“Of course I have tried Facebook. But it does not work for my business.”

 

I am hearing this all the time.

 

In most cases, the problem is not Facebook. Or Google. Or Instagram…

 

The problem is usually the business owner or marketing manager.

 

Their marketing strategies and techniques simply do not work.

 

Blindly posting some funny memes and hard sell offers in the hope of boosting the business growth does not count as marketing and rarely leads to success.

 

 

Let’s have a look at the most common mistakes that we are seeing these days and how to avoid them:

1. You don’t know to whom you are talking

It is not enough to know that your customers are business men age 30 to 50 years old.

 

You have to be able to put yourself in their shoes and need to understand what drives them on a day to day basis.

 

Only then will you be able to create Facebook posts or ads that actually talk to them.

 

What are their problems and concerns? What are their goals? How does your product/service contribute to making their lives better?

 

Once you are able to answer these questions you can start talking to your customers.

 

The solution: Know your audience before you start marketing to them.

 

And if you don’t know them yet then dedicate time and resources to learn more about them at first.

3. It is all about you and your business

People are selfish and they don’t care about your company. Your clients are no exception.

 

Sure, you might find the person who today and right now is looking to buy a new condo, car or king size bed.

 

Maybe this person is right now driving down Thong Lo street and desperately looking for the best cock tail bar, tailor or luxurious spa.

 

Or maybe the person has right now terrible back pain or needs a breast operation.

 

But most people are not surfing on Facebook to find your HOT DEAL or FLASH SALE right now.

 

They don’t care about your newest collection.

 

People care about themselves. And they might care how your product/service can make their lives better.

 

Here are a few examples of great Facebook campaigns that win because they focus on the customer and not on the business:

 

  

 

 

 

  
 
Do you see the patterns? All of these ads are using the words “you(r)” and are talking directly to a very specific audience.

 

Even better: They focus on the benefits for me.

 

Most of the ads targeting me are written by marketers to marketers and hence are usually a great inspiration.

 

Just by scrolling down my newsfeed I am also seeing ads that are getting the basics wrong and definitely could be improved. This is a “good bad” example that just popped up:

 

The caption starts with “Seamless Thailand” and that they are coming to Thailand.

 

Maybe I have been living on the moon and am missing out, but the truth is that I have no clue who they are.

 

And most importantly I don’t know why I should care that they are coming to Thailand.

 

What is in it for me? How will this benefit me?

 

If it wouldn’t be for the sake of this article I would have scrolled down faster than I could even ask myself all of these questions.

 

The solution: Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and creates ads that serve their needs.

3. Nobody does see your posts

This one is huge.

 

It is potentially the biggest mistake that most companies are doing.

 

Some people don’t want to accept that Facebook is a paid platform for businesses. Others simply don’t know any better.

 

Let’s assume your page has 30 000 fans. The organic reach for posts is somewhere between 1 – 10% for most pages. This means if you post to your page with 30 000 fans that your post will actually only be seen by 300  to 3000 people. What a waste! Usually the bigger the page the smaller the organic reach (based on the Facebook algorithm that factors, for example, the relevancy of your content and audience into the decision of how many people will see your posts).

 

Now, what does this mean specifically? It means that organic reach is dead and that as your business you need to pay to boost all of your posts if you want them to have an impact. Otherwise most of your work goes wasted as you don’t leverage the full potential.

 

Here is an example:

  

 

 

 

10,480,238 page likes are truly impressive! And a lot of great work went into creating the banners for these photo album posts.

 

But at the end of the day, it “only” got 198 likes, 60 shares, and 3 comments. The second one got 256 likes, 97 shares, and 12 comments.

 

We are doing some math now do determine the impact of the work.

 

– Let’s assume the average engagement count is 300 (all likes, shares, and comments combined)
– Let’s assume our engagement rate is 1%. This means we need to reach 100 people in order to get 1 engagement (please note that 1% engagement is very low but common among huge pages)
– This means that the average post (with 300 engagements) reaches 30,000 people

 

We did reach 30,000 people and engage 300 people.

