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Is It Worth Keeping Facebook for Business?

As the news emerged last week that businesses are likely to see even less organic reach than they do now I heard several people voice the opinion that it’s not really worth maintaining a presence on the social network. Of course, this wasn’t helped by tech researchers at Forrester, who released a report which quite frankly put the boot into the social media site.

So is it really worth keeping your page going on Facebook? Well that depends on a number of things. For a start, if you use the social site for advertising, and you do so effectively by utilising the targeting and remarking options that it offers, then don’t do anything rash as it really could do you more harm than good and remember, we’re talking organic reach.

If you don’t and you just maintain a presence, posting your content and sharing memes and other funnies, then still don’t abandon just yet. I am a great believer in using free resources to help augment your marketing activities and it should be remembered that it’s what it is a free marketing resource. People also expect to find businesses on Facebook and to be able to interact with them.

Social Drives Traffic

Of course, it depends on the nature of your business as to how much people interact with your page too a lot of the time, retailers tend to see the most. Great information can be shared too though, via the site, and whilst it’s dismissed by many B2B companies as being not for them, it has positives for everyone, not least the ability to drive traffic to your site. Many business owners may not study analytics, so may not be aware of the amount of referral traffic they gain from social media. Even when your Facebook page is not gaining much in the way of engagement, you can bet it’s still driving at least a little traffic, depending on how many followers you have and whether you drive any fans to the page itself.

Many people (myself included) visit Facebook pages and head straight for the about section in order to get to the company site as quickly as possible, so it’s not to be dismissed. But is that enough to maintain a presence? It really depends how much work you put into it. It’s not difficult or time consuming to share content and make the odd status update.

Facebook Ads Work Well With Email

A recent study found that email subscribers who are also exposed to newsfeed ads on Facebook were more likely to go ahead and make a purchase. The study saw a “leading U.S. retailer” target 565,000 of its email subscribers with email and coordinated ads on Facebook. It was found that those who were exposed to both were 22% more likely to buy something after seeing the ads and email than those who saw the email alone.

The retailer, who remains anonymous, also reportedly saw a 77% rise in email reach.

“Marketers consistently strive to understand how digital channels work together to drive the customer journey. However, when it comes to two of the workhorses of digital marketing — email and advertising — we rarely get a glimpse of how they work in combination. Targeting, messaging and measurement aren’t typically coordinated across email and advertising,” said Salesforce Marketing Cloud director for content and global research Kyle Lacey in a blog post.

With this in mind then, rather than considering just abandoning a useful marketing resource, businesses should be considering how they can use the site more strategically in order to target customers.

Facebook is Great for Mobile

If the internet is the television of our era, then mobile is the snazzy little portable set that everyone wants. The importance of mobile to every digital marketer and business’ strategy can’t be overemphasised enough. The mobile revolution has taken place and we’re spending more and more of our time glued to our devices, of which it’s thought we’ll have around 5 of (internet connected) each in just a few short years.

So if you consider that Facebook is the number one social media site on mobile, then again, to get rid of it on a whim could be doing your business a huge disservice. As of May 2014 in the past year alone, mobile engagement on social media has grown 55% and social networking activity has accounted for 31% of all growth in internet engagement.

Facebook accounts for 24% of all time spent on mobile and its app accounts for 18% of that on its own.

Still think it’s a good idea to get rid?

Work on Posting Strategy

Jim Belosic wrote a piece for Search Engine Journal a few days ago in which he detailed how he and his colleague sat down to change their posting strategy to see if it was possible to increase reach, which had been falling for some time. In just 30 days, they found that the changes they had made resulted in “a 219 percent increase in [their] organic reach and a 171 percent increase in engagement.

This was achieved by posting more frequently and mixing the posts up as well as studying the insights after each test. First they learned the best time to post to achieve maximum reach and engagement, then adjusted strategy and ensured that they posted at those times of the day. They found that fans enjoyed a balance of fun and educational posts too and this was really done through trial and error and then studying the results of each change.

What it illustrates is that by adjusting strategies and putting a little work into studying insights, it’s possible to gain further reach on Facebook, it just takes a little more work but with results like those seen above, it would certainly seem worth it.

All-in-all, despite what many think and what Forrester say, Facebook isn’t a waste of time that’s worth just abandoning, it does have value, especially when it’s used properly and you put the time and effort into coming up with an effective strategy. So don’t give up on it just yet, put your marketing magic to work and see if you can beat those percentages above.

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