Sadly, You Can’t Rely Solely On Facebook For Your Business

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Depending on how much you’re ” into” social media, you may have read recently about the demise of ‘LittleThings’ At their height they had 100 employees. Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms purportedly killed off the business almost overnight, as a huge proportion of the traffic to their website came via Facebook. Their reach crashed through the floor, meaning the income earned via their website disappeared too. Here’s why your business can’t solely rely on Facebook.

I want to first give you an example. A few years ago, I became aware of a business that seemed to be doing really well, trading on Facebook. No website, very little other social media. When I say ” doing well” I mean thousands of followers/likes. I followed the page and could see the level of engagement received on each post, so even if only a small percentage led to actual sales, I think it’s fair to assume that they were doing well.

I unfollowed a few months back as I didn’t feel the posts were relevant any more to me, but remembered them straightaway when I read about LittleThings and their Facebook woes…. Well, I had a Facebook ” stalk” the other day and wow. I looked at their ten most recent posts. Obviously, I haven’t got access to their full stats, but when you’re looking at an average of 8 engagements (👍🏻 ❤) etc per post when you’ve got over 40K followers, then that can’t be good for business. Their reach must have bombed. Please understand that I’m not wishing them ill here. I just hope they have a ‘Plan B’

Then, there’s ‘ Facebook Jail’…… If you’ve ever experienced it, it’s a lonely place! Facebook aren’t interested in hearing your explanations. I’ve heard of business pages being closed, with no right of reply. I’ve heard of personal accounts being deactivated for periods of time. I’ve even experienced myself Facebook closing an advertising account, yet they wouldn’t explain why. I’m still none the wiser. Fortunately, I’ve resolved it and they reactivated it. Thankfully! Now, if you’ve got all of your chickens in the Facebook basket, what are you going to do?!

You can’t avoid Facebook. If your dream clients/existing clients – whoever are using Facebook then your business should be on there too. Just please consider the worse case scenario for you. No access to Facebook. How are people going to find you then? At least get a website. They don’t have to break the bank. They really don’t. Give people a chance to find you online, other than on Facebook!

Facebook Groups Are Driving Me Nuts!

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With organic reach being a bit ” hit and miss” on business pages, many of us are gravitating towards groups. Many social media ” gurus” are advocating the use of them for brand awareness, building your ” tribe” etc, etc. To be quite honest, they’re doing my head in!

I’m a member of a very active and growing Facebook Advertising group, run by a well-known Facebook Ads expert. Initially, I thought ” yes!” somewhere to bounce off ideas, speak with other people experiencing what I am, possibly even get some work out of it……. It’s a mess. The number of posts like this:

  • My client wants me to run ads and I’ve no idea where to start (hmm, there’s PLENTY of resources out there)
  • I’ve been paid £1k to run ads and they’re bombing, what do I do? (how about not taking money off people if you’ve no clue what you’re doing)
  • Why is this ad not working? (cue crap image and copy)

I can of course leave the group, but I’m sort of fascinated by how it’s running and starting to police itself. For a start, the group owner is very rarely seen unless selling something. There appears to be no admin infrastructure, or if they’re present, they’re very quiet! Engagement on posts is falling, as there are so many posts and most of them are crap. I reckon eventually, people will drop off and it will become more focussed again. Or possibly not, who knows!

I’m also a member of a few more local business networking groups. There is little relationship-building, chat or camaraderie. There’s a hardcore of posters who advertise their business – subject to the rules of the group of course! What’s the point? If we’re not going to actually chat and just sell, we may as well just stick to looking at our timelines. There are enough people selling to us!

So, what’s my advice? Stick with the business pages. I manage a number of Facebook pages that have really good organic reach and engagement? Why? because we’re posting useful information and focusing on growing relationships with people. This sort of brings me on to something else, stop using personal profiles to sell. It sucks. I want to be your mate. If I want to buy your products, I’ll seek them out separately.

Sarah x

 

 

Facebook Ads Training

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I’m running a training session on Facebook Ads, Tuesday 10th October in Hyde. It’s 2.5 hours of learning, relaxed networking and pastries. What’s not to like!

Click here for more info.

Facebook Ads can be a bit of a ‘dark art’ but you don’t need to be a member of MENSA to see a return on your investment. It all goes wrong when you’ve not got a strategy and/or you don’t get your audience targeting spot on. Add to that the poor layout of the Ads Manager ( my opinion) and the ease of spending money and it can become a waste of hard-earned cash.

Most businesses dabble with Facebook Ads with the ‘boost post’ option. Now, this can work if you’ve got the right audience and the post is decent. That’s a mean combination. Often though, you’re throwing away cash as you think ” Oh, I’ll just boost this post”  – it is so easy after all. You might, might hit the jackpot. It’s unlikely though.

My training sessions are focused but also relaxed. I don’t believe in ‘ Death by Powerpoint’ and I actively encourage participation from everyone. I train at all different levels and everyone is welcome.

Now, just need to sell some tickets!