When Facebook Isn't the Answer (and Sometimes it's Not)

Often, people's first response to sharing information with people is the same in business as in their personal lives - put it on social media. After all, it's free. People get to comment, and like and share. It's a win-win. 

Except Facebook doesn't treat businesses the same way it treats consumers. 

For the consumer, this is a good thing. It means that when you scroll on your Facebook feed, you are seeing the posts that Facebook considers to be most important to you. It learns your behavior. Have you ever noticed when you start following someone on social media and all of a sudden a bunch of their posts are at the top of your feed, even if they're from several days ago? It's a test. Facebook wants to see how many of them you like. The more of any one profile you like, the more of those posts you will see. So, friends and family (in the order you've unconsciously told Facebook they're important to you) get bumped to the top of your feed. 

Then, it tests your interest in business posts. These fall below your friends and family. For instance, I'm a below-average Facebook user. I scroll through my feed maybe once a day. And even though I may be administrators on several Facebook pages, 9 times out of 10, I never see the posts of any of the businesses I follow or am even an administrator for. It's like those businesses don't even exist.

If you were to ask Facebook why this is, they'd say they're looking out for their users - they don't want to bombard them with "advertisements" (which is what business posts basically are) when they are looking to catch up with people in their social circle. What it means to you as a business owner, is that their free marketing is not free at all. If you want the right people to see your posts, you have to pay for it. Either with Facebook Ads or by "boosting" the post to - literally - boost it to the top of people's news feeds - even if they are already a follower of your page.

When people tell me they want to post more to Facebook, my first inclination is to say, "Ehhh, I wouldn't waste my time with that." It's important to have a social media presence, but businesses - especially small ones where often times its the owner themselves doing the postings - need to have a strategic reason to post to Facebook. Promoting an event? Promoting a sale? Sharing a success story that's going to lead to more clients? Those are reasons to not only post, but to post with a little money behind it - so that more people will see it.

Facebook can be a time suck not only in our personal lives - but in business too. It takes time to do it decently, with very little - if anything - in return. You don't want to waste hours of any week - or day - by throwing out a bunch of posts hoping one might stick. Be strategic: 

1. Know what makes your business special (your clients? your deals? your events?).
2. Get a high quality image or video.
3. Craft some text.
4. Give your viewer something to do (call you, email you, donate, etc.) with a link. 

Try this for six months and see the difference - not only in reaching your business goals - but in managing your time and your sanity.