Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Facebook!

UGLY ARGIE DARTH VADER

More than a few of us are among the age to remember when Darth Vader was a real villain and not a sympathetic character. I’ll spare you the routine commentary about how George Lucas tried to rape my childhood with many of the changes he made and underscore my hope that Disney doesn’t do any more damage to the Star Wars I love.

This is really more of a spot about Facebook and some thoughts about the utility of using pages for marketing/PR efforts.

You’ll hear more than a few people say you absolutely have to include Facebook in whatever you do because everyone is on Facebook. I take issue with it because it is a broad generalization that doesn’t talk about usage.

Many people have accounts that they set up and abandon or rarely use it at all. But ignore that for a moment and assume that everyone who signs up for Facebook uses it on a daily basis.

That isn’t enough to guarantee that fans of your Facebook page will see your updates. That is because Facebook has set up a nifty little algorithm that is supposed to help decipher what people really want to see/read.

Or maybe it is because Facebook wants to do all they can to encourage the people/companies that run Facebook pages to buy advertising.

The Power of Facebook

The Power of Facebook

That is a screenshot of my page.

I haven’t spent a lot of time working on building the page because the majority of my traffic has come from other places and I have had enough success for it not to be a priority yet.

It is good that Facebook isn’t the primary source of traffic because if you look at the stats it shows that a bit more than a third of the people who are fans of the page saw my update.

However Facebook has a solution for this that is included in my screenshot. For a modest investment I can boost the post by paying for advertising. Boy, aren’t I lucky that Facebook throttles the exposure so that I can pay for the opportunity to try and reach more people.

Facebook Is a Free Service

I understand why Facebook would do this and appreciate that it is a free service. We can debate about whether we (people) are the product and if they should do more to make us happy, but I don’t see much merit in it right now.

What is the point?

Well I suppose the point is that smart businesses take time to determine what sort of ROI they get from advertising on Facebook and if their fans include people who are truly spending money with them.

In some cases they certainly do and it is a great tool for building engagement and relationships but it is a mistake to think that just being there is going to provide your company with major benefits.

Are You Arguing Against Using Facebook?

No, I am not saying that. People are going to have conversations about your company/brand so you should develop tools you can use to funnel the conversations to places where you can engage and try to manage the messaging.

But you need to have  realistic expectations and understand what you are dealing/working with. That means remembering that you have to work with the Facebook Edgerank (remember the nifty algorithm) to find ways to make sure your message is seen and remember that you don’t own your Facebook page.

Facebook owns that property and leases it out to you. If they decide you have violated their Terms of Service they can pull it down at any time and you may not have much recourse.

Your Turn

Like I said, that was just a quick hit and run post, there is more to be said and we could put together a more scientific post to chew on.

What do you think about Facebook for marketing/PR efforts? Do you like it?  Do you have any tips or advice you want to share?

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10 Comments

  1. Pingback: How Marketers Killed Social Media

  2. Bell May 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Lucas didn’t “rape my childhood,” but he buggered the hell out of Darth Vader.

    I found Vader sympathetic *before* the prequels. The prequels just turned him into a whining kid. Not to mention that pretty much every actor in the prequels is phoning it in. …Not that they could do much better, given the quality of dialog on offer.

    Facebook is the Evil Empire. They’re interested in providing the semblance of a service with convenient limitations (convenient for them) so they can milk you a little bit on a recurrent basis. It’s like micro-transactions in “free to play” games. “Free to play” doesn’t exist. By leading you to spend minute sums over and over again, they get more from you than they would if they asked for a larger payment upfront.

    And it works. You get what you pay for but, where Facebook is concerned, what are you really paying for? Caveat emptor.

    • Josh May 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      He certainly did bugger the hell out of Vader. Those prequels were just so far off of the mark. Parts of them were good, but overall it just left me feeling like I wanted some more magic.

      No disagreement regarding Facebook. It is not so different from paying for a song on iTunes or on Google.

      When you only pay a buck it is easy to do it multiple times. I wonder how many people end up spending far more than they would have had they paid $20 up front.

  3. Jayme Soulati May 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    So, for the first time I had a purpose to buy $15 worth of Facebook advertising to promote my new book…you know the one…it’s for bloggers not the likes of you, so don’t buy it, don’t read it and don’t even think about promoting it. You’d probably put some raunchy title on it or something.

    Anyhoo…for $15 over about 3 days, I got 3276 reach, 8 link clicks, 6 page post likes and 3 comments from my own community.

    Zowie. What a test to, ahem, nothing. Did I sell a book? Not sure, as I’m not in control of the metrics, but, I’m thinking that new reach I got — 3200 (what’s reach?) was well worth my $$. Don’t you agree? (tongue is not where it’s supposed to be…it’s in the cheek).

    So, it was an interesting experiment; good thing it wasn’t that expensive. Now, I wonder how many other people like Kristen Daukas and I have attempted that? That’s how FB is raking it in…with suckers like us.

    • Josh May 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Hello Book Lady,

      That is very cool, the book that is and you should be proud. I am glad you asked me to promote it because I have a few really good titles in mind.

      As I mentioned to Kristen part of the reason I stayed involved with Empire Ave is I can send people on missions to like my page. It increases the likes and if they like bomb the page more people see it.

      I have converted some of those into readers, but has it translated into money? Well, that is a good question.

  4. Jens P. Berget May 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I am still using Facebook, mostly because close to everybody I know are using Facebook. But, I enjoy using Twitter a lot more. To me, Facebook is to much, it’s more or less everything and it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s happening there. Too much business, ads, personal combined into one big … but like I said, I am still using it, and I am running ads for my clients and doing all sorts of things. But, I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to 🙂

  5. Kristen Daukas May 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I have found some success in running ads to increase the number of “likes” on pages but have not been impressed with the “pay to promote” on the posts. Sure more people see the post but if that doesn’t convert into increased likes on my page, it’s not worth it to me. I have seen a couple of times where it did generate a couple of new likes for a page but I doubt I’ll do it again. I’d rather take the $10 and put it towards running an ad.

    • Josh May 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      I figure I can use Empire Ave to increase likes and interaction and not have to pay a dime. It is gaming the system a bit, but it works.

      I am skeptical about spending money unless it is a larger chunk of change than $15. Part of that is because I haven’t seen a reason to buy into it. Triberr and other methods are bringing traffic so…

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