OK, so you’ve done all the heavy lifting research about your market, your products and services, and your audiences.
You’ve worked closely with your marketing lead (either your own or a trust-worthy consultant…), deciding that digital marketing is a key component of your plan. Now you have arrived at the question that bedevils a LOT of small businesses:
Which social media platform (or platforms…) should I choose?
This is more than just a familiarity choice. This decision must be based upon:
- What are your goals for your digital marketing?
- Where are the bulk of your customers / audience?
- How and where do you your customers / audience prefer to consume content?
- What are the resources you have to devote to executing the plan?
There are many reasons to go with one or another platform, or more than one!
With this article I’m starting a series of articles (one platform per article over a few months…) that will give you some data, some analysis, some rationale, and a few recommendations. Each article will help you make that fateful decision:
Do I spend my limited and valuable resources on THIS platform, or not….or What?
First, the proverbial “Elephant in the Room”….
Most businesses have a Facebook presence of some kind. With over 2.07 billion (that’s right, billion, with a B….) monthly active users (MAUs) being there isn’t an option. It’s a MUST.
“Well, yeah…” you think, “but I’m not trying to reach EVERYONE on Facebook!”
True. Let’s take a look at a few more stats you may find interesting:
- 1.37 billion log on daily.
- 300 million photo uploads/day, an indication of engaged users. Also means that your photos need to ROCK if you are to gain attention!
- Average time spent per visit is 20+ minutes..that’s not PER DAY, that’s PER VISIT! Think of the opportunities to get in front of the right audience!
- 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up.
- 91% of Millennials (15-34) used Facebook as of September 2015
- 1 in 5 pageviews on the entire Internet occurs on Facebook.
- 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. A crowded marketplace, but you can’t afford to sit it out…high odds your competition is there.
- There are 65 million business pages as of Feb. 2017; 41% of small businesses use Facebook as of March 2015
- 2 billion searches per day as of July 2016. In comparison, Google logs 3.5 billion searches a day.
- Age based, the largest user demographic is those aged 25–34 (29.7%
- Facebook users are 76% female and 66% male (each out of 100%)
- 56% of online seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 63% are between age 50–60
(If you’d like to dive deeper into the numbers, check THIS out!)
“OK…Enough already with the numbers! What does Facebook do best? What will work for MY business?”
Glad you asked!
What Facebook Does Best:
- Facebook connects people, business and brands – The opportunities to connect are nearly endless.
- It is also hands down the most targeted digital advertising platform in the world – Having such an enormous user base (and the fact that it is nearly ubiquitous on smart phones, tablets, PCs, etc….) means that nearly every company and organization that is aware of the Internet is there and working to gain the attention of some segment of the users.
- Facebook is where you set up your social media ‘home base’, just like your website is your digital ‘home base’ – Many, many businesses start there, and then expand.
Best features for your business include:
- The ability to connect with a vast number of people and prospects – Regardless of how large or small the population you are working to reach, Facebook provides the platform and tools for businesses that can enable you to do just that.
- Live streaming capabilities – While other platforms have strong video functionality too, Facebook has integrated it tightly into the platform, plus provides some GREAT analytics for you to be able to assess what’s working and what isn’t when you live stream.
- The most targeted digital advertising platform in the world – Like I said…..
- eCommerce integrations – Want to figure out how to have all your offerings, including an online store-front, available from your business page? Read some more, right from Facebook, HERE!
What Works Best for Facebook:
- Long form written content in posts in the news feed – They’re called “long form notes”. Find out more HERE. Turns out that the best choices for content length are Very Short or Fairly Long…..and Long keeps your audience’s attention longer (of course, it needs to be GOOD content!)
- Facebook hosted video is given preference over other forms of content – Video wins….kind of like cats on the Internet win….
- Live streaming video is currently given preference above all content, period – Concurrency of experience helps build the relationship, right?
What You Shouldn’t Post on Facebook:
- Political or Religious Beliefs – Talking about politics on your page effectively draws a line in the sand with your fans/users. Same goes for religion. Unless you are prepared to alienate half of your potential customers you’re better off keeping that stuff to yourself — or on your personal profile.
- Ask People to Like Your Page – C’mon…..Really!? If someone has already “Liked” your page why are you asking them to Like it? Doh! To me you immediately make me feel unimportant — seeing as I liked your page months ago. It’s also bad form, in my opinion, to beg your fans to share your page with their friends. It’s simply not going to happen….bounce away from your page, never to return…..
- Random pictures of your staff that have nothing to do with your business – Do we really need a new picture of your staff each week sitting in a staff meeting — or drinking a Starbucks latte? Show a picture of your entire staff at a retreat, or celebrating an award. Not just simply doing the daily grind. Fun holiday pictures can work too, in moderation. The “grind” or “just chillin’ at the office” pics can make it look like you never work — but have time to post pics.
- Copy & Paster status updates – you know, Like: Facebook is going to start charging on February 21st and unless you want to get charged you need to post this status update saying you do not agree to being charged for the service. You also need to go pet a unicorn while wearing a Speedo and rollerblades. You get my drift…
If you have a significant portion of customers / audience who are on Facebook, you should be there.
Next time, I’ll dig down into Twitter!