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Facebook is not responsible for the success of your business

30th November 2015

You may have seen on your Facebook newsfeed recently that some businesses are upset at the recent changes in Facebook’s algorithms restricting the visibility of some posts sent out by pages. The news and facts about these changes are scarce and often inaccurate so here’s our view on the changes and how you can still use Facebook if it’s the right platform for your customers. 

Now, this is interesting. Facebook has changed its algorithms, but it is actually a benefit to us as consumers, and not a negative. What is now happening is that you only get posts delivered to your timeline that you are actually interested in seeing. So, if you actively engage in a certain page’s posts, then you will continue to see those posts in your timeline. If, however, you don’t engage in a certain page, then you won’t have their posts appear in your feed. This is good news for consumers and businesses alike because it means we get delivered content we want to read and businesses get better levels of engagement on the posts they put out.  

Some businesses are upset at this, but I say; stop blaming Facebook for the lack of engagement on your page! Facebook has become less successful for some online businesses, I admit, but when did it ever agree to be your agent? Where is your contract with Facebook, with the platform agreeing to promote you to thousands of people for nothing? Where are the guarantees from Facebook that it will help you engage with your followers and make you a successful business? Nowhere.

It’s often useful to remember that Facebook is a free platform, one of many that exist online. But how successful your business is on these platforms is up to you, not them.  If you give people engaging content, they will engage. If you don’t, they won’t – and it doesn’t matter how many times you ask them to.

It’s time to have a think about what it is about your posts that stop people responding? What can you do better? And where else can you go to increase awareness of who you are and what you do?

In old-school marketing it was unwise to put all of your budget in one place – it was, and still is important to constantly find new ways of promoting your business, as markets change, audiences change, you change, and you need to adapt to those changes. Facebook is changing, so you need to adapt to that. Look at other social media platforms and figure out how you can use them to direct traffic to your website.

Because these platforms are channels – they shouldn’t be your sales outlet, and you shouldn’t treat them as such. The clue to win the game is in the name; it’s ‘social’ media. It is not a sell, sell, sell environment and those using it as such will not succeed. Use Facebook as a pointer to show people where to go. Educate, inform and inspire. Don’t ask for followers or likes or shares, your core customers will do that anyway!

Make sure you are aiming the right content to the right people – and not everyone will be the right people. You may only have 50 people who actively follow you, but it isn’t about numbers, it’s about engagement, and relationships, and recommendations, and ultimately, another way of informing people about what you do.

I have met many a successful business who is not on Facebook and this isn’t because Facebook doesn’t work. It’s because Facebook doesn’t work for them. As with all social networks, it’s all about which ones work best for your audience. If you can focus your efforts on the network that works best for your audience (and do it really well) then you’re onto a winner!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love social media – it is my job, and it is a big part of my life. But you need to use it the way it is intended, and look for alternative solutions if Facebook isn’t working for you. Start building your business as if these platforms didn’t exist and figure out who your customer is and where they are and how to reach them. And then use social media to help you with that.

Cosmic’s top ways to succeed on Facebook;

  1. Have a clear understanding of your customer and speak to them about what they want to hear. When are they online? Target your content to the right people and at the right time.
  2. Vary your content; keep your audience up to date with all the latest within your industry and keep it fresh. Don’t give them the opportunity to get bored with what you are posting, and emphasise what they really want most.
  3. Be aware of what your competitors are up to – how are they engaging with their customers and what are they talking about? What can you do differently?
  4. Keep it visual – images, video or infographics are key when posting on social media.
  5. Educate, inform, entertain and inspire. 

Good luck! If you need any support with your social media strategy please do not hesitate to get in touch.