Facebook – Is it still meeting our needs for Online Marketing?
Recently, I’ve been reading posts all over the Internet about the “supposed” inevitable decline of Facebook. In fact, some are claiming that the social network is already on a downward trajectory, spurred by changes in its features, which many members are less enthusiastic about, and the rise of other platforms like Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.
In fact, 3 major problems are recurrently experienced by a lot of online marketers:
1. Everybody is using Facebook, including your rivals and business competitors.
2. Social media members frown upon hard selling brands, especially those who invade their networking activities.
3. Customers, particularly social networkers, are getting harder and harder to please. The slightest mistakes will compel them to distrust your brand.
Yes, these issues do exist, despite the fact that Facebook is holding more than 900 million users, a figure increasing by the second. Is the number alone an indication that the network is far from over?
Fan Pages Aren’t Enough
You created a fan page in the hopes of boosting your brand’s visibility online. You update regularly, you post interesting photos and videos, and you engage with audiences professionally.
What do you get in return?
Fans! Hundreds, thousands; the exact number really isn’t that significant. You wait and wait for the “promised” likes, comments, and leads, but they never come. All you get is a disappointing profile and a series of updates rapidly making their way down to the bottom of the News Feed.
What could be the reason for this?
A recent research discovered that only 17% of your updates reach your fans’ news feeds. That’s roughly one out of every six posts you have. Even then, you still can’t be sure that your fans will pay attention to your posts. This is certainly bad news for us.
Ads and Apps
Facebook offers plenty of advertising platforms suitable for almost every business niche. While it’s obvious that a lot of entrepreneurs are behind this strategy, return on investment for plenty of businessmen is decreasing as time passes.
This has a lot to do with the network’s rivalry with the search engine giant, Google. Since Google+ was launched back in June 2011, a lot has changed with social media, blogging, and even SEO. Websites no longer just featured the Facebook Like or Share button, but they also included the +1 button. In fact, this is garnering about 5 million clicks per day, which is quite a staggering figure.
More to the point, campaigns on Google Adwords account for about .7% click-through rates while Facebook’s is only .165%. You would think this is highly unlikely, given that the social network is considered more “appropriate” for specific individual demographics.
When it comes to apps offered on the platform, the top 100 most popular are not branded, which suggests that marketers are no longer convinced of the merits of social networking apps. This may be due to the tragic downfall of Friendster, but that’s just hearsay.
A lot of online marketers create Facebook accounts hoping that it will take care of all their promotional needs. This is a lie. Even if it poses as a “free platform” with all the cool features we need for promotion, we cannot and must not rely on it alone.
Then again, and I can’t emphasise this enough, YOU DO NEED FACEBOOK. Despite some problems it can bring to your online presence (i.e. negative feedback and comments) and despite its decreasing appeal as an interaction tool, it is STILL the biggest social network and is showing no signs of stopping when it comes to amassing more members.
The trick to using this platform is to have a plan. What do you want to achieve? What is the best possible way to achieve it? What do you want to gain once you have achieved your goals?
The bottom line is; social media should ONLY be part of your online marketing strategies, alongside SEO and blogging.
About the Author:
Jonny Lis is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Smart Traffic SEO Company, a private firm based in the UK and offers reseller services to many clients around the world. Jonny oversees SEO strategies for Smart Traffic’s 300+ campaigns.