 

– Let’s assume the average Cost per Engagement (amount that we need to pay to trigger any engagement with our post) is THB 0.50 (please note that this variable depends on the audience and on the quality of the content. It can be much lower, but also much more expensive)
– This means that if we spend THB 1000 on ads to promote this post that we will get 2000 more engagements

 

Spending TBH 1000 makes the difference between:

 

300 people engaged and
2000 people engaged

 

By adding 1000 Baht to this specific post we can 7x our impact in terms of engagement (and even more in terms of reach).

 

Would the difference of engaging 300 or 2000 people mean a different to your business that is worth TBH 1000?

 

If you don’t like math then you might like this infographic from [email protected] instead:

 

As you can see organic reach has been drastically declining. The bigger the page, the smaller is usually the reach. The data is from 2013 – 2014 and you can be sure that it has not improved since then. And you can be sure that it won’t increase again.

 

Why would Facebook allow brands to advertise for free when more and more brands are happily paying for reach?

 

The solution: Start planning your posts and ads with the end goal and a paid strategy in mind. If you don’t think that your next post should be seen by as many potential customers as possible then don’t create it at first place.

4. You don’t know how to measure success

At the end of the day we all want to earn more money with our businesses. When people tell me that Facebook did not work for their business it usually means that they did not see a positive ROI immediately. More time and money spent on Facebook yesterday did not mean more money in terms of sales to their business today.

 

Sure, if you are bootstrapping and simply don’t have a marketing budget or if you have a product that is heavily dependent on impulsive purchases (ie: people will buy it on the spot, usually driven by emotions. This is often the case for low priced products) then this is a valid approach: Use Facebook to put it in front of the right people with the right message. If they don’t buy it then stop and question your business model.

 

Most of us are selling products or services that follow a different buyers journey: People buy our product when they are ready for it. But only if we manage to be on top of their mind when they need it.

 

Here is an infographic that explains a common buyers journey:

 

 

As you can see it takes 3 steps BEFORE you can usually see the financial return.

 

Once we understand this, we need to look at other metrics than sales along the value to measure success.

 

How many potential customers are you reaching?

 

How many people are engaging with your brand?

 

Sure, it is hard to measure the return on investment here. But this is part of the game.

 

Or to put it with Gary Vaynerchuck’s words: What is the ROI of your mother?

 

5. You don’t have a Facebook marketing strategy

All of the classical marketing mistakes above are a typical results of businesses who don’t have a marketing strategy in place.

 

Businesses shooting in the dark and hoping that it will somehow work out.

 

 

The good news is that it is an easy fix.

 

All you really need is a marketing strategy and the right resources/knowledge to put it into place. In most cases this will be enough to be ahead of your competition!
What is next?
 
If you are working as a marketing person then there are 2 possible scenarios:

 

Scenario 1: Everything that you just read was old news. You should ask your boss for a raise. You can be being rest assured that you are far ahead of your peers and I am pretty sure that you are helping the business to grow. Oh and by the way… We are always hiring smart people like you!

 

Scenario 2: You feel like you have learned a lot. I hope you are not the only/highest ranking marketing person in your company. If you are you should hope that your boss never finds out… Seriously: Request better coaching and help with the high level marketing strategy. Otherwise it is unlikely that your work will have the impact that you and your boss expects. You might just be wasting your time at your current position and be holding the company back. I wrote another article called the Elements of a successful Facebook marketing strategy which will give you a good overview of what you need to know in order to get started.

 

If you are business owner/managing director: You better find out if your marketing team falls into the first or second scenario. If you are not sure then I recommend you read the next article called Elements of a succesful Facebook marketing strategy and then to discuss each point with your team to understand where they are at with their knowledge.

 

Scenario 1: They already know everything and are implementing an amazing strategy. Give them the raise. They deserve it. And most importantly make sure that they can grow with your company. You really need to keep them. If they got that far by themselves then it means that they are hungry for knowledge. If your company cannot provide them with more challenges and growth opportunities they will leave at one point…

 

Scenario 2: If your marketing team does not know what they are doing then it is not their fault. You have put the wrong person in the wrong seat. And frankly speaking this seems to be true for the majority of cases that we are witnessing. If you do expect your marketing team to grow your business, then they need to have the skills and experiences to do so. Add more experienced people to your marketing team or get help from an agency.
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