Our Thoughts, Opinions & Occasional Rants

The mistake many have made is thinking that Facebook is our friend and forgetting it’s a business.  In part that happens because it’s about our friends and family, and it’s been free.

We’re no strangers to business and the sleight of hand.  Snicker bars get smaller but stay the same price.  Potato chip bags get more air and less chips.  Watered down drinks, small portions during happy-hour, car ads in the newspaper but the car isn’t there anymore, etc, etc.

Facebook finally admitted at the end of 2013 that they were restricting the reach of Facebook posts, personal and business.  But that was a small admission, and they blamed it on trying to give people the best feed results as possible while keeping the junk out, unless of course those junk pushers want to pay to bother you then it’s fine.

They denied that reach dropped. They denied that posts from third-party apps weren’t getting the full reach.  We had to use crowd-sourcing to verify these things.  Facebook wouldn’t admit to any of it, and they still don’t admit most of it.

That’s what annoys me, and always has in the marketing world, deception and spin.   Facebook is throttling reach to charge more.  Scott Staten, known as Unmarketing, had an interesting point (with some strong langauge) that we were living rent free in Facebook’s home and it was time to pay.

Using his analogy, I would adjust it saying we were joyously invited, told that it was no problem, and told it was no charge. Paint the wall and hang your pictures.  But then they started leaving the window open and the heat was escaping and it was harder to keep the place warm but they didn’t tell us what was going on; we had to figure it out for ourselves and they denied they left a window open.

A better analogy is that Facebook is a drug. The first one (six years) is free. After that you have to pay, once you’re hooked.

Facebook is still viable but it reminds us that our digital base of operations should be our website and that we need to get out from behind the computer and make these connections face to face when we can.

 

I got engaged. (Yay!)  Then my fiancé started looking for wedding venues and vendors.  Then I got the stares.

You see, at Social Media Handlers we develop websites, and because of that she looks at me like it’s my fault that so many sites have autoplay music.  Really cheesy music.

I understand why they, or you if you happen to be one of those people, do it.  It sounds nice, the first time you hear it, especially if you are the one who designed it.  We often design, and market, based on what we like or even worse, based on fear so we do what we see everyone else do.

MySpace died in part because of autoplay music.  Someone who is researching your business is likely researching other similar businesses and even if your music is great, by they time they get to your site, they are sick of it.

There isn’t a time yet that my fiancé hasn’t mentioned how much she hates it when she comes across a site with autoplay.  And no one gives the music time, they look for the mute or pause button immediately.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you stop reading this post and immediately go to your website and turn the music off, imagine walking into a store and someone with disheveled clothes, reeking of cologne, with broccoli in the teeth, came up to try to help you.  You wouldn’t have a favorable opinion of the store.

So please stop the autoplay music.  She’s blaming me.

Facebook has been messing with their reach for awhile, and it’s been getting worse since they went public.

If you have enough fans you can actually see how many people your post reached.  You may have noticed it has been hitting some discouraging lows.

Long ago when Facebook was still growing it became clear that they wanted to create their own internet and discourage people from leaving Facebook.  That has never been as obvious as it has in the last couple of months.

We have a client with over 3500 fans but only gets 25 views on a post with a link.  That’s ridiculous.   Here’s what we have found lately that is working.

  • Posts with links are often reaching only 10-20% of a only text post.
  • Posts with pictures have lost some of the reach they had before but still going well.
  • We have hit some gold by sharing Facebook content from other pages.
  • And if you notice, the videos that go viral on Facebook are actually a Facebook video.

A few years ago there were many people that thought that you could have a Facebook Page and you were done.  The problem is that you have no control. Your website should be your foundation of it all.

And email is still the best media tool out there.

UPDATE: 1-21-2014
Facebook is adjusting our adjustments and says that they will be dropping the reach of text-only posts (which I haven’t seen yet) and increasing posts with links that are inputed on Facebook (which I haven’t seen yet either).  Businesses are paying enough that it doesn’t matter that some businesses are quitting Facebook.

Also, we have very good results with the reach of a video uploaded to Facebook.

The ease of Facebook marketing and community building is over but that doesn’t mean it is dead.  That can be proved by this 20 year-old making a living off of Facebook.

What’s working for him may not work for you but it proves it can be done.  We have found bands generate better reach than any other kind of business page out there. This may be because their fans are more likely to be engaged or it could be that Facebook has over 1,000 points to it’s algorithm that decides what content to show you.

I wrote recently about what is working in a general sense on Facebook.  This changes and it’s something that we try to track with our own clients and see what is working for our colleagues but understand it isn’t as easy as it used to be.

It takes tactics, strategy, and testing but it can still be fruitful.  As much as I wish I could tell you to go to Google+, the truth is the community isn’t there yet, at least not for most businesses.  Facebook is still where it is, and the people you are reaching a invested in you and what you offer; they will be your evangelists.

 

In my opinion there are three types of marketing, Awareness, Conversion, and Reminder Marketing.  Today I want to talk about Reminder Marketing and how it plays in Social Media.

Of the three Reminder Marketing plays best in Social Media.  Once you’ve have won the hearts of your customers, which is the hard part, now you just need to remind them who you are and what you do.

Specifically salespeople have the hardest time with this.  Their clients may have loved working with them but if they are in an industry that only gets used every couple of years, it’s hard to stay top of mind.

I’ve heard stories of family members forgetting that someone was a real estate agent or an accountant.  I have several people that I know through playing basketball and I have completely forgotten that they were in an industry because I associate them with basketball.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if Coke stopped advertising.  It seems to me that there are maybe 20% of the population that only drink Coke. 20% that would always pick Pepsi. 20% that just don’t drink soda.  The other 40% just drink whatever is in front of them.  That’s millions in advertising to a fickle bunch.

So if you can get to people online, your reminder marketing is much cheaper than billboards and TV advertising that is using the shotgun approach trying to hit anyone breathing and hoping the people that are watching are fans.

And if you have fans in Social Media they are more likely going to share you to others in Social Media.  Being there makes it easier to tag you and direct people towards you.

I constantly see people on Facebook asking, “Who’s the best ______ in my area?” The ones that can tag a business are more likely going to get a shot at the business.

Also, in my definition, email is Social Media too.  And email is still shown to be powerful and effective.

Remind people what you do, who you are (give some personality), that others use your service, and that you are good.  Remind them while not making it all about you because honestly that becomes boring.