So let me start this out by saying that I have to go on Facebook every single weekday. I manage pages for my clients and for myself, and while I’m there, I get stuck. Who doesn’t? Even though I could care less about 90% of what I’m seeing, I get stuck and Zuckerberg gets rich. I feel like a moron and I hate feeling like a moron.
Facebook is seen as the social media leader because it has the ability to suck you in, not because it’s a business generator. And I think that’s because we’ve been led astray.
Of the dozen or so pages I manage on Facebook, there are a few that are much less active than others. By less active, I mean that I only post to them about once a month or even once every two months.
Since I can see how many of the page’s fans actually see each post, I can track their visibility. The less active Facebook pages have MUCH higher visibility than the more active Facebook pages that we manage – 25% versus the average 5-10%. Hmmm.
So I regularly spend time coming up with clever, relevant posts for various pages. For the pages with lots of fans – over 1000 – enough people see them that 10% is still a decent number of fans. But for the pages with much fewer fans, it can seem pointless. Somebody’s paying for my brain, and yet only a handful people are benefiting from my rapier wit? At a certain point, I put a stop to it, to be honest. I don’t feel right about it.
But if you don’t post regularly, they say, you won’t get more fans. And isn’t the point to get more fans? I guess so, if popularity is the goal, but most businesses are hoping to use Facebook to generate leads.
Then they tell you not to over-promote, but if you only post every once in a while, you’re more likely to reach more people than if you post every day using all the techniques we’ve all been spoon-fed. So you might as well self-promote when you do it!
My goal is to abandon the mind control and go back to using Facebook the way we all intended before we were fed a bunch of “you musts” by “social media experts.” Here is the experiment:
Yes, this is a service that our business offers, but we’re all about SMART marketing, not taking someone’s money and pretending that it’s making a difference because we know they probably don’t know any better. In order to recommend strategies that make sense for our clients, we need to have a full understanding of just how effective those tactics will be over time.
Because social media evolves regularly, it’s crucial that people within the industry be the ones who test and evaluate it. Most people don’t want to be bothered, but they are upset when a marketing tactic that cost them money doesn’t work.
So, no – I don’t think we’re being suicidal by criticizing our own industry; I think we’re being responsible! And if someone approaches us for a Facebook page because some other person recommended that they have one, we’ll be in an even better position to advise them. Concocting the right Online Marketing Formula℠ means being able to project how effective something will be.
This means I have to go full disclosure. I usually post to Enve’s Facebook page about 5-8 times per week, sometimes a couple times a day. Enve’s latest post was from February 14. Of 437 fans, 21 people saw the post, or 4%. How aggravating is that, since some of those fans came from paid advertising?
I’m going to wait a week and see if my next post does any better: February 21, and it will be to publicize this blog post. Stay tuned and let me know if you’ll be trying the experiment as well!