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We Used to Think Social Media Marketing Was Hard and It Still Is.
Kate Gingold
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We Used to Think Social Media Marketing Was Hard and It Still Is.

The Sprocket Report

Back in 2012, we wrote about how hard Facebook marketing was. It’s only harder now because of algorithm updates, but Facebook is still a platform worth pursuing.

Especially during the last few weeks, you might have watched a webinar or two on social media marketing and faithfully applied what you learned, only to be disappointed when your results didn’t measure up to the promise. It’s tough to research marketing news and theories when you are so busy just keeping your business alive. 

So let’s be brutally honest about what you are up against in the Facebook marketing arena and take a hard look at the marketing stats that will be useful to you.

  • The Facebook algorithm reduced “reach” even further last year. Posts by business brand pages are now seen by maybe 5.5% of their followers. That’s down from 17% when we wrote about this topic in 2012.
  • The average engagement rate for a Facebook post is around 3.6%. With people watching cat videos and commenting on their neighbors’ political essays, you can extrapolate on what kind of attention business posts tend to get.
  • People spend an average of 37 minutes per day on Facebook, which is actually seven minutes more than they spent in 2012. Different gender and age groups spend more or less time, so knowing your audience well and studying your Insights statistics would help tremendously.

You can get around some of these limitations by using the tools available from Facebook, including Facebook Ads. Advertising takes some trial and error to find the right message, visuals and audience, but it does work. Ads can also boost your organic reach by introducing you to new Followers. 

Don't expect to hit a homerun with Facebook Ads right away, but since they are inexpensive, you can run a few experiments. Back in 2012, options were limited, but today you can pinpoint your audience with remarkable accuracy, which is especially useful for local businesses who work within a specific geographic area.

While the Facebook algorithm may be scaling back your “reach,” there are ways to try clawing it back. The more people engage with your posts, the more often Facebook will put your posts in front of them. Your job, then, is to get folks engaged. Ads – when they get results – will help, along with great organic posts. What makes a great post? Whatever your audience Likes, Shares and Comments on. 

Interesting videos, inspirational memes, funny jokes – it’s going to take some effort to find the right mix. While controversy can also increase engagement, be aware that Facebook has said that they are cracking down on posts that share misinformation or which are offensive. Not that you would intentionally publish that kind of garbage, but occasionally someone slips over the line.

Now here’s some good news:  71% of American adults use Facebook – even better, 74% of “high income earning” adults use it – with 74% of the adult group logging in daily. So Facebook is important to have in your marketing toolbox, as long as you remember that tools like Facebook can – and do – change constantly for their own benefit, not yours. Your website is still the one place where you are in charge, making it the logical place to put your greatest effort. 

As always, we share this information because we want to be partners in the success of your business. If you have questions about social media marketing, give us a call and let’s talk. 

This is an update to “Think Social Media Is Hard? It Is.” dated 6/26/2012. 

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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