Over a number of years of working with social media I’ve noticed that although the industry has moved on to a new level, many business owners are left behind.
This is true due to the frequent industry updates. When you spend as much time on social media as someone like me, social media obsessed (in a good way of course), you start noticing many little things change every day. In fact, on average, Facebook updates something every day; it doesn’t necessarily release it to the public though.
Facebook is constantly testing and trying things – one day you see a new feature which is often gone next day. Thus, I understand why so many business owners are still behind the social media progress. It is truly difficult to keep up with their updates if your job is to grow your business, not spy on Facebook.
This is why today we’ve decided to go over the top 5 common myths around Facebook, in particular regarding engagement and automation. Why? Because these are the topics we get the most questions about and the most engagement with includes your comments, likes and feedback.
MYTH #1: Facebook is not suitable for B2B operators.
On LinkedIn, we got particularly many comments on this post because I shared it with a few Groups with astronomical 999,969 members. Of course, my 1,275 connections and 1,381 followers on LinkedIn were fairly helpful too. Apparently, choosing the right network is simply one of the hottest topics.
We decided to share one of the comments with you so you can see that you are not alone. Many, in fact, very many business owners tend to firmly believe that Facebook is for B2C only; that is business to customers’ operators.
There are two problems with this belief. First of all, no business is run without people and it is no longer business to customers space we live in, it is, in fact, people to people. Secondly, businesses are no longer talking at people announcing their products and services but communicating and solving problems instead. It is a both way highway. Your audience is now genuinely expecting you to help them whether it is answering their questions, buying your product or entertaining them with cats’ videos.
Any business has a person or two behind it, sometimes a large team, sometimes even a few. As an enterprise targeting another enterprise, you are trying to appeal to people because they are the driving force and the decision makers.
The reason why cats’ videos and memes get shared and liked so much is because people come to Facebook to hang out. Sometimes these people happen to run a small business or a global enterprise.
A small example you can probably relate to is one of our clients’ Facebook updates which drove 14 comments within first 10 minutes or so.
We shared an image of a new green Coca Cola can asking followers to share what they thought of the ‘healthy’ option. The news was timely, it was in public interest and it was trending on social media at the moment. Although our client is a financial planner, not a soft drink expert or a personal trainer, they received such great feedback because this is what people were talking about at the moment. Let me add that everyone who commented were within the client’s targeted audience.
This is a good example of people being people who are interested in people’s stuff like current affairs, news, health, wealth, their families etc. That said, we don’t encourage you to share every single news or post something of public interest but contradicting with your brand. Keep your content relevant but allow yourself to be a human.
MYTH#2: Conservative brands play conservative on Facebook.
This is particularly common among financial planners, mortgage brokers, law firm and sometimes builders. This is so common because these are generally perceived as ‘conservative’ and ‘serious’ industries only talking about ‘serious stuff’.
Guess what, readers often get bored of this ‘serious’ content and they don’t want to know the latest accounting updates (unless you are an accounting updates publisher) but they want final results. This is important!
It comes as a surprise to many; however think about your own behavior. When you are accessing your website back end to publish a blog post or check your analytics, do you really care about all the fascinating technical processes that support your website? Do you really want to know what piece of code went were to make your website work? No, not really. What you want is the end result – the well-functioning website converting your visitors into your customers. Am I right? Or am I right?
Moreover, while everyone else is thinking that ‘serious’ is the way to be, you have a competitive advantage of being different.
Don’t get me wrong, we are not trying to persuade you to be outrageous or post endless cats videos. However, we encourage you to think outside the box. In order to do so you need to have a very clear image of your target audience whenever crafting your social media messages. Know what they like, what they are passionate about and what problems they have. If you are the ‘go-to’ Facebook source you are sharing content outside of your business’ box.
MYTH#3: Scheduling updates is anti-human.
Social media automation has been under a lot of scrutiny since the beginning of automation. Yes, we get it, getting your computer to post updates for you seems to be soul-less; however it depends on how smart, or not, you are using your automation tools. Believe it or not, there is nothing wrong with getting your Facebook posts serviced to your audience in the time they want to see them.
If you have a few clones of yourself and can reply to all your incoming emails, craft your social media messages, answer phone calls, update your website, send newsletters and write business proposal at the same time then stop reading now – you probably don’t need to automate anything.
For the rest of us, we need to be very careful with our time and energy – we live every single day only once.
Automating social media is just one of your marketing tools. You need to put your ‘human’ into your content that you are posting on social media. Getting your computer to send it live is similar to using your voice mail. Thus, there is nothing anti-human in scheduling your posts.
That said, you need a human to do human tasks on social media such as engage, communicate and of course observe. Automation is anti-human only because humans shouldn’t be posting if machines can. Humans should interact and create stories.
MYTH#4: Paying for LIKEs is a waste of money.
This is another misunderstood social media beast. Paying for fake accounts to like your Page IS a waste of money; however paying to Facebook to show your Page to highly targeted audience is gold.
Facebook advertising is segmented into a number of opportunities, one of which is Page Promotion or so known paying for likes. Facebook has been out there collecting data on all their users (we are talking billions) which they now sell to businesses through Facebook advertising. Imagine, you had your owe database of 3 billion people. Imagined? Well, this is Facebook’s database and they are allowing you to tap into it for a very small price (in comparison with traditional advertising).
MYTH#5 Posting on Facebook will make hundreds of people flock to your business.
Although incredibly effective, Facebook, just like any other form of marketing, requires strategy. Random posting won’t get you anywhere. Your strategy must at least include your target audience, your content themes, all the activities planned out in advance, community management and advertising.
Facebook is not a charity organisation but a very successful business. They make money of advertising – this is why they often don’t even show your posts to all your audience, but only a portion of your readership.
From time to time, Facebook cleans up its Pages and removes likes from inactive business pages. Moreover, if you only visit your business Page once a week to post an image-free boring sales message, Facebook probably won’t show it to anyone.
- Drop the B2C and B2B concepts; we live in the P2P world where people operate businesses, not other way round. Craft your Facebook messages accordingly.
- If conservative is your preferred tone of voice on Facebook its fine; however it might perform a little worse than other more lively brands so just beware of it.
- Automation is not a dirty secret. Everyone is doing it. Nothing is wrong with it. All you need to do is to put your mind into it. That said, always have your community manager handy – automation is only one step in your Facebook marketing strategy.
- Facebook likes advertising is incredibly effective. But don’t confuse it with buying fake social media accounts’ likes – they are useless because you cannot interact with them. Facebook likes growth, on the contrary, allows you to build relevant and active community around your brand.
- Facebook marketing is not a magic pill or a quick fix. Just like your email marketing, traditional advertising or even networking, Facebook requires consistent effort and time.