Are you throwing your marketing budget out the window?
Small businesses typically have small marketing budgets. You want to get the most bang for your buck..facebook ads are NOT the way to go.
How do I know? I learned the hard way.
When facebook started hiding business pages from feeds and insisting that people pay for views and likes, I was disgruntled (as I’m sure many of you were.) I had taken the time to build up my following and now they wouldn’t be able to see what I had to share unless I paid for it?
I started small. I ran an ad for ConstantlyAlice a few days for $20. I got TONS of likes. Unfortunately, those likes were useless. There was a lot of suspicious activity surrounding them..they all came in at one time, they had strange profile pages with impersonal photos and no page interaction from the page owners. I started to suspect they were dummy pages and didn’t renew my ad campaign after it was done.
Then, I started The Halo Effect and Connie and Allie. I figured to get my facebook pages off the ground, I would run another ad for “likes”. I ran the ads simultaneously, and guess what I discovered? Even though the two pages have different target markets (Connie and Allie is for girls clothing and accessories and The Halo Effect is marketing and graphic design) the same people were liking both pages..at the same time. Additionally, I started receiving spam emails on both pages about going to another website to receive “40-60 quality likes”. That was the nail in the coffin for me.
The bottom line is, there is no value in a number of likes on a page if those people are not going to engage with you. You want followers and customers who are there because they are interested in what you have to share.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media is a great free marketing tool. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ are all excellent ways of engaging with your customers and helping to get your message out.
But you need to build your following with people who care about you and your business, who will share your posts and interact with you. You want customers who support you and your message.
So how do you do that?
You produce quality content..and you do it consistently over and over. You offer value to your customers, not only with an excellent product, but with information, engagement and great customer service. You let your friends know you’re in business (this is where the “share a page” button comes in far more useful on facebook than paying for an ad.)
Talk to your customers. Find out what they want. Run a poll and ask them what you can provide for them. Track your sales and see what is your most successful item, then build a better version.
Your followers might build up a little slower, but they will be genuine and you’ll both benefit from it.
PS. If you’re a small business looking for good quality, inexpensive marketing, you can contact me about advertising in the next edition of “Whimsy” magazine here.