Facebook is an attractive marketing tool for small businesses. But you need more than Facebook to succeed online.
The prevailing notion is that it’s a free avenue with an unlimited audience and potential. One simply posts items that generate the most interest, trying to go “viral”, and let the fickle social media public decide your fate. One truth we know is that Facebook has a large audience. But, is it the best marketing channel for your business and should you make it your primary investment?
The answer is complicated, but it’s clear that most businesses cannot survive on Facebook alone. The social media giant recently made some changes with regard to how and when posts are seen, and that has severely impacted businesses’ abilities to reach their audience via the platform. It now requires some expertise to effectively use Facebook. You need to understand how the Facebook sorting algorithm works in order to maximize the visibility of your posts. Without some expertise and a fair amount of strategy, wheels may spin, but your Facebook vehicle may go nowhere.
On Forbes.com, Elan Dekel explains how his business has struggled with Facebook marketing in recent months. He’s had to pour money into promoting posts and Facebook ads with little return. This may not be the story for everyone. There are many, many Facebook success stories. The point is simply that a business has to be prepared with the right strategy and a bit of know-how. You need more than Facebook to succeed online. The question is what to do to succeed.
The answer is to develop an online marketing strategy, diversify and pick the right baskets!
Here are some suggestions that work for us and our clients:
- Make your website the hub of your digital marketing strategy. Invest your money here and it WILL pay off. Your website needs to do more than telling people who you are. Invest in a site that can generate leads and bring in new customers.
- Make sure you are active on the major social media channels. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are usually necessary. And you might consider Pinterest and Instagram – especially if you are selling a visually appealing product.
- Email marketing is effective and relatively cheap. Send out newsletters. Send out offers. Engage your audience where they are. Email is still the most widely used communication medium online.
- Remember traditional sources like advertising, radio, TV and print. They still reach a large audience.
If you want help in creating your own digital marketing strategy with a professional website at the hub, please send the Blue Zoo team a note. We’d love to talk with you.