There has been a lot of chatter going on lately about the validity of Facebook as a platform for brands and businesses. As discussed in this article by Business Insider, Facebook is becoming a pay-for-play game than it was before, and some feel that its paid ad products aren’t delivering results. Eat24’s very public “breakup letter” with Facebook (and their response) perfectly captures the current state of Facebook’s relationship with brands.
It’s inspired me to reflect on a Social Media Club South Florida panel I attended called “Facebook Ads – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.” (As a matter of fact, rbb’s Digital and Social Media Producer Rafael Sangiovanni was one of the featured speakers.)
The panelists’ insights on the pros and cons of Facebook Pages for businesses are even more relevant now in light of the recent “doomsday” stories. Of all the valuable information that was shared during their discussion, these were five main takeaways that I felt compelled to share.
“Likes do not equal sales.” – Staci Garcia
“Facebook likes represent social currency… more likes increase a perception of value, not direct sales.” – Karla Campos
These two quotes essentially go hand in hand. There isn’t always a direct correlation between Facebook likes and sales. The main focus of Facebook should be connecting with your audience in a unique and meaningful way. Although sales may be important to your business, it’s critical to understand that organic and viral reach and engagement represent a sometimes intangible value of brand awareness. And the reality is that sometimes you have to pay to get your brand message out over Facebook.
“Getting people off Facebook is one of the most profitable things you can do with Facebook.” – Alex Wall
Limiting your marketing objective to only increasing Facebook actions (likes, etc.) places a huge handicap on your overall online reach. People are dropping the ball by using Facebook Ads for the sole purpose of increasing Page Likes, instead of focusing on turning those Likes into customers. Leverage your Facebook fans by sending them to your website for example – a platform YOU control, not a third party – gives you more creative ownership and increases the probability of earning a direct conversion.
“Facebook Ads don’t work if they’re too general.” – Nathan Mendenhall
The Facebook ads interface has given marketers more tools than ever before to reach the desired audience. As a matter of fact, Facebook’s Power Editor offers an incredible level of flexibility and targeting when it comes to creating effective ads. And it’s always changing, so marketers need to constantly stay up to date if they want to leverage the tools to their maximum capacity.
“One of the most valuable things you can do for your client is set expectations and educate them.” – Rafael Sangiovanni
As marketers, we spend much of our time managing client expectations. The same applies to Facebook, both for advertising and content marketing. When bringing a new client on board, you want assure them that their needs will be taken cared of, however you don’t want to go too far and promise something that you can’t deliver. As such, always make sure you are up to date with the latest Facebook benchmarks and capabilities. With all the changes that Facebook has been making, we’ve got a lot of explaining to do.