We set up our Facebook page back in 2010, mostly as an exercise to understand how Pages on Facebook worked, and to start with it seemed to do quite well and we’ve even managed to gather nearly 250 likes along the way.
As part of our quest to understand all things social media we have experimented with many of the channels available to understand how they work and to assess their suitability for our clients. Some of them make more sense for B2B marketing and some just don’t quite fit at all – and in this instance, that’s Facebook.
Whenever you are evaluating social media for your own business it’s important to realise that it’s not necessary to be present on every single channel that is available – that would be almost impossible to manage. Instead, think about the channels where your target audience is most likely to be. In the case of most B2B organisations that would predominantly be LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, and those are the channels to focus on. It’s not even necessary to do all three at once; start with one of them, find your feet, and then expand from there.
You may be thinking that your B2B target audience are on Facebook, and therefore you should be too. But they’re not really on there to read about, and chat about, work in the same way that they are on LinkedIn or Twitter. They are on Facebook in a different capacity: they are on there, like most of us, to catch up with friends and family. However, for B2C companies whose target audience is individual consumers then Facebook is a much better fit – the target audience is there and they do want to read about and interact with the brands that they enjoy.
For some individuals and companies they feel the need to be seen everywhere all at once, straight away. This is entirely unnecessary; you can be selective and make a really good impression on the social channels that really matter to your individual business. It’s key to evaluate at the beginning of your social media journey, and then again during it, to work out where the best fit is and where you can make the most impact with the time and resources you have available to you. It doesn’t have to be fixed; you can adapt and modify your strategy. That’s the beauty of social media; it’s evolving and changing right before our eyes.
So that brings us back to our own business Page and why we’re leaving Facebook. In a nutshell, it’s time consuming to focus on a social channel that isn’t really a good fit. Especially one that requires quite a lot of jumping through hoops to get any real results or even any visibility at all! Social Media might be ‘free’ but it is enormously time consuming and that is where the cost is. Spreading yourself thinly over many channels when you could instead focus on a handful of really appropriate ones is taking up time, and therefore costing money.
It’s always better to be really good at the things that really matter rather than being mediocre at everything. Whilst we feel it’s time to call it a day on Facebook, that doesn’t mean that we don’t think it’s a worthy social media platform for business. It all depends on your audience and whether they are willing to engage with you there. For some businesses Facebook is the right fit, and we would always consider all the options when speaking with a new client about their social media plans. It’s about assessing the options available and understanding who is where, and whether they are the audience that your business would like to focus on.
In one of our earlier blog posts we talk about the importance of knowing your target audience and aiming right at them.
In summary it comes down to just a few considerations when deciding on the best social media route for your business:
1. Understand who your target audience are – this also helps you to formulate all areas of your marketing plan.
2. Find out the profile of users on each of the social networks you’re considering.
3. Focus on one or two that are a good fit – you can always expand and add another one or two at a later date.
4. Set up your profiles keeping in mind your branding and corporate tone.
5. Curate good content and post and write about things that you think your audience would be interested in hearing about – be interesting, and make sure you don’t make it all about you!
Social media offers an amazing opportunity to promote your business and by using the tools available you are able to drive traffic to your website and to potentially interest someone enough for them to want to talk to you about doing business together. Just make sure you’re in the right places for them to notice you.