Are you wasting your time with Facebook?

It seems the whole marketing world is screaming ‘Facebook! Facebook! Facebook!’. You’ll hear it everywhere: ‘You must be on Facebook for business’.

Yet I have an opposing view. I let the majority of small financial services businesses off the hook by saying ‘you’ll never get anywhere near your return on investment using Facebook like you would for database marketing’. Therefore don’t bother; or simply consider Facebook an administrative necessity in 2015, but don’t expect big rewards or heaps of new clients.

Why? Because for the most part you are putting lots of effort into talking to an empty room.

“The average organic reach for posts from Facebook pages in March 2015 was 2.6 per cent of a brand’s audience. […] This percentage dropped to 2.3 per cent for pages with more than one million likes.” (Source: Localytics)

Organic reach is the total number of people who were shown your post from you simply putting it up. This doesn’t mean your fans actually look at what is on their feed. They have to be online when it appears.

Why is this happening? Why am I talking to an empty room?

Here are some statistics I found online from a great source, www.marismith.com

The simplest answer to the decline is there is a significantly greater amount of potential content flooding into everyone’s news feeds on a daily basis. The cannon of content is caused by several factors, including:

1. The average number of Facebook friends users have is 338

2. 15 per cent of Facebook users have more than 500 friends.

3. There are between 1,500 and 15,000 pieces of content that Facebook could potentially show in your news feed each time you log on to the site!

4. The Facebook news feed ranking algorithm (EdgeRank) uses more than 100,000 weights to determine what you’ll see. Examples of weights: how many mutual friends like the person/page/content, how often you interact with the person/page, when the post was published, when the last comment was made, what types of content you typically interact with: watch more videos and Facebook will show you more videos, like more links and Facebook will show you more links.

5. Ultimately, out of the 1,500 to 15,000 potential stories, Facebook passes them through the mega algorithm and displays approximately 300 stories in your feed. This is a personal feed.

Therefore if you want Facebook to work (better) for you – you’ll have to pay for it. Consider it another avenue to advertise in. By advertising it’s either buying an ad, or paying to promote the post that you put up so it has a wider reach.

The final nail for small business Facebook use was laid for me after I read these statistics from Why Paying for Social Is Better Than ‘Doing’ Social. The article was aimed at larger companies, brands that have hundreds of thousands of social media followers. Think how hard small businesses have to work to get even 100 or 1,000 fans.

The premise is instead of hiring an employee to work social media for you, you’re better off to just pay to have your posts seen – plus email marketing works too.

Here is an excerpt:

"Social media service Buffer recommends that businesses post 1x a day to Facebook and LinkedIn, and 14x a day to Twitter. Data shows that posting more often than once per day on Facebook yields heavily decreasing click through rates (for businesses). And more than one email per day is grounds for immediate unsubscribe, but otherwise 7x a week is not too much for good emails. We’ll go with once per weekday to give our hypothetical marketing person the weekend off.

So, over the course of a month, here’s what the optimal cadence of content sharing would get a company with 100,000 fans/followers/subscribers:

Media

Posts

Views

Clicks per month

Facebook

5 x week

52,000

2,600

Twitter

98 x week

60,000

2,500

LinkedIn

10 x week

400,000

2,600

Email

5 x week

400,000 reads

120,000

Now please, start working on LinkedIn and enhancing your database!

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Debbie Mayo-Smith

Debbie Mayo-Smith

Debbie Mayo-Smith is a digital marketing expert and motivational speaker. She gives speeches, seminars and trains on sales and personal productivity, helping professionals get more done in less time and increase profitability.

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