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.
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.
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?