Is Facebook worth the hassle?

I was labeled a heretic in 2010 when I advised most clients to think twice about going down the Facebook rabbit hole.

Hijacking a platform designed for friends and family – as an advertising/promotional tool seemed paradoxical.

Do I really want a bunch of ads/spam polluting my feed as I’m catching up with friends? Nope. Neither do you… or your customers.

Sure, all kinds of bait was offered to gain “likes.” The supposed currency of the day. But then what?

Besides the unbearable time-suck of populating your page with content and the mythological riches that never materialized… how much engagement are you getting from that handful of “likes?”

Look at your numbers:

  • How many actions do you get per post? How many likes? Comments? Shares?
  • How much time do you spend managing and dealing with Facebook?
  • How much are you paying someone else to do it for you?
  • Do you “see” real engagement and revenue – or just a bunch of “likes?”
  • Now – ask yourself: “How many business Facebook pages are you following?” (Yep – there’s your answer).

Listen, we incorporated Facebook tools into our Repeat Returns marketing program and guess what we discovered?

  • Some customers will “like” your page for an incentive.
  • They almost never like, share or comment on anything after that.
  • Sure, you may get a few diehards that squeal with delight every time you load up a new post… truth is, many of your “friends” just quietly unfollow you after a bit.

What about the amazing “reach?”

Ahhh yes… the vast spider web of friends everyone has means your reputation can go global in minutes. I mean, each “like” you get… don’t they have a bazillion friends who are dying to get hip to your biz? Nope.

Unless you have nationwide locations, a far-flung scattering of friends and family means squat to you. You need people within a 3-5 mile radius.

Oh, another thing… Facebook provides a platform for people to bitch about you. Sure, you can remove cranky posts… or not. But do you really need provide an under-performing, time-wasting, money-draining venue for that?

Oh, by the way… as much as you might hate it, Yelp is a super-reliable way to attract cash-in-hand hot prospects at the very moment they are ready to buy.

There are rare exceptions.

Some local restaurants, pizzerias and retailers have managed to crack the code and gain traction. If that’s you – congratulations. I admire what you’ve done. Keep it up.

Gonna keep on truckin’ with Facebook?

You’ll gain far more traction if you humanize it with pictures of you, your employees – posts about your adventures, your pets, your community involvement. You need “connection.”

Once you’ve got real engagement from followers – then (and only then) roll out an occasional offer. Start spamming this carefully curated group of friends and they’ll vanish like a fart in the wind.

Surveys we’ve conducted for clients shows that your customers overwhelmingly prefer email to hear from you.

Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal – all have articles about major brands quitting Facebook because the ROI just isn’t there.

Might be time for you to consider the same.

TAGS: Marketing

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