Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is Facebook Killing Off Business Pages?

Many small businesses are beginning to ask themselves if they should continue putting their limited time and money into their Facebook business pages. With the switch to the Timeline format, removal of the default landing tab and, most recently, the outcry of having to promote postsin order to get your content seen by fans, it is not surprising that businesses are re-evaluating Facebook as a viable business marketing platform.
Facebook can still be very effective for businesses if you learn how to leverage the changes that have taken place. Here are 3 smart tips for how to leverage Facebook for your business’ benefit, even with these recent changes.

1. Don’t Put So Much Effort Into Facebook “Tabs”

Facebook “tabs” are useful if you would like to create lead capture landing pages on your Facebook Business Page, but now that Facebook has removed the default landing tab option, if you want to drive any real traffic to them you have to pay for ads to do so. Moreover, tabs are not accessible from mobile devices. Seriously?! Yes, seriously, and this is a big issue in our book, withmobile internet usage increasing in record numbers, especially on Facebook.

Do This Instead:

Instead of focusing on installing tabs, we suggest posting a link to your wall that directs your fans to a lead capture landing page that is both mobile friendly and desktop friendly. After you post this link, you can pin it to the top or highlight it. For example, you can create contests, coupons, and other lead capture pages through Advantly and can then post the link to your Facebook wall. This way you can capture and engage fans from mobile, desktop or whatever device they are viewing your Facebook page from.

2. Don’t Worry So Much About “Likes”

So many brands obsess over getting more likes and fans for their Facebook page. While getting likes is nice, there is far greater value in converting your Facebook traffic into your own email list. Brands have spend thousands of dollars building up their fan base through Facebook ads, just to have a huge portion of that cut off from them with the recent implementation of the Facebook EdgeRank changes. Now, the same fans that brands have spent thousands of dollars acquiring are no longer seeing their status updates.

Do This Instead:

Instead of pointing Facebook ads to your FB Page, point them to your own lead capture page, contest or promo that requests an email address. You’ll have full access to all of those contacts that will have been held back from you if they were simply “fans” of your Facebook Page. You won’t need to pony up more cash down the line for promote posts just to reach your true fans.

3. Don’t Run Facebook Ads To Your Tabs

We would not have given this same advice a year ago, but a lot has changed since then. You are losing out on half of Facebook users by running ads to tabs because mobile users can’t access tabs! If a mobile user attempts to access a tab, they will be re-directed to your wall which pretty much defeats the purpose of your tab. You’re saying, “but we setup a fan gate on our tabs that force users to like the page in order to gain access”. If that is what you are thinking then go back up an re-read point 2.

Do This Instead:

Instead of running Facebook ads to your tabs, run ads to a lead capture landing page, contest or promo with the intent to capture email addresses. Other options are to run Sponsored Story ads or promote a post that links to your call-to-action landing page.

To sum up:

It is important to have a presence on Facebook but it is even more important to expand your presence onto other platforms. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread them out by not only leveraging Facebook, but also your own website, mobile adssyndication, video advertising,email ads, contests, promos, and other social networks. Just as important – don’t forget to track, track, track so you know where your leads are coming from and can calculate the ROI on the different platforms you are using.