Author Topic: Failing at Facebook  (Read 2864 times)

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JTT

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Failing at Facebook
« on: December 03, 2014, 09:48:34 AM »
I struggle with determining how much time to put into Facebook and I know several friends in the industry who feel the same way. On one hand, you are pretty much required to have a Facebook page because customers expect it. On the other hand, Facebook's reach seems to be diminishing daily. In the case of blogging, it is hard to get away from because it is the most common way that people "subscribe".

One of the biggest mistakes I see on industry Facebook pages is a lack of brand focus or awareness. Most pages are treated more like personal pages than business pages. It is common to find pages where you have to scroll through 10 or more posts before you find something related to their brand. You can find stacks of political statements, internet memes, and interesting news stories but very few posts talking about what the page owner makes, how they make it, or what makes their widget better than another widget.

It isn't bad to post a few of those off-topic items. In fact, it is probably good to post them since Facebook seems to award fan engagement with extended reach. However, you should take great care to ensure that you are also regularly posting items that are focused on your brand.

It would be ideal if you could post something brand related daily but that can be hard if you are a small business who isn't rolling out new products all the time. If you need ideas...

  • Consider linking an Instagram account to your Facebook page. This will make it easy for you to post a quick picture of that chest rig that just rolled off your machine, a new pouch you are seeking feedback on, a new camo pattern you just put in stock, etc.
  • Pick a small detail on one of your products and post about its function or why you do it that way. "We always use a box x stitch when we join straps to our chest rigs because it is the strongest..." or "We designed our magazine pouch this way so that [insert feature] and [insert benefit]"
  • Ask your customers what they want or like... New camo patterns, new designs, etc
  • Highlight specific products periodically
  • Share photos or testimonials that your customers send in
  • Show period photos of your equipment - like a long, drawn out shop tour
  • Share Facebook exclusive flash sales
  • Share information that is valuable to your customer - "Here is how to turn a tennis racquet bag into a discreet carbine case." "You can use a length of webbing and a few triglides to..." "This color of webbing matches the new FantastiCamo best" etc.

The idea is to find some kind of balance so that you are consistent and intentional in your marketing but also engaging and adding value to your customers.

essal

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 12:06:00 PM »
Good info JTT.
Some I've picked up:

- Don't post ALBUMS. This sounds weird, but rather post individual posts one by one (like one every 1-3 hour). You'll get a much higher total reach, and you have a great chance of hitting a new fan or two. You can repost them as an album later (so that it's easy for your fans to check out your products via FB), you'll basically get more exposure to your profile. If these are automatically posted to FB (and tumblr?) from your Instagram, then you have even more exposure. If you have nothing to post one week, do what JTT wrote and post details of things.

- For contests, giveaways etc., don't post the giveaway right at once. ASK your fans if they would like a giveaway and what product they want you to give away (use a generic photo with "GIVEAWAY" on it), next day, post a blurry/pixelated photo of what you are giving away (you decided days before you asked your fans, they just don't know it), and ASK them what they think it is, and if they'll enter the giveaway the next day starting at X. So on the day of the giveaway, you have had 3 days of exposure prior to start. Post the giveaway at X, I'd recommend that you only have them like and comment on it, since it's often impossible to see all of your fans who shared it due to privacy settings. Get tons of action on your page. If it's a small thing you give away, you can give away one extra per X likes/comments. I've seen it done this way, with 14k likes (~ 50k fans) in less than 24 hours.
And if you can feel the interest, have a sale on the item you just gave away.
Also throw a couple of bucks into a few selected posts might not be the worst idea, doesn't have to be that much, and what's $10 to 1000 new fans (who are actual people instead of bots)?

- A "good" FB page has pretty much at least 1 post per day. Some have a lot more, but they still get the interaction. I'd recommend that you post at least once a day if you want to use FB as your main source of customers.

BOgear

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 03:54:12 PM »
All good points JTT. Where is the like button! :)

One thing that I have noticed is that FB's algorithm currently gives more reach to videos. I have tested a "generic" video and it reaches more people than an image or update which has tonnes of shares and likes. Videos get an insane amount of reach when someone else starts commenting or sharing it for you. Just food for thought.

I also have a "social media schedule" on my desk, which just consists of a table with our three main targets (Instagram, Facebook and our Blog) in rows, and days of the week in columns. This way I pre-populate it with ideas so I can "trickle" content out regularly. I also get all my team to think of or create content for me. This gets slotted into the schedule, or put in a small list on the side for when content ideas are dry. Took a week to get used to, but so far seems to work well as it allows you to plan ahead.

