Do you like the alliteration in the title? Well good, because if you’re a person selling the dream of helping someone reach a bigger audience through Facebook, turn away from this article now and make sure you don’t let your clients see this. I’ve written article after article explaining my various research of Facebook as a tool for small biz. I keep coming back to the same conclusion, so this is the last time I will subject myself to the study. What I hope is that my sharing of this information helps to inform your decision in utilizing Boost Post or whatever promotional tool Facebook wants you to pay for to promote your work.
As a reference point I’m going to place these links here so you can read my multiple articles about the “power” of Facebook, in chronological order:
There are more articles on both CBP and ARCH, definitely take time to browse those sites.
While at one point Facebook was a viable source of promotion for small biz, I think that time ended in 2013. Those who caught the wave at the beginning and around 2008-11 are now the social media gurus who are booking speaking engagements on how you can build a following like theirs. The problem is they aren’t being very honest with you. If you’re paying those people and they aren’t “new” to the game, which means they aren’t just starting out and they garnered their following, you’re listening to the wrong people.
IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO BUILD A FOLLOWING ON FACEBOOK WITHOUT PAYING.
The question is do you want to pay and how much are you willing to give up? Facebook works fantastic if you Boost Posts. As a matter of fact you can get very good engagement with about 30.00 dollars every 3 days. But the problem is there are 30 days in a month with a variety of peak periods. So if you do the math you’re talking about a budget of 300.00 bucks per month to keep and build the audience you are attempting to reach, and that’s on the low end. In the picture next to this information (click to enlarge) you can see my time on Facebook during my recent 30 Day Project. During this project my goal was to generate interest in my new shoe release and to also deliver my thoughts on business and information that I think is relative to getting started. So what are you looking at in this picture? The first week I ran a Facebook Ad. Engagement was obviously through the roof (hence the big yellow mountain). This was not organic however. It was forced. I paid for the interaction and people engaged, but there wasn’t any conversion. Now, the first thing a guru is going to tell you is to keep with it. You can’t see results in one month. You have to keep pushing forward. What they are failing to tell you is that when Facebook was in its infancy this type of engagement was organic. You didn’t have to pay for it. This is why those sites from a few years back grew so quickly. You were able to build a base for your blog/business. This just isn’t the case anymore.
The last month I was consistent in my updates and responsive in my attention to those liking and engaging (Note the little, tiny molehills in the rest of that graph). The problem is very clear here. The people on the page, although they chose to click and like the page, they did not do so as admirers of the brand. They did so due to a paid advertisement.
[bctt tweet=”ORGANIC DISCOVERY IS BETTER THAN PAID DISCOVERY.”] Building your audience within Facebook groups can work. Using your site to share your posts from your website can also work if you use both your Fan page and your personal page. The absolute best form of building community is having people share your work especially someone who has a really big following. This is discussed in other articles on this site. The problem is it takes successive days of a person of stature sharing your work for your site to become a staple and that simply doesn’t happen very often. You may get one retweet or like from a famous person, but that will only provide a temporary bump. However, those people who come to your site through search or share are better prospects for conversion than those who find you through an ad. How can I say this? The two pictures above give insight from Facebook showing engagement on my fan page. Please note that at the end of the month my engagement was based on me reaching people who had liked the page primarily on their own. Now I didn’t get any conversions on this engagement, but look at the second picture and notice that with a paid post the engagement was much lower.
Let me explain this better. On the beginning picture there is the spike from a paid ad. That ad ran for a week. Facebook only monitors reactions to that ad. While that ad was running for that 3-5 days, note that the interaction on the rest of my page was always below 8%. Now look at the end of the month pic. Note there are several occasions where my posts are engaged at 11%, 12% and 15% while when the ad was running my engagement remained steadily below 7% and often at 1-3% with the same amount of people engaging. The ad garnered serious engagement, but it did not equate to any conversion at all. Most important, it did not translate to those people liking and viewing looking at any other posts on my fan page! Which is very important in building a business.
While nothing I say can be taken as law, I do think that my findings have been very consistent. Facebook is no longer the medium for reaching your market that it once was. My goal in writing this is to simply offer you more research when paying for classes, workshops, and conferences selling you on becoming stronger using social media, specifically Facebook. I say without reservation that you do need a presence on the site and that you most certainly should use plug-ins to share your work to Facebook and other social media sites, but I don’t think spending a lot of money on this aspect of building your market is worth it.
You are much better off creating networks where the members are willing to promote individuals at different times. My ultimate idea is a group cowork online. Form a group and kind of like the Wu Tang Clan, promote one person’s work for a set amount of time. This means that if there are ten people in the group. All ten people should get ten people to support the venture of one of the FOCUS projects. Important: The ten people need to seriously be involved!!!! If the FOCUS is a book, then the group needs to read the book and review the book. If it’s a product, the same thing should be required. If it’s a service, that FOCUS person needs to provide the services for free to those ten in the group. These ten should then reach out to another ten. You can easily gain the support of 100 people in this way if everyone agrees to work to build each other up. You also have a greater opportunity of potentially going “viral” with this type of push from your group. The greatest thing about doing it this way? You only pay the cost of whatever the product is that is the FOCUS for that time period. In return you are literally guaranteed to beef up your sales and get feedback.
[bctt tweet=”The product has to be worthy though! Don’t join a group to promote wack stuff. “]
Let me know what you think and write me with any questions in the comment section.