So many South African small businesses have understood that they need to be on Facebook to help their business grow. The problem is they focus on metrics that boost their ego instead of their bottom line. More Facebook likes doesn’t mean more business, there is more to it than that.
Just about everyday I get a new request to like a page and if I know the person or recognise the brand I am inclined to like it. Just a quick look at my own personal Facebook profile and I have 102 requests outstanding to like a page and 115 pages that I have actually liked. This means there are a staggering number of companies fighting for my attention, and with 217 companies trying to get me to see their content it’s a wonder my Facebook feed isn’t inundated with company posts.
- 3 Steps to Run an Effective Facebook Business Page
- 7 Mistakes Businesses Make On Their Facebook Pages
Myth 1: Everyone who likes my Facebook page sees my content.
Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, understands that I don’t want to see things on my Facebook feed that aren’t relevant to me. The average Facebook page only reaches about 6% of its audience organically. This means that if your page has 1000 likes only about 60 people in your audience are seeing your posts organically. This algorithm is a blessing in disguise for Facebook users as it ensures that only the best content makes it to our news feed.
So this means that you, as a business owner have to work extra hard to ensure your content is good and that your audience will find it valuable. You need to get your audience excited enough about your posts so that they are compelled to click on your ad, or like or share your post, in other words to engage with your content. These interactions are what Facebook is looking for and the more of these interactions you get the better your post will perform and the better your page will do.
Facebook needs to keep its users happy and therefore have to keep your news feed from being filled up with rubbish, that’s the fastest way for them to lose users, and they don’t want to do that.
What should be done: To improve the number of people who see your posts you need to work on the quality of your posts and content creations, as well as your frequency. At the same time relevancy is vital – understanding what your target audience want to hear from you and then working hard on creating that goes a long way in improving your reach and engagement on Facebook, and social media in general.
The Facebook algorithm works something like this:
As you can see from this picture, the recency of your posts and how people have engaged with your post factor into whether it will be shown on the news feed or not. So what you should be focusing your energy on is producing valuable content on a regular basis. The more valuable a post is to those who see it the more they will engage with it.
We didn’t say it was easy! It’s not Facebook’s fault you aren’t getting engagement, it is time for every business owner to understand this and get cracking on creating great posts or video for their audience or community. By doing this you will help drive engagement and ultimately deepen the connections you have with your audience. Remember, Facebook is a social platform, so be sociable.
Myth 2: More Facebook likes means more business
This myth is the reason so many small businesses stick with traditional forms of advertising. I have heard from many small business owners that they have tried to get Facebook likes and have advertised to do so, yet their business didn’t improve its revenue.
The notion that someone will just start coming to buy your product all of a sudden because they saw you on Facebook is ludicrous. How many times have you been given a flyer at the robot and immediately thought,”Gee, this is a great product, let me go get it right now.” Yes, some people are impulsive, but running a business on impulse buying behaviour is simply not sustainable.
People buy for reasons like trust, value, and quality and this is what you need to build and provide on your Facebook page. The internet has changed buyer behaviour and no longer can you pull the wool over your customers eyes for a quick sale.
In most cases people already know a lot about your product before they even get in touch with your company. Buyer’s know what they want and are looking for companies that provide value before they make a purchasing decision.
“No one was interested in their brand, no one was engaging with their brand and as interest fell off so did revenue”
A perfect example of this is from my own business. I was a franchisee of a national frozen yoghurt store. Our head office focused heavily on Facebook likes and had over 170 000 likes on their page. A lot of these likes came from the initial hype built up about the brand. Their Facebook page was used as a bulletin board for announcements and posts that were industry related but not personal to the users and ultimately they have suffered losses in all spheres of their business. No one was interested in their brand, no one was engaging with their brand and as interest fell off so did revenue. Some of you may be thinking about what you could be doing with that many Facebook likes, but the point I want to drive home is that it’s not about how many connections you make, but it’s about the depth of the connections you make.
What should be done: Having the Facebook likes is not a bad thing, but just make sure that you are constantly providing your audience with valuable things that don’t always push your brand, but rather help them with an issue or a pain point. You should be posting about your business and your team and making posts personal. This is how you build trust and provide value.
Your page was not designed to be a bulletin board for you to push your products. It was designed to help you build a community around your industry and build trust with your followers. Think about the last time you watched a TV advert (Thanks DSTV PVR), or how you felt at the robot when you got a flyer, or my personal favorite a call from an unknown number trying to sell you something. Consumers don’t like to have product pushed on them, with the advent of the internet consumers prefer to make up their own mind and do their own research. Your job as a small business is to be there with valuable content when they are looking to find your service.
If you are looking to grow your bottom line, there are other more efficient ways of reaching the millions of South African Facebook users. Facebook advertising is one such avenue, you can read more about that in our eBook.
- Facebook likes are only a small part of the story.
- Engagement is what it’s all about.
- Drive engagement by producing valuable content that people will like, share and comment on.
- Increasing revenue is done by building community, not pushing products.
- Facebook is a social platform, be sociable.
What are your thoughts on running an effective Facebook Businesses Page?
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Cover image courtesy: http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/
Also published on Medium.