Why a Facebook page isn’t a great marketing tool
I’ve written a lot about Facebook for marketing. Indeed, I own stock in the company because I think there is potential on Facebook that hasn’t even been tapped. With 1 billion active users, and millions of bits of data created every nanosecond, it is both a potential goldmine and fool’s gold at the same time.
Lets begin with the good. Facebook, it is said, offers the ability to share content in a way that is unique. At Colgate, we have the fancy “share on Facebook” button, and when we share news, we typically see it as the number one referrer. People who like and follow Colgate get their news from Facebook.
It offers a history that, in ten years, will be compelling and worth studying. The archive of content, images, likes and comments will exist for internal use in a way that is profound. (A Facebook profile is the same: my kids will have an archive that is unlike anything that has ever existed).
Facebook’s new targeting offers brands an ability to talk to subsets of the fans on the page. From age to educational status, the data in the targeting offers rich potential to the smart marketing staff.
All of the above is for established Facebook pages. If you’re sitting there thinking you should start a Facebook page for your thing/brand/cause I have bad news.
It is noisy in Facebook. Most people have the pages they are willing to fan, and the relationships they want. People aren’t seeking new brands or new friends on Facebook. Indeed, chances are good people are trimming.
But lets pretend that they do want to ‘like’ your page. Your posts do not go to all of your fans. Indeed, a good post might got to 30% of fans (if the page has 100 fans, the post is seen by 30). That said, I’ve seen some of our posts go to almost double the number of fans on the page (if the page has 100 fans, the post was seen by 170).
If you manage a Facebook page, you’ve seen these numbers. They are low because of the noise on Facebook.
What does that mean?
Don’t start a Facebook page. If you have one already, and it has 1-2 hundred fans, kill it. Decide who you want to talk to, and what you want to say. Then figure out the proper tool for saying it.
Facebook isn’t magic. It should be part of a plan, but also, it should be give acceptable expectations. That means, you need to identify people who will like the page. You will waste your time and effort if you start a page – for any reason – without having a plan.