Recently while browsing my Facebook news feed, I saw a sponsored ad about a shop in Singapore celebrating its 40,000 pages likes on Facebook. And they will be holding an in house promotion event just to celebrate this. I was thinking (in Singlish), “So boring, like that also can?” It is like celebrating for things like, the first time you say hello to your boss on a monday or the day when your neighbour smiled at you or the day you saw a snail on a pave way. This list will just go on.
Well, perhaps getting your first 10,000 page likes on Facebook from 2005 to 2009 may sound awesome but today even if one has 1000,000 page likes on its Facebook page, it is not so worthwhile to celebrate. Here are the 7 reasons why.
#1 Organic Reach and Conversion Will Still be Falling
Yes this is very true. Facebook page likes doesn’t mean anything significant to a business today. A business with 10,000 page likes may only able to reach 1% or even less of its fans whenever it post something new. Organic reach in Facebook pages continue to be all time low especially for the business pages without consistent updates.
#2 Yes, you Still Have to Advertise to Reach Your Own Fans
That is why the only solution to let your fans see your posts on a consistent basis is to advertise to them. After your business had tried to advertise to get their page likes. The next step will be to advertise to get these existing fans and also the non fans to like your posts. Lucrative for businesses? Nope at all. But of course to make sure your business posts on Facebook has better engagement rate, your content then better be good! The quality of your content plus the responsiveness of the reaction to your post, will determine whether you will pay less to reach more or pay more to reach less people when you advertise on Facebook.
#3 Viral Content? Nah, Not For Businesses
Viral content makes news fly. A lot of people will say your content is the one that determines your brand likability on Facebook. But for a business, especially for most medium sized businesses or large B2B companies, the content is usually limited to the products and services, customers testimonials, new products and so on. These content are relevant content that the prospective customers will like and relate. But will it go viral? Unlikely. Will it convert to sales? Likely. But it’s just too bad, Facebook will only give more organic reach if the content is viral and popular. And these viral content are usually celebrities posts, food posts, trendy news posts, music videos, jokes, and movie posts. What about other businesses looking to leverage on Facebook for marketing? Will they get viral content? It’s a question mark.
#4 Facebook Like is Becoming a Norm
A Facebook like, or the recent Facebook reactions, may or may not mean anything nowadays. You can have 100 likes for your business post but the question is, can you get at least some sales from these 100 likes? Unlikely. A Facebook like has become too commonplace that sometimes it may not place any significance especially for businesses.
#5 Your Facebook Fans May Like For the Sake Of Liking
Ever had your friends asking you to like their businesses’ Facebook pages and you just like it for the sake of supporting your friends? Will you intend to buy products and services from your friends’ companies? Probably a no more than a yes, right? Well today, there are many Facebook “likers” who will like any business or any brand pages they came across whether through friends’ recommendation or sponsored ads. They will just like for the sake of liking. As for the businesses who paid for sponsored ads, they will still have to pay for these “likers”.
#6 They Liked Too Many Pages!
We cannot blame the “likers” for what they are either. Ever since Facebook was founded more than 10 years ago in 2004, the Facebook users community around the world has grown tremendously over the years. The users who started on Facebook may have already liked thousands of brand pages. So asking one user to follow up closely on one brand all day and all night may not be possible. Coupled with the saturation of advertisers on Facebook, users are getting too much information and choices on a daily basis. Therefore, the chances of them ignoring information on social media are very high. An average person may have liked too many Facebook pages but the probability of them buying the products and services from certain business pages they had liked, may still be very minute.
#7 You Need Brand Advocates Not Facebook Fans
Eventually, it is always the satisfied clients that matters. Your brand needs advocates rather than conventional Facebook fans (aka “non buying likers”). Advocates in this context, will mean real customers that will generate more content for you on social media without costs. For example, making a video of them with your products or sharing a testimonial about your company’s services on Facebook without you paying them to do so. Brand advocates content will therefore be more viral and powerful than the content generated by the company alone.
In summary, I do agreed Facebook had somehow become less important to businesses especially in terms of marketing value but I do not agree that Facebook is no longer useful for all businesses. You can still capture some market with this social medium. What your business need now is perhaps, a well rounded content strategy and a strong brand theme on your Facebook page so that your conversion rate on Facebook marketing will be good.
As the saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, if Facebook is currently your business’ single marketing strategy, I would encourage you to change course.
[Cover photo credits: whatstrending.com]