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Facebook: marketing fail?

by Caleb Woodbridge - SEO Consultant

Welcome to the Orantec blog! We'll be blogging about web design, SEO, software development and anything else we get up to. First up is Facebook marketing...  

Facebook - Marketing Fail?

Trouble in social media paradise? 

Facebook's IPO has gone far from smoothly. It launched amid intense debate over whether Facebook faces a number of problems, including convincing all its new shareholders it can increase its sources of revenue, and working out how to make money out of mobile users. It’s also facing lawsuits and inquiries over whether it shared company information with all shareholders.

Adding to its worries is the fact that General Motors decided to stop advertising on Facebook. It’s still going to promote itself using a brand page, but won’t be paying for adverts. One of the problems is that Facebook’s adverts are far less effective than Google’s ads: Facebook averages one click in 2000, compared to 1 in 250 for Google’s targeted adverts (see Wordstream’s comparison infographic).

The difference between Google and Facebook adverts

I suspect there’s a simple reason why Google adverts are generally more effective than Facebook adverts: people use Google to find things, but use Facebook to interact with their friends and family.

If you’re searching for a product or service, there’s a chance that a well-placed Google advert will actually fit with what you’re looking for. But advertising on Facebook is more likely to simply be a distraction from the site’s core use as a social network.

On the other hand, people do use Facebook to find interesting links, so there is some opportunity there – it’s just that they’re much more likely to pay attention to stuff shared by friends and family than to adverts.

How to get the best out of Facebook

You shouldn’t rule out Facebook adverts if it fits with your brand and objectives – there are lots of factors to consider. But if you don’t go with Facebook adverts, it’s easy and free to run a Facebook brand page, and there are many benefits to having a Facebook presence. As part of our online marketing services, we routinely help companies set up Facebook brand pages, maintain them and get the best out of them.

One reason is meeting customers’ expectations: people expect to be able to engage with companies directly. Everyone has an opinion, and the Internet gives everyone the chance to express it. Every business needs to listen to what its customers are saying. Facebook is a great tool for building those relationships.

The other advantage to Facebook pages is that when people “Like” your products and posts, it has the opportunity to appear in people’s newsfeeds, amid their interactions with friends and family.

It’s also easy for people to share content, so if you can offer compelling content, a great competition or offer, then it’s got the potential to go viral. Creating those moments isn’t easy:  it takes creativity and planning, but there are plenty of opportunities.

So should you use Facebook advertising? Maybe, but there are probably more effective options out there. Should you use a Facebook page to market your brand? Almost certainly.

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