The happy days and free rides of Facebook’s organic reach are over. Facebook’s platform used to allow agencies to organically promote their SMBs’ business pages by posting easily curated, entertaining content and using open APIs to create a range of fan-engaging apps. It rewarded businesses that truly interacted with and provided value to their followers. That is no longer the case. While business pages on Facebook boasted an average 16% reach in 2012, they are lucky to reach 2% today. Analysts such as (Social@Ogilvy) predict that Facebook’s reach will eventually dwindle to zero. Facebook has essentially become a paid media channel, and agencies need to rethink their SMB marketing strategy accordingly.
The good news is that embracing this change presents a golden opportunity for agencies to increase ROI and generate new, ongoing revenue streams. Facebook still serves as a powerful lead generation channel. It can generate conversions for your SMBs, while also offering unique granularity and targeting options that search-based advertising channels often lack. Moving beyond organic reach also opens up bandwidth to advertise with promoted content, which if done right, can yield better conversion than regular ads. Furthermore, integrating Facebook into your SMBs’ websites will enable the use of advanced remarketing and custom audience features that drive results.
Here are Camilyo’s 10 best practices for harnessing Facebook’s advertising power for SMBs:
1. Prioritize posts with inherent user value, such as promotions, tips, and how-tos, over content that simply brings exposure, such as funny generic pictures. Cat pictures will always be popular, but they do nothing to create a real connection with the users on the other end. The best way to build relationships is to deliver content that is genuinely beneficial. Facebook’s analytics show which posts work best for bringing traffic to the website, so that can serve as a guide.
2. Focus your SMB’s advertising budget on bringing in leads and conversions, instead of likes and shares. The sheer volume of data out there can make it difficult to know what or how to measure. It can be easy to get swept up in vanity metrics that look good, but don’t actually relate to core business objectives. Make advertising decisions based on the metrics that really impact your revenue and bottom line.
3. Promote posts and tab apps that generate user connects or capture leads, including contests, customer clubs, and contact forms. Attracting traffic to your site is a big step, but it is not enough. SMBs should immediately take that opportunity to more deeply engage the user and establish an ongoing relationship. Connecting them with their friends, collecting their information, or guiding them towards loyalty programs turns a casual site visitor into a customer.4. Target SMB fans and existing email subscribers (your custom audience) by promoting posts and tab apps that generate direct conversions. These can include coupons, service bookings, and e-commerce offers. This audience is made up of people who have already expressed interest in the business, and are highly likely to take action if given the right incentive.Learn how your agency can better harness Facebook for your SMB customers in this Forbes article by our own, Ziv Koren.