Is Facebook marketing on the way out or do you need to try harder?Posted 1 July 2011 by Sandy Cosser
Facebook is losing users. People are deactivating their accounts and seeking alternative social avenues. People have started speculating about Facebook’s demise and wondering if it will inevitably follow MySpace’s sad footsteps (the company was recently sold for a relatively meagre $35 million). Private social networks are on the rise, thanks in large part to their exclusivity and, well, privacy. Google+ also added fuel to the fire with its circles feature that enables users to set groups within which they can communicate.
All of these factors are hardly indicative of large scale rot but considering additional information on users’ interaction with brands, some marketers are starting to question the value of Facebook marketing.
According to PageLever, less than 10% of fans visit brand pages daily. That’s if they have between 1000 and 10,000 fans. The more fans the greater the drop. Brands with more than one million fans only get 2.79% daily visits.
The reason for poor page performance and low user interaction:
Inaction on the part of brands themselves. Or, perhaps more accurately, lack of innovative interaction.
Users simply aren’t motivated to come back.
This is usually the result of an ineffective or absent Facebook marketing strategy. Companies set up pages, send out a couple of posts to break the ice and then sit back and hope that their fans will do the rest.
They won’t. This kind of thinking is social media suicide.
Get off the ledge
Get Satisfaction conducted a study into why web users friend and follow brands. The overwhelming majority consider what’s in it for them – financially speaking. We live in a mercenary world. Nothing is for free, not even loyalty. People follow brands for the discounts, special offers and coupons that accompany the association.
Only between 18% and 23% are motivated by interesting and compelling content and the largest following base comes from current customers.
The bad news is that hardly any fans are influenced by online interaction when it comes to making purchasing decisions and recommendations.
On the other hand, fans are likely to respond to competitions and giveaways – mercenary rewards.
The key to successful Facebook marketing, as with all social media marketing (in fact all marketing), is to strategise. You’ll never get anywhere in business if you don’t plan properly.
It’s worth noting that recent data suggests you consider the changing demographics online. More people in the 50+ age-group are joining Facebook, and they’re becoming more active than their younger counterparts, to the point where older users are more likely to interact with brands than younger users.
This strongly suggests that you take your focus off the young up-and-comers and business professionals and start looking at the silver surfers. They generally have more time and money to spare, but their needs and values are different.
Cater for the full spectrum of Facebook users and don’t worry about the death of Facebook – the reports are exaggerated.