Some Problems With Facebook You May Not Like
Are you using Facebook to build your business? There has been a lot of talk in the past year about how it is getting harder and harder for businesses to use Facebook to build their business. While I don’t entirely disagree with this, it doesn’t tell the whole picture.
So why have people been saying this? In the early days of Facebook, when you posted something on your business timeline (or personal profile), all of your friends and fans saw what you posted. This made it very easy to connect with your fans, build your list and everyone got very excited. Anyone who has been online for long knows that the one constant is change. This is true in all our lives, but online, it is much faster. Back then, Facebook only goal was to increase their subscriber base and collect as much information as possible about every use as they could. They did a masterful job of this, more than likely about 90% of the people you know are on Facebook to some degree.
In the past 3 years since I have been using Facebook to build my business I have seen tons of changes. Many of these have made it harder for the novice marketer to gain traction, but I still think Facebook should be a part of your marketing strategy. Here are some of the changes and some of the current opportunities.
Custom Apps Are Not As Effective…or are they?
You probably know about the custom apps you can have on your business fan page. These are the tabs right below your timeline cover where you can put a variety of things from custom landing pages to You Tube videos and much more. A couple of years ago, you could set one of these as the default landing page for your fan page. This meant that any new visitor to your fan page went directly to this tab. This made it super easy to start building your email list, since this could be a free offer or a webinar signup page. When they changed this to the timeline being the default you heard lots of people whining on Facebook.
Another problem custom tabs is that they are not viewable on mobile devices. So even if you have a tab with your optin page and you put the link up on Facebook, anyone who clicks on the link from their phone (which is a growing number every day) will go to a dead link. There is a way around this, but you need a third party tool like Lead Pages that will create a mobile redirect page off of Facebook if you want to share your custom tab links on your timeline.
With the growth of mobile more and more people are checking Facebook from their phones or tablets all the time.
This was the start of pushing business owners towards buying advertising to get their message out into the newsfeed of their fans.
Your Fans Are Not On Your Business Page
Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you actually went to someone’s fan page more than once? That’s what I thought. Most people interact with fan pages from their newsfeed so if you’re not there, you are basically invisible to them. This is a hard pill to swallow. It used to be that if you shared something on your fan page, you could expect a fairly significant percentage of your fans to see your message. This has all changed over the past year.
This article goes deeper into the problems with Facebook’s Newsfeed. His basic point is that we are now all advertisers. Like it or not, this is the future of Facebook. When they went public, the priorities shifted. Sure, they still wanted to grow their user base and collect your information but now their main focus is on generating income for their stockholders.
You Have a Limited Time To Engage New Fans
Right after someone “likes” your fan page is the time that they are most likely to become engaged with your posts. Every day that passes that they do not like, comment, or share something from your fan page increases the likelihood of you dropping off of there newsfeed…probably for good. Facebook used to use an algorithm called Edgerank to determine what posts showed up on your newsfeed so that all you needed to do was get some consistent engagement and and you would be good to go, there new algorithm is much more complex and I’m assuming is designed to increase their revenue, not necessarily to give you the best user experience.
So What’s The Good News?
I have been saying all along that the two most important things to do with Facebook are to cultivate relationships and build your email list. Facebook is still a great place to join groups of like minded people and connect. Really no different that networking off line, need to reach out to people one on one to create an actual connection. This does not mean you need to speak to everyone on your email list but if you want your ideal clients to spend any real money with you, you definitely need to be talking to them personally, whether it’s on the phone, Facebook or in person.
As a list building tool, Facebook is still super popular. I won’t get into in this article, but advertising on Facebook is still the easiest and most effective way to build your list with paid advertising that I have seen out there. My favorite strategy last year was to create an image and upload it to Facebook with a link to a landing page in the description. Then use this post to create what is called a promoted post in the ad manager. Facebook recently announced that these will not be shown as much as they used to in favor of link-share posts, so that is my newest recommendation. For a description of how to create a link-share post, check out Amy Porterfield’s article on this. One thing to keep in mind when setting the featured image on your website pages or posts is to make sure the image size is at least 560×292 pixels, otherwise Facebook will resize it down to a thumbnail.
Which one would you be more likely to notice in your newsfeed?
You really don’t want to be selling your services or business opportunity on Facebook anyway, that is much more effectively done through things like email marketing, webinars and free consultations. So don’t focus too much of your time on crafting the latest thing to share on Facebook unless you are doing it within groups of people who you know are your ideal clients. Your time would be much better spent focusing on some list building strategies and then a great email follow up sequence so you can start connecting with them.