Facebook is for Likes Not Leads

Qualified LeadsIs your business on Facebook? How’s that working out for you? No, seriously- I’m curious.

900 million people on Facebook . . . how many leads have you gotten from them?

Having read just about everything under the sun about marketing on Facebook and with three years experience marketing my own business and several of my client’s businesses there (and other social media platforms), I’ve come to some conclusions about Facebook’s potential as a small business marketing tool.

Honestly, this is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now, but it took a great article by Ken Mueller a couple of weeks ago to actually get me to put “pen to paper” so to speak.

The truth is, most of those 900 million people aren’t there to be marketed to. And frankly, Facebook doesn’t make it that easy for businesses to connect with them.

I think Facebook can be very effective for some businesses:

1. Famous: Your company or brand is well known. Pepsi, Victoria Secret, and Skittles don’t have any trouble drawing people to their Facebook pages. Even if you are only “niche” famous it can work – you just need to have a following that will search for your brand.

2. Engaging with Existing Clients: If the goal for your Facebook page is to engage your existing clients, and you have clients that are enthusiastic supporters of your brand, you can build a strong community around those clients. I have seen this work well for some service businesses.

3. Local: If you have a business that has a very “local” focus, and there is an active Facebook community in your area, it can be an effective marketing platform. We have a small bookstore in our area that does a great job of connecting with community members, using invites to announce author readings, and posts information about new arrivals at the bookstore.

4. Advertising: The Facebook paid advertising platform can be a good way to bring visitors to your Page and to grow your community. However, it does cost money, and you have to create very narrowly focused ads to ensure that you’re actually building a community that is interested in your product or service, or face wasting that money.

Reasons to have a Facebook Page:

Improved Search Engine Placement: If there is strong competition for your business name, even within non-competing industries, a Facebook page can appear high in Search Engine rankings making your business more searchable.

I once put a proposal together for a company called Crystal Solutions – the first of their many SEO challenges was that you could not find their company even by searching the company name – there were too many other businesses with that name to compete against.

Improved SEO: Social is becoming, and will continue to become, more influential in search results. Among the leaders in affecting SEO from a social media standing are Facebook likes and shares.

But . . .

I am not arguing against businesses having a Facebook Page, in fact I recommend it for most businesses, however it is not a case of “build it and they will come”. Most businesses will not find Facebook to be a significant or meaningful source of leads, and will be challenged simply to build a following and develop any kind of engagement with that following.

If this has been, or is your experience on Facebook, you’re not alone . . . and you don’t need to abandon your Facebook Page. However, you may want to re-evaluate your goals, and make sure that your expectations are realistic.

If you’re expending your limited marketing resources (money or time) on Facebook, with the goal of developing internet marketing leads, you may want to re-consider your marketing options to get the most from you investment! There are better options for many businesses!

Having said all of that  . . . we offer curated Facebook Marketing articles on our Facebook page. If you are going to be on Facebook, and want access to some of the best Facebook Marketing articles on the web, we try to deliver everyday!  We’d love to see you there!

What has your Facebook experience been? Have you been disappointed in the results or has it been a goldmine of leads for you?

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Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.

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