With nearly 2 billion Facebook accounts worldwide and over 1 billion active daily users, there’s no denying Facebook’s universal appeal. There are about 32 million Facebook users in the UK and this has held steady for the past three years.
Even though other platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp have their devotees and have experienced rapid adoption by segments of the population, Facebook remains the dominant social media platform for marketing. The knowledge it has about the demographics and interests of its audience makes it a natural home for marketers of both business to consumer and increasingly, business to business, organisations.
For larger companies with highly trained marketing departments and companies which can afford the services of digital marketing agencies, the opportunities to leverage the onslaught of changes Facebook implements is a challenge which can be overcome.
However, for small businesses and solopreneurs who have to be ‘jacks of all trades’, this ever-evolving platform may demand more time than the ROI warrants, unless you are very dedicated to it.
Facebook is further complicated by the different user interfaces of the desktop and mobile versions. Getting to grips with:
- Personal profiles
- Businesses pages (used to be called Fan pages)
- Facebook Places
is one thing, but then there’s all the associated apps, integrations, advertising and messenger bots.
Mobile video will dominate our attention
There is no doubt that Facebook Live will become widely used by many organisations. In fact I saw a BBC Facebook Live broadcast just the other day.
Dual participants on Facebook Live is being rolled out, allowing an interview style broadcast where