According to Facebook 95% of businesses are getting it completely wrong when it comes to doing business on the platform. It is an annoying truth that most businesses simply do not want to hear about.
Generally businesses are up with Facebook enough now to have a business page. It all seems very simple to operate and to a point it is. It's easy enough to make a business page, put in your settings, and get going with business. Next businesses tend to focus on getting page likes using every available method.
Then comes listing products. On Facebook this can come in all sorts of forms, and businesses focus a lot on exploring this. Posting products on the page, making videos about products and maybe even getting in to some high tech stuff like automated product feeds from the website.
Then we notice that no-one is really engaging with our products, and certainly we do not seem to be selling anything this way.
So we start pulling out all our marketing ideas from the past and get busy making our posts look more like ads so they stand out. Cover everything with bold logos, strong advertising messages, hard sell headlines, big words on images, bright borders and frames.
We look around at our competitors and see they are doing all of this and more. We start doing product giveaways to get more engagement, hire a professional designer to stand out even more. Maybe even start chucking some money at it by boosting posts.
This doesn't work
The annoying truth is that none of this actually works as far as achieving business objectives such as building relationships with customers and selling product.
The problem has blown out of all proportion. We tend to learn how to use social media by looking at what others are doing. Our poor business practices have spread like a virus throughout the business community and because poor practice seems to be the norm, the standard of success is decidedly mediocre compared with how it could be.
This is very hard for businesses to admit because usually by now they are so heavily invested. It is also more convenient to convince ourselves this is working by making statements like "we are getting great engagement" or "it's all about brand awareness" and "it's getting my name out there".
What is going wrong?
Here's the thing. Every thing that has gone wrong so far can be summed up in one simple statement:
You've made it all about you!
It's all about you, as the business. How can I get my business known on Facebook? How can I sell product? What should I do with my Facebook page? How can I stand out more?
This is really common thinking in business. In fact, almost all businesses think like this.
So why doesn't this approach work? Thinking from a business point of view does not work for one very simple reason. It has not taken in to account what the audience actually wants.
This is social media
The newsfeed is a SOCIAL feed. Filling it with posts pushing products, and strong advertising messages does not work because this is not what social is about.
Do not get me wrong. I am not saying we cannot sell product. We absolutely can. That is exactly what I do, I sell ALL my product through Facebook and that is what I teach. The point is, we have to do it differently on a social platform.
We could be doing better
We can achieve goals like selling product on Facebook and it is really not that hard once we know how it works.
So what should we do?
It is no secret, in fact Facebook is telling us what we should do. The main thing Facebook users want to be seeing is authentic genuine people and the experiences that come with that. Posts from friends and family are foremost and business messages need to be similar.
In order to do this, the core objective of the Facebook algorithm is to connect people with the stories that matter most to them. In this regard the Algorithm is in control, Facebook determines what people see. This is something we need to understand and bear in mind in business..
Posting advertising messages, dazzling ad copy, and product placement simply does not work.
For this reason we must design our Facebook messages specifically for the platform. Simply posting our advertising messages or product feeds from elsewhere will not do.
This is annoying
As if we are not busy enough? Now we find we have to create special content for social platforms! I get how annoying this is, in fact I have been through this myself years ago. I put a huge effort in to trying to automate this by running product feeds from my web page and really trying to make it work. Believe me I REALLY tried! But the fact is, it just doesn't work, because these messages are not social.
So if we are serious about doing business on social platforms we need to just get on with what works. The key word in all of this is SOCIAL. Social is people.
Social messages for a social platform. Essential!
by Justin Lewis.
Justin is a Facebook business specialist, and has worked on the Facebook platform since 2011. Justin trains businesses on how to run their business on Facebook. Justin manages advanced level Facebook marketing campaigns specialising in Real Estate.