Social Media – Determining Facebook Marketing Factors
So if everyone says you need your own company Facebook page, why shouldn’t you rush out to make sure you get your share of the website traffic promise land? Well, it wouldn’t really hurt to have your branding on the Facebook social network; however there are a lot of considerations which all the hype promotions don’t fully explain. This includes the all-so-important Return on Investment [ROI].
Paid Advertising Hook
Though it may not be explicit from first viewing, it is important to understand, as with most businesses (which Facebook most certainly fits), generating revenue to keep the doors open is a necessity. While it’s true that there’s no charge to set up your business profile, you will quickly find the pitch of paid advertising placements throughout the Facebook network if you actually want to reach some of your hoped demographics.
While this is a great marketing approach, especially for Facebook, it’s also an important awareness for companies racing to hop on the wagon with their own page. You need to make sure you don’t follow the dangling carrot (of a free page) while anticipating users will come charging to your website just by being included in the service.
Is Random Traffic Worth the Costs?
The expert marketing claims point to the simple math: with so many users register on Facebook, the numbers game alone will drive clicks through to your site. Based on percentage odds that, given such a huge readership quantity, at least a very small percentage will check out your webpage; the marketing is sound. However, a business cannot afford to strategize its efforts in generating website traffic visits if it doesn’t target itself to generate actual customer leads.
There are a lot of habitual coffee drinkers out there, but reaching that market does very little for your company if you have nothing to do with making or providing coffee. Of course there’s always the chance that one of the coffee drinkers may know a friend of a friend who has a cousin who’s brother’s boss know a guy who’s company has a client who knows some people who might be interested in the type of product or service you offer… but that type of marketing hope is like playing the scratch-and-win lottery tickets. You may find a winning ticket, but playing the lottery as a career choice isn’t really sound profitable business practice.
More to the point, simply generating huge random traffic can actually cost you more – both figuratively and literally. If the page draws huge general curiosity traffic, chances are you’ll also receive email and post comments and inquiries of a non-specific nature as well (un-prequalified unrelated submissions). You or your staff will need to spend time sorting and possibly responding through all the exchange. That means time away from the marketing which may generate proper ROI.
Harder still, if your Facebook page does manage to generate a lot of causal clicks and postings; you will need to be especially prudent that actual potential leads don’t get lost in the crowd of non-business material. For your business to succeed, you must make sure your revenue generating clients are not overlooked or misplaced in the collection.
Again, this is where Facebook hopes to encourage allotment of part of your advertising budget. They do offer paid advertising within their network, and can target the placements more towards your geographical and demographical criteria. However, it’s equally important to realize the more your specifics narrow or filter the total user base, the smaller the total number of users (compared to the original draw of millions of registered users) you’ll actually be reaching.
Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – you’ll likely to reach more actual prequalified traffic which is what you want. It does, however, become a necessary decision and analysis to balance the paid marketing costs with the ROI expected.
Company Expectations on Facebook
The first step in building your company profile for Facebook is also the most often neglected step process – setting specific expectations and goals you wish to achieve from your Facebook page!
While you may have a general goal (product or service awareness, increased website traffic, higher end sales clients), for business practice the goals are almost useless if you don’t have a way of measuring their success or failings. How can you know whether your efforts and investment are paying off if you haven’t determined what specific factors are needed to be achieved?
It’s like building a house. You’ve decided you want a house, but you won’t get very far if you haven’t decided what kind of house you want, how big it should be, what features it needs, how soon you need it, and how much money you are willing to spend getting it built.
Just because you hear an abundance of guidance that “every competing company is building a Facebook page because it’s such an important marketing tool”, that doesn’t mean it’s working for all of them. In truth, the majority of company pages will just be gathering dust because the owners didn’t take the time to figure out just why they were building it in the first place.
You need specific goals to determine whether the time and effort is worthwhile in creating (and maintaining) your Facebook page, or whether your marketing funds could generate a better return if directed elsewhere.
It’s that “and maintaining” part that most companies forget – which is also why so many aren’t getting the results they had hoped to achieve.
A Successful Facebook Page Requires On-Going Maintenance
The old expression “Build it and they will come” fails miserably when it comes to the internet. Well, ‘they’ may come, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do so often – nor does it mean that they’ll necessarily do much once they arrive.
You can’t expect to hold your visitor’s interest very long if your page never changes. There’s only so many times when a person will look at the same pamphlet or advert before they throw it away for something more recent and new.
There are numerous options available for keeping the content (and visitor traffic) fresh – blogs, company news updates, events calendars, press releases – but make no mistake about it, you do need to provide a regular flow of new material or people will just walk away for good.
If you’re going to invest in having your profile placed on Facebook, you absolutely need to budget that investment to include maintenance and update time and finances. If you don’t, then chances are all your initial efforts will be wasted.