Essal, your 3 day exposure/drawn out FB contest idea is gold. I'll be giving this a try very shortly. Thanks for the idea!  :)
BOgear: http://www.bogear.com.au   |   Blog: http://www.bogear.com.au/blog   |   Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @bogear

HRO

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 04:25:10 PM »
Very good oil guys! Being a small outfit posting every day would be a stretch but I'm trying to post 2-3 times a week. Given that frequency are there certain days or times of day you find more productive than others? My thinking was that weekends aren't usually the best because most people that use my gear are either hitting the outdoors or socialising, so Monday-Thursday work well.

Keen to hear what you've found.

JTT

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2014, 05:03:45 PM »
One thing that I have noticed is that FB's algorithm currently gives more reach to videos. I have tested a "generic" video and it reaches more people than an image or update which has tonnes of shares and likes. Videos get an insane amount of reach when someone else starts commenting or sharing it for you. Just food for thought.

I also have a "social media schedule" on my desk, which just consists of a table with our three main targets (Instagram, Facebook and our Blog) in rows, and days of the week in columns. This way I pre-populate it with ideas so I can "trickle" content out regularly. I also get all my team to think of or create content for me. This gets slotted into the schedule, or put in a small list on the side for when content ideas are dry. Took a week to get used to, but so far seems to work well as it allows you to plan ahead.

Good tip on video reach, BOgear! Videos may well have better reach but don't expect that to last forever. I remember when you could get better reach with multiple pictures versus just one, statuses versus links, etc, etc, etc. It seems to be a bit of a moving target. I suspect that you reach on videos may have just as much to do with the quality and value to your customers as it does any sort of algorithm.

Great tip on the Social Media scheduling as well. Marketing = Sales and both require a time investment. I know guys who will set aside time for sales calls and other activities but when it comes to the online version, they think it's silly.

Very good oil guys! Being a small outfit posting every day would be a stretch but I'm trying to post 2-3 times a week. Given that frequency are there certain days or times of day you find more productive than others? My thinking was that weekends aren't usually the best because most people that use my gear are either hitting the outdoors or socialising, so Monday-Thursday work well.

Keen to hear what you've found.

Content that I post on work days during work hours tends to do best. I guess a lot of my readers are distracted at work. I see a roughly 10% decrease in traffic on the weekends. Those are stats from my site, not necessarily Facebook but much of my traffic is driven from Facebook.

WhiskeyTwoFour

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 11:18:22 AM »
Good info JTT.
Some I've picked up:

- Don't post ALBUMS. This sounds weird, but rather post individual posts one by one (like one every 1-3 hour). You'll get a much higher total reach, and you have a great chance of hitting a new fan or two. You can repost them as an album later (so that it's easy for your fans to check out your products via FB), you'll basically get more exposure to your profile. If these are automatically posted to FB (and tumblr?) from your Instagram, then you have even more exposure. If you have nothing to post one week, do what JTT wrote and post details of things.

- For contests, giveaways etc., don't post the giveaway right at once. ASK your fans if they would like a giveaway and what product they want you to give away (use a generic photo with "GIVEAWAY" on it), next day, post a blurry/pixelated photo of what you are giving away (you decided days before you asked your fans, they just don't know it), and ASK them what they think it is, and if they'll enter the giveaway the next day starting at X. So on the day of the giveaway, you have had 3 days of exposure prior to start. Post the giveaway at X, I'd recommend that you only have them like and comment on it, since it's often impossible to see all of your fans who shared it due to privacy settings. Get tons of action on your page. If it's a small thing you give away, you can give away one extra per X likes/comments. I've seen it done this way, with 14k likes (~ 50k fans) in less than 24 hours.
And if you can feel the interest, have a sale on the item you just gave away.
Also throw a couple of bucks into a few selected posts might not be the worst idea, doesn't have to be that much, and what's $10 to 1000 new fans (who are actual people instead of bots)?

- A "good" FB page has pretty much at least 1 post per day. Some have a lot more, but they still get the interaction. I'd recommend that you post at least once a day if you want to use FB as your main source of customers.

Thanks!  Totally using this giveaway concept next week :)

mogensbeck

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2014, 07:57:39 AM »
We are a part time company so we are not so aggressively using facebook to get new people to look at our page, mostly because we have to much work to do and we are afraid of growing to big to fast.

We have chosen a different strategy using FB

Since we have not have time to make a webshop then we have deleted old albums and changed albums to match our inventory.


Then if we make a new IFAK then there will be a teaser picture and then a few days later it will be added with prices to its relevant album.

Shaddox Tactical

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Re: Failing at Facebook
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 06:53:07 PM »
I completely understand the attraction of a new start up using Face Book as the initial internet presence for their business.  It's free and easy to use and gets you out there in the market. 

One thing to consider however, is that many people surf and shop while at work.  Whether on breaks, or on the sly when they really should be working.   Many networks systems such as government work places and some companies block social networking sites such as Face Book.  Something to think about if your only online presence for your business is Facebook (or similar) is that many of your potential customers may not be able to see your Face Book page when they are actually surfing the net and looking or shopping.
Clay- Shaddox Tactical LLC