Every time I write about Facebook marketing, my site traffic jumps. Few topics generate as much interest. With 750 million active users worldwide, Facebook is a presence that can’t be ignored. But is it really deserving of as much credit as it receives as a marketing vehicle?
My simple answer to that question is, “It depends.”
Depends on what? What are your goals?
Is your goal to make immediate sales? Chances are overwhelming that there are easier ways to do it. Look for examples of companies making money on Facebook, and they’re few and far between. It makes sense. Just because there are a lot of people on Facebook at any given time doesn’t mean that they’re in shopping mode, or that they’re thinking about gardening at that particular moment. But that doesn’t mean there’s no value to Facebook marketing.
Is your goal to build stronger relationships with your customers, so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you first? Facebook can do a lot to put a human face on your business, and to let you provide helpful information to your customers in bite-sized chunks.
Is your goal to gather feedback on your company, your products, your service, your competitors, and who your customer is? Facebook is ideal for starting a two-way conversation with some of your most involved customers and finding out what makes them tick.
Is your goal to stay current so that if and when Facebook does develop into a profitable sales channel, you’ll have an established presence and a smaller learning curve? That’s certainly a reasonable, even prudent, strategy.
I’d argue that most companies don’t have a clear view of their Facebook marketing goals. They seem to think that, with all those Facebook users, and Facebook marketing being “free,” they can’t help but make money there. There’s no defined strategy and no measure of success – just a Facebook page with some sporadic posts. If that’s your approach, your time is probably better spent elsewhere.
So let me ask: What are your Facebook goals, and how do you know if you’re meeting them?