The good news and the bad news about using a Facebook page to promote your business

Social media is nothing new. But does that mean that you understand how to use it successfully to promote your business? Are you sure that the time you are using time posting on your Facebook page is time well spent?

Is your business Facebook page working for you or are you working for it?

Almost all businesses today have a Facebook page and it is standard practice to encourage your customers to “like” your page. You probably have signage in your business premises encouraging customers to “like” your Facebook page and a link from your webpage to your Facebook page. It’s more than likely that someone, maybe your social media manager, or perhaps even you, is carefully selecting posts which you feel may appeal to your customers, trying to grab their attention, hold their attention, keep a place in their consumer heart. Maybe your social media manager is even aware that Fridays are the optimum day for engagement of customers on Facebook. If you are savvy, you are posting promotions, news, photos, new products, videos, messages to update your customers with what they love, build a friendly and informal relationship with them, create a loyal customer community for your brand.

But there is one piece of the marketing plan which sadly too many businesses have failed to acknowledge. Just because someone clicks “like" on your page does not guarantee that they will see your updates in their Facebook news feed. In an effort to give users more control over their Facebook experience, the social networking site allows people to unsubscribe from a page's updates. When a user unsubscribes from your updates, your new posts will be hidden from their news feed. Furthermore, Facebook select posts which of your updates they share with the customers who have “liked” your page. If a customer “likes” your page then Facebook starts to share your updates with the customer. The more frequently the customer “likes” your posts, the greater the proportion of your posts Facebook shares with the customer. If your customer’s “liking” of your posts wanes, then Facebook decrease the proportion of your updates which it shares with the customer. So, it is very likely that you or your social media manager maybe updating a page with information which is not seen by your customers. Some of your posts will be shared with some of the customers who have “liked” your posts previously but you have no control over which posts Facebook will share.

Have I wasted my time or is there a quick and cheap solution? Many businesses now are opting to develop an inexpensive and simple app to complement their webpage because customers who have downloaded the app will receive the updates made to your Facebook page directly to their smartphone via push notification. An additional benefit of this solution is that the customer will receive the updates whether or not they are online. This means that tube commuters, customers with limited data or who are not in a wifi zone will still receive your notifications real time to their phone.  Once you have your app all you need to do is to continue to update your Facebook page as you were doing previously and to encourage your customers to download your company’s app. There are several ways in which your business could go about this see our blog post about promoting app downloads.