Is Facebook all it's cracked up to be?

Is Facebook all it's cracked up to be?

Since its initial launch way back in 2005, and eventual entry into New Zealand sometime around 2007, Facebook has captivated millions of us. Overtime, businesses and business people started to look closely at how they might use the social media platform to reach and engage with more of their ideal customers.

Talk to many in business over the last few years and you’ll have heard claims around ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ and a confidence that Facebook was a necessary tool in any business owners’ toolkit – allowing an easy way to communicate with your audience.

But is it all it’s cracked up to be? In January of this year, Facebook released an algorithm change that dramatically reduced the visibility of posts from businesses. Even posts from friends seemed to suddenly be harder to find. But the business impact was severe, with many large businesses who employ staff just to look after their Facebook activity reporting engagement drops of 60% or more.

That’s a big reduction, but it gets worse. According to Stuart Marler, a Digital Marketing specialist in the UK, “If you have 2,000 Facebook fans [that’s followers] usually only 2-5 people will see each post you publish”. What’s worrying is that he made that statement in 2016 – long before Facebooks algorithm change. The stat for likes is less than 2%.

The news doesn’t get any better when you then look at click-through rates. Consider this, the average click-through rate for an email to a database is 3.57%. For a Facebook post it’s 0.07%. That’s 50 times better from email!

Of course, the reality for most of us is that we’re after all the marketing exposure we can get. So it makes sense to spend time on emails and Facebook, as well as plenty of other marketing activity too. But it certainly makes me think twice about how much time I spend on social media over other forms of activity.

If you’re in the business of wanting to communicate with a large group of prospect customers – and let’s face it, you are – it seems like the smart approach is to do a little research about what connects. And then perhaps send your database an email about it.

Wishing you more buyers to your front door.