Although Facebook offers small- and mid-sized businesses plenty of opportunities for marketing that would otherwise be completely within their budgets, many owners don’t use this resource to their best benefit. Let’s examine some of the ways in which the opportunities posed by Facebook are being misused by many small business owners, so you can avoid these pitfalls.
1: Using Facebook as a mass marketing platform is no longer viable.
In the past, Facebook could be used as a vehicle for mass marketing, but today this is no longer the case. Trying to reach out to an audience with a wide net is virtually impossible, because of the breadth and intensity of the competition. In addition, recent changes in the structure of Facebook made this strategy virtually impossible without having to invest a great deal of money. The best approach for the modern Facebook is to create a targeted, niche-oriented strategy that establishes and maintains a core audience and uses them for public relations.
2: Trying to do everything yourself on Facebook is a mistake.
In order to succeed on Facebook, you need the cooperation of your fan base. First of all, most people don’t want to be contacted directly by a business on Facebook. Second, Facebook itself has changed its policies to heavily discourage businesses from messaging anyone with whom they do not have a prior relationship offline. This kind of action can get a business’s privileges revoked, or get them completely banned from Facebook altogether. In order to succeed on Facebook, you need the core of your audience to open their social circles for you. You can do this by creating a platform that easily serves as a hub for conversation. People will naturally want to bring their friends into such an environment. In this way, you can gain access to new customers without having to hard-sell them on Facebook.
3: Accumulating likes on Facebook is no longer a good strategy.
The Facebook “like” is a much less powerful tool than it was just two years ago. First of all, Facebook limits the amount of distribution a post is allowed unless it’s sponsored (meaning that you have paid extra money for it). Currently, your unsponsored posts will reach only 10 percent of your audience at a time. Instead of simply accumulating Facebook likes, a company should be much more concerned about the quality of those likes and where they come from. If the likes are coming from a popular page or tastemaker, then they may garner more potential customers and business. Otherwise, they are simply a wasted investment.
4: Facebook is no longer a resource that can be used on its own.
Small businesses must accept that using Facebook alone is a marketing strategy that doesn’t work anymore. Unless the owner is looking to spend a great deal of money on sponsored posts, Facebook must be used in tandem with other social networking sites to create an overall impression of the business. One of the best ways to use Facebook is as a tool to raise search engine rankings. Link your Facebook page to your landing page and insert anchor text that can be used to upgrade the page ranks and the overall ranking of your other websites. Facebook is trusted by the major search engines, so one-way links from a page on Facebook will go a long way in raising the ranking of your other pages on major search engines.