November 8, 2012
Many small businesses use Facebook in some shape or form because they’ve been told that it should be an integral part of their marketing strategy or because they just figure ‘well, everyone’s one Facebook so I should be too.’ For all the time you spend engaging with customers and cultivating new fans, have you ever wondered what the value of that was to your business?
The smart folks over at Forrester, a research and advisory firm, prepared a report earlier this year called The Facebook Factor that looked at the value Facebook fans had on several big businesses’ revenue. Using companies like Coca-Cola and Best Buy as their models, they researched whether all that time social media managers’ were spending online was actually helping the bottom line.
First The Good News
The good news is that the time you spend on your company’s Facebook site is not in vain. According to the report, companies did see a lift in the amount Facebook fans would spend with that company as well as a significant increase in the likelihood that they would buy from that specific company and recommend that company to their friends. In the case of Best Buy, 74% of Facebook fans were likely to recommend the brand to others whereas only 38% of non Facebook fans would do the same.
Now The Bad News
Facebook is making it harder and harder for businesses to communicate directly with their fans. As I’ve mentioned before, Facebook has changed the rules on us and now your business posts are only seen by about 10% of your overall fan base. In order to get the remaining 90% to see your posts you have to pay to promote them – each and every single post! That is not something that’s in most small businesses’ budgets to do especially when 4 out of every 5 of your posts on Facebook should be ‘engagement’-type posts (talking with your customers) and not ‘trying to sell you something’ posts.
In a Nutshell
If someone takes the time to like your Facebook page that’s a win in your book. That’s someone who wants to stay connected and engaged with your brand and is someone who is more likely to purchase from you, spend more money with you, and tell others about you. Essentially – the type of customer we all want! But because Facebook has changed their algorithm it’s foolhardy to count on Facebook as being your #1 marketing tool unless you have the budget in place to actively promote your posts. For those who don’t have that kind of budget, Facebook may be a great addition to your marketing strategy but I would hesitate to create a strategy that solely revolved around Facebook these days.