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April 5, 2018

Should Your Business Be Worried About Facebook?

Facebook is ever changing and it's where you've invested a lot of social media energy. Should you be worried?

Facebook is in the news *again*. Concerns about sharing personal information, fake news and whether or not Facebook bears any responsibility on influencing American politics is causing many to question the platform. What does this mean for businesses that rely on Facebook to connect with their customers? Is there a reason to be concerned? And what can businesses do, especially those with limited budgets?

Small businesses regularly ask if we can help them with their Facebook strategy. NOT can you help with social media. The question is almost always specific to Facebook. This shows that businesses recognize the power Facebook has. And while our answer to this question is always YES, that’s not where we start.

Why? Because not everyone is on Facebook. What??!!!?? Shocking, right? But that’s the truth. In fact, millennials (a very important market segment) left the platform in droves when their parents (and grandparents) began logging on years ago. Mashable reported this back in 2013.

While this may be true, Facebook is still the OG of social media platforms as you can see from this chart from Pew Internet’s Social Media Fact Sheet.

Should You Be Worried About Facebook?
As mentioned, when we’re approached for Facebook help, we don’t start there. First we learn how a business is currently connecting with their customers. Is the website up-to-date? Do they send out regular emails? What about signage, referral programs, flyers and mailers?

Why do we start there? Because you shouldn’t have all your marketing and advertising eggs in one basket. Relying solely on one method to connect with your audience leaves you vulnerable. So if all your eggs are all in the Facebook basket, then you have a reason to be concerned about the challenges that platform is currently facing.

So What Can You Do?
First, realize that the days of being on Facebook as a business without paying for ads or boosting posts is over. Unless you have a very large audience and great organic reach, you are going to have to shell out some Facebook advertising dollars. More importantly, though, take a step back and identify where your audience REALLY is. Maybe they’re on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Pinterest. If so, then you should add posting on one of these other social media platforms to your marketing strategy.

This is challenging, especially if your budget and time are limited. So what can you do? Rather than focusing primarily on social media, think about your brand’s entire online presence. You’ll save time, and money, by being strategic.

If you’re going to be on social media, especially Facebook, then BE ON IT!

For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.
“Social Media Fact Sheet”, Pew Research Center, February 2018

The World Beyond Facebook
Yes, there is a whole world beyond Facebook *gasp*. Sure, we’re being a bit silly because we know you know this but sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. Here are things you can do that are FREE to help make sure your digital presence is on point.

Claim your Google business listing and/or make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date. Your Google business listing is the way your business shows up in Google searches and on Google Maps. This is really important. Why? Because not everyone is on social media. There are way more people out there using Google, or another search engine, to find what they’re looking for. So make sure you’re doing all you can to get found. Not sure how? This article is super helpful.

Make sure your business is consistently listed online. You may have changed your address, phone number or even your company name. How does the internet have you listed on platforms like the Yellow Pages, Yelp and other aggregators that feed search engine results? Tools like Moz can help you identify and fix any inconsistencies.

Keep your website updated. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Take a look. Seriously. Right now, go and take a peek at your website. Is all the information current? Are there ways for your customers to contact you? Are all of your product offerings and services listed? Are they current? Is it clear what you do and what your brand is all about? What about your competitors? What do their websites look like? What does your site look like on a mobile device? And the big question: IS YOUR SITE SET UP FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION?

The Bottom Line
Your audience is everywhere! A truly successful marketing strategy is like the perfect recipe for your favorite dessert. It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that (, and a whole lot of mixing it up so it’s just right! We recommend taking a look at the big picture and creating your own recipe for success. The ingredients? The right message, in front of the right people served to them WHERE they are.

Not sure where to start, feel free to contact us! We’ll happily help you make sure your online presence and digital/social/traditional marketing strategy work for your business’ needs.

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