and posts were seen by most followers. But because of businesses overuse, Facebook tweaked the system and now ‘organic’ reach (meaning you reach current followers and potentially new ones without paying) is much lower. If you read anything about this, as a business owner you may feel resentment towards Facebook for this. But why? Let’s get real — Users don’t like being sold to. If you share content to get a sale, it won’t do well in your News Feed. Facebook has geared it now so if you really want people to see your sales pitch, you’ll need to buy an ad.
And again, this isn’t just about Facebook getting greedy as many would say. This is Facebook making some adjustments to limit crappy content (I’m not trying to offend your business but a page saturated with beautiful ads still adds up to crappy content.)
FACT: I manage Facebook pages for clients
One of my services is social media management on a monthly basis which I do for several clients. If I do this, ads are certainly a part of the mix, as well as relevant posts. Here’s the key point to remember: REACH is not your end game! Facebook Reach is the number of people who have seen your post. Your post counts as reaching someone when it’s shown in the News Feed. Having a larger number of people never means better sales. Instead, using relevant posts to build a trust, a confidence and a position of a credible authority in your area is valuable. To connect with potential customers, you can also promote an ad with a VERY specific target audience including geographic and interest-based demographics. Don’t hate on Facebook because they forced businesses to buy ads for exposure, thank them for a way to target a potential audience.
So, back to why Spec Creative doesn’t have a Facebook page
Everything is an investment, even a free page on Facebook (plus the monetary ads purchased, of course.) I run and manage a small design shop. It’s just me plus a few contract vendors that help me get things done. I like it this way. I’m not saying I don’t want to grow, but I’m saying I prefer to invest my time in:
- continuing education in order to provide better services for my clients
- selecting the clients/projects I want to work with on an on-going basis
- Weed out the smaller, less qualitative jobs that your local print shop can do
If I were to have a Facebook page, it certainly would reflect poorly on me to neglect it. What I do for my clients on social media is block out time each week to schedule posts based on their relevant content, or create ads for their latest promotional angle. For my business, taking an hour or two each week to maintain my own Facebook page seems like a waste of time that I can spend exploring new trends & classes, or meeting face to face with my top-quality existing and potential clients. Word of mouth has always been my favorite marketing tool.
This week, I turned down three jobs/clients that were, in my opinion, a bad fit for my business with a low return of either income or relevant future opportunity (or really both.) I did however spend 20 minutes on the phone with a new client who has a strong business plan and is ready to get a full-scale website going. It has GREAT future potential for us both! The project involves some exciting new opportunities for me to expand my expertise. I’ll spend an hour or two researching options and developing a strategy with this new client. I’m in business to grow financially and personally. I don’t really think Facebook offers me the ROI that I see in other actions I choose.
Lots of businesses invest their time and money in Facebook (or in me handling it for them) and have a relevant return from it. I am very direct with my clients on whether it’s the right fit for them or not.
Content still matters
Whether it be through Facebook, your blog, or your business lunch this week, make it count. Invest your time wisely. People—all people— want information. Showing yourself as an expert, providing relevant content and building trust ALWAYS WINS. Gaining attention and engaging people can happen on many fronts. I love working with clients on strategy to connect with new customers. Connections can happen on the phone, on Facebook or anywhere! But rarely does anyone gain attention or connect with an outright cry like “BUY THIS! LOOK AT ME!”
Follow me on Facebook!
I have a personal connection with each one of my clients, and usually many of their staff. I would love to connect with YOU on Facebook! You can find my personal page here—and I promise to only post relevant, interesting, insightful thoughts along with occasional NFL updates and funny dog videos.
*Irony: blogging about not using Facebook and connecting said blog with my Facebook page. Yes, I see it.*