Expert Internet Marketing Advice for Small Businesses
In the last quarter of 2012 they made $64m (ВЈ41m) in profit, and that was a major drop on the previous year's numbers.
Something small businesses should be aware of, as it directly affects them and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, is how exactly Facebook makes that money.
Ads that's how. Ads paid for by you because their service isn't as free as a lot of people think.
Did you know, for instance, that only a small percentage of your fans will see your posts, unless you pay for Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts to show them to a larger audience?
Elan Dekel, owner of Lullabee.com in this Forbes article gives some eye-opening statistics: only between 1% and 5% of his followers are actually seeing his posts, and he's been unable to make his ROI add up.
Facebook gives lots of reasons for content not being seen: time of day, type of content, when your user last engaged with one of your posts, for instance.
But in recent months formerly healthy audience numbers have dropped significantly Nick Bilton of the New York Times saw a decrease from hundreds of вЂ?likes' for his articles to two-figure digits in Disruptions: As User Interaction on Facebook Drops, Sharing Comes at a Cost
So does it still make sense for you as a small company to use Facebook as a marketing tool?
Here are some tips on how you can still use the social media platform that won't cost you a fortune:
Unfortunately you'll need a thriving Facebook page to make this work, as only those pages with lots of engagement and postings show up in Facebook's recently added search engine.
Your presence as a local business on Facebook is a no-brainer, since Facebook's local business discovery feature, Local Search (previously Facebook Nearby), is a feature of their mobile app.
Travel firm Costa Rica Vacations include a link to a testimonials tab on Facebook from a post-travel survey which they circulate by email automatically, after their customer has returned from their holiday.
As 40% of their customers were filling in the surveys anyway it made sense to add the link to the survey itself, rather than on the email. And the testimonials will help you get seen on Graph Search.
As it can't be guaranteed that all your fans will see your posts on Facebook, integrate the social media platform with your email campaigns instead. Do this by simply incorporating an email sign-up form onto your page, like Crocs do:
Click on that 'Email Signup' and a 20% discount's offered. Who could turn that down?:
Another targeting tool to help you increase your clickthrough and hopefully, conversion rates. Using the Editor, It's possible to add your ads directly into your fans' news feeds, resulting in a clickthrough rate up to 20 times higher than average.
Have you noticed drop-offs in the numbers viewing your posts on Facebook? If you have, we'd love to know what your experiences have been. If you've found ways around it, get in touch we're a new blog and we're looking for possible case studies to fill it up!