But now that Facebook has changed, I often get asked if it's worth it as a marketing tool or tactic for pet businesses.
I've had my business pages and personal page on Facebook for over six years, now. During that time I've seen Facebook change a lot; from a small group of fun, interesting friends, new and old acquaintances, clients, customers and prospective clients and customers; to an overwhelming number of people, companies, groups, posts and interactions. So many that it's difficult to keep up.
Facebook used to be an easy, free way to market your pet business. You post on your FB page and all your FB fans (or 'likers') would see it. But it's changed.
How? Through Facebook's new algorithms, they have changed how many and who see your FB page posts. I've seen analytics drop from 90% of people seeing my posts back in the earlier years to just about 10% seeing my posts now, even though my fan base has grown considerably.
There are a lot of people speculating as to why Facebook page post reach has gone down. And now Facebook has finally come out and explained it. They are indicating there are several factors occurring as to why your FB page posts are not getting seen by as many of your fans as they used to; they explain it as content overpopulation (meaning there is just too much content on FB for your fans to see everything) and that is why FB has chosen to rank the importance of your FB page posts based on the past and current FB behavior of your fan. Only those posts that FB ranks most important will appear in your FB fans news feed.
So what do I think? Is it still a great marketing tool?
Yes, it is can be and it is for now. But you have to 'do' Facebook right for it to help your pet business and increase your sales.
There are two specific things you can do to do it right.
1. The first thing is to post content that encourages your fans to interact with your page and your posts. Why? Because if your fans interact (leave comments on your page, and like and comment on your posts) with your page, they are more likely to see more of your posts in their newsfeed based on Facebook's new algorithms.
2. The second thing you can do is convert your Facebook fans to other types of 'sticky.' Facebook fans are sticky people. What do I mean by sticky? They are people that are stuck to you, that you can market to consistently over time, so that when they want or need your product you are right in front of them. Sticky people are the most important prospective and current clients for your pet business. You want them and you want a lot of them.
Facebook used to be easy to market to market to your Facebook 'sticky' fans (those who liked your page). But now that Facebook has changed their algorithms and don't show your posts to all of your likers it's more difficult to market to Facebook fans, not all of them are 'sticky' anymore. So you have to find other ways to create 'sticky' situations with those Facebook fans.
There are several ways to do this.
Some companies ask that their Facebook 'likers' select 'get notifications' on their Facebook page to ensure they see their posts, but what I've found is that doesn't really work. I tried it out on my own pages and still didn't see my own page posts in my newsfeed.
Others request that you add your email address to their email newsletter system before liking a page.
And still other companies utilize promotions on their Facebook page to achieve email addresses of their Facebook fans.
Why emails? Because emails are another form of 'sticky.'
Some of these are good ideas, some aren't.
What you need to remember is that it's important to put yourself in your customer's, or prospective customer's, shoes. What would you like from a company that's on Facebook? What are your interests, what are your likes, what information or 'deals' do you want from a company?
By putting yourself in your customer's, or prospective customer's, shoes you can increase your Facebook fan base, and create 'sticky' relationships for your pet business, ultimately providing a means to effectively market consistently over time and build increased sales for your pet business.
What are a few tactics you can use to take advantage of this free marketing platform, now?
- Build your Facebook fan base the right way and get fans that really want to purchase your pet business products and/or services.
- Reach more of your Facebook fan base, despite the fact that Facebook is constricting your post's visibility by posting content that invites interaction.
- Engage your Facebook audience for higher conversion.
- Convert Facebook fans to other forms of 'stickiness.'