The Biggest Facebook Mistake Made by Small Businesses
If you already know what inbound marketing is then this article probably won’t be for you. But if you’re one of the many small businesses that use Facebook as your company website, you’ll want to know why you’re making a mistake and the benefits you’ll get from changing your strategy.
❝ By only posting your content directly onto Facebook, you are making a huge mistake! ❞
I won’t argue that the benefits of setting up a Company Facebook Page are clear; it’s free, you probably already know how to use Facebook so it’s easy to share or add content whenever you like, as often as you like. Plus you can even interact with your customers in real time and even get page insights and follower demographics. But if you think that this is all you need to get your company on-line, you’re making the biggest Facebook Mistake ever.
A quick internet search for “how to use Facebook to promote your business?“ will reveal pages and pages of guides that all explain how to make interesting posts, how to work out post frequency and target your customers as well as how to gain more followers and even connect your e-commerce store.
Most of this advice is spot on and if you are responsible for your companies FB page you’ll do well to follow their advice. Just make sure you’re using Facebook as a marketing tool and not a replacement for your on-line presence.
So you think you control your Facebook Page?
Yes, you can control what your post onto your PB page, but just how much control do you really have?
- Facebook Tabs Landing Page
- At one time you could create a default landing page for your Facebook page. Many used that option until it was removed by Facebook in March of 2012.
- Facebook will be severely restricting promotional posts (January 2015)
- In their words, “Pages that post promotional content should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.” The Guardian
- Constant changes to complicated and detailed privacy and sharing settings
- By using our services after January 30, 2015, you agree to our updated terms, data policy, and cookies policy and to seeing improved ads based on apps and sites you use. Source
- Facebook Profile & Cover Photo
- Seems to change at least once a year. Not a huge inconvenience, but it’s not your choice either.
I highlighted these points not to be negative, but in order to illustrate how little control you really have over your content if the only place it exists is on FB which is at the heart of the biggest Facebook mistake. Facebook have already started demoting your promotional posts because they want companies to use their advertising. What they do with your content is also prone to change new updates. Do you always read the new terms and conditions?
As a small business you can’t afford to have all your eggs in one basket. Especially when that basket belongs to someone else! What would happen to your business if one day Facebook became unfashionable, or was replaced by something even better? Do you have the time and energy to start all over again? Remember MySpace?
How can posting all your content be a Facebook Mistake?
There is nothing wrong with sharing your content but one thing that most Facebook how-to guides miss out completely is your content should first be on your own website. It’s probably overlooked because it’s all too obvious to the marketers who write them. But if you’re a small business owner with a million other things to do, you might be unaware that using social media as a marketing platform for you business should be part of an inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing refers to activities that attract visitors to you. This is done by increasing your exposure among people who share a common interest or have friends that do. Therefore your message is received by a higher number of potential prospects compared to outbound marketing (like placing an advert in a newspaper) where everyone sees your ad even if they are not interested in what you provide.
The Facebook mistake being made is posting straight to FB. As a business you still want to convert those visitors into customers, right? Plus you want the benefits of your hard work to grow over time. To do that you need to own your content and you need to have complete control of how you communicate your message, the most cost effective way to do this is through your own company website.
If all your content is on Facebook why would anyone want to visit your website? If they don’t visit your website, then you don’t have much say in your conversion process or any chance to improve it. You might have thousands of followers but unless those followers are sending money into your business you’re missing out. Big Time!
If you are not comfortable sending visitors to your website, then you need to change whatever you dislike about your site. Avoiding the issue isn’t the answer, website redesigns don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, there’s even Free options you can use (free options generally place adverts on your website but then again so does Facebook).
If you don’t have your own dedicated website that you can easily update and edit yourself (it’s not difficult these days), you’re sending a very clear message that you’re not a business to be taken seriously. Do you also use hotmail for your business email? If so, you need to catch up, fast!
❝ If you do not take your own business seriously, your customers may think twice about how professionally you will treat them! ❞
Content belongs on your website first & then you can share it!
The seemingly obvious concept of adding content to your website first, before sharing it to potential customers via social media now becomes crystal clear. So why is it that so many small businesses are still making this fundamental and potentially disastrous Facebook mistake?
- Firstly, I think that it’s as simple as just not knowing; after all it’s really hard to know what you don’t know.
- Secondly, many small businesses may have set up a website or a page in a local directory several years ago. Unfortunately they can’t add new content or even update old content without paying a web developer to do it. (refer back to point 1).
Although today that’s not the case, websites created on the WordPress platform make up around 30% of sites on the internet and use Content Management Systems that allow website owners to log in and add or change content using an interface that looks more like your email client than programmers code. So there are certainly lots of viable options for any small business.
But it’s not just small businesses that use WordPress; New York Times, CNN, Forbs, UPS, eBay, Sony, Katy Perry, The Rolling Stones and Samsung are just some of the big names using WordPress to power their websites.
The good news, now you can do something about it!
If you are a small business owner and would like to take control of your online presence and make the most of all your hard work on Facebook, drop us a line and we’ll have a chat.
Hue Marketing can help guide you through the modern marketing minefields and offer practical solutions for your business.