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Cheryl, used to promote her vegan pre-made meals via a Facebook business page. She’d post frequently – inspirational quotes, tips on where to eat out as a vegan and some of her own vegan recipes, but surprisingly, out of her 1000+ followers, only 4 or 5 would like or interact with her posts. How frustrating! Were people ignoring her posts? She did a bit of research and discovered that her followers weren’t ignoring her posts, they weren’t even getting to see them.

You’ve started a business, done all the hard work in getting your product/service ready to sell and the next step is to get your product seen by prospective customers. Can you get away with creating a Facebook page for your business instead of DIY-ing or paying for a website? In the past using Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms was essential to starting a business, but things may have changed. Buffer and BuzzSumo analysed 43 million Facebook posts and discovered some surprising facts about Facebook business pages.

Overall FB page engagement declined by more than 50% over the last 18 months

Why the decline? Well, there has been a 24% increase in the number of posts by the world’s top brands. This means 20,000 more pieces of content being posted … every day. And being top brands, they can pay people to create top-quality content so not only has the volume of content increased, but the quality of the content too. In addition to this, Facebook has updated the News Feed algorithm to favour content from family and friends over business page content. So not only is there less space in your followers news feed, but there is also lots more top quality content to compete with. Yikes!

With that said, there are still plenty of small businesses who have effective social media strategies that benefit from social media. They do however tend to have deep pockets for social media budgets and social media savvy employees to run their accounts. But if your small business is not among them, well, businesses can and do succeed without actively marketing on social media.

So, what did Cheryl, end up doing? She started a website with a blog and instead of posting content on FB she posted it on her blog. She also signed up for a health expo and attended a few vegan seminars and managed to source a number of new contacts that way – contacts who all got added to her email list. She started growing a healthy email list and kept in regular touch with her customers via weekly email newsletters and received a massive boost in repeat business.

To wrap up, if you aren’t yet ready to create a social media presence for your business, there are still a few things you should do.

 

  • Set up Alerts to monitor what people are saying about your brand in social media – the two best options are Google Alerts, and Social Mention
  • Respond to comments when it’s appropriate
  • Make sure people can find you and get in touch online, a simple contact form on a website/landing page will do
So, what do you think, is social media and Facebook in particular still a tool you are using or intend to use? If so let us know why in the comments below – we’d love too hear your take on it.