Facebook for Business is Dead

Don’t just read this title and go delete your personal profile and business page, fire your social media expert or virtual assistant and leave the social media giant behind forever. Don’t fire your marketing director who swears by Facebook ads and algorithms, and move on to some other media avenue. Read on first

Because Facebook is not dead. In fact, social media is a vital component to any business public relations strategy. “The unique ability that we have through social media
is to reach to people and for them to communicate back to us,” says Jeanine Guidry of George Washington University on using social media to accomplish your communications goals. “If we don’t use that we’re using a large part of the functionality.”

The ability to communicate with customers in a conversation, rather than the press release or print advertisement megaphone like methods is invaluable. Posting useful and credible content on a regular basis, responding to comments both negative and positive, and engaging in meaningful discussions are all valuable activities.

Buying likes to increase your numbers? Running old style Facebook ads? Boosting advertising heavy posts? Those activities, once considered essential for business, are no longer useful. Notice I did not say you should never boost posts or run Facebook ads, or try to get legitimate likes for your page.

Because a traditional view of Facebook for business is dead. In fact, it was never really alive. Here are some useful do’s and don’ts.


Don’t Buy Likes or use Facebook’s Promote Your Page

There are two ways to buy “likes” for your Facebook page. The first is the illegitimate way, by purchasing them from a “click farm.” These are places in developing countries where individuals with perhaps thousands of fake profiles will “like” your page.

The second is to “promote your page” through Facebook. In February of 2014, Veratasium, a YouTube channel that explores “an element of truth” put this method to the test. Not surprisingly, Derek Muller, the man behind the channel, found many of the likes from the promotion looked suspiciously like the ones obtained from the above mentioned click farms.

The issue is this: as you gain more followers who are not actually engaged, if you do not pay to boost your posts, Facebook shows them to only a small percentage of your followers. Because these fake followers become a part of that, and they are not engaged at all, post engagement, a common metric for how posts perform, goes down rather than up. So while the numbers look good, the actual benefit to your business goes down.


Do Share Meaningful Content and Encourage Your Followers to Promote Your Page

So how do you get genuine likes from followers that will engage? There are two significant steps. The first is to share meaningful content. If you share content, whether links to your own blog post, others blog posts, a meme, or a video of a cute cat, your followers will engage, and share that content with their followers. If the content is also related to your niche or brand, and you post regularly, you will gain likes and followers.

Don’t be afraid to ask your followers to share your content with their friends and family. Again, content is king, and just like having linkable content on your website is vital for it to succeed, posting shareable content on your Facebook page is critical to its success. But if you have created good content, don’t hesitate to ask your most engaged followers to share.

This is the most organic way to create likes and buzz around your brand. It will take more time, but in the end, you will have a more robust following. Take the example of George Takei (Mr. Sulu) who built on a core following from Star Trek, but by sharing good content got great attention to his own causes, and established an ultra engaged following.

Another example is Humans of New York. The HONY Facebook page grew organically, and two books and thousands of photos and TV interviews later, the hard work put into organically growing a following has paid off in an amazing way.


Don’t Delete or Ignore Negative Comments or Feedback

As soon as you post anything on the internet, you open yourself up to negative comments and feedback. Whatever you do, don’t ignore them, and don’t offer excuses. This is the quickest way to get your page negative attention, and cause those who have liked it already to flee.

Instead. respond respectfully and not defensively. Offer a solution. Treat the confrontation like you would any other public interaction with a customer. You would not yell at a customer or defend yourself to a customer on the street in front of your place of business with a crowd watching. It’s the same on social media. Treat this as a customer service opportunity.


Don’t Ignore Positive Comments or Feedback

On the same token, don’t ignore positive feedback either. Thank the person for their comment and interest, and try to determine what, specifically motivated them to comment on your post,

Here’s the way the Facebook software works: the more people who organically like your post, the more of your followers (and their friends and followers) see it. So the more you engage to drive engagement, the more natural and engaged traction you will get.

A word of caution here: don’t just like their comment or post on your page. Comment instead. Stop doing like for like exchanges with other pages or businesses. In fact, you may want to stop liking things at all. First, it skews your news feed and your “like” profile, and makes you look strange on social media. It also changes who sees your posts and how often.


Do Engage in Meaningful Discussions and Conversations

With both positive and negative comments, respond in a timely manner. Try to turn the interaction into a useful discussion. “While you’ll encounter the odd troll or keyboard warrior, take the time to look and listen at everything people say,” says Chrissy Symeonakis in an article titled Social Media Real Talk. “If someone is offering free advice (whether you use it or not) take it and thank them.”

Facebook as a place to post ads and issue press releases is dead. Its usefulness for such activity was in question from the very beginning. But there are some astonishing ways you can utilize Facebook for marketing, along with  organically gaining likes and fans and having meaningful discussions.

Original: SociableBlog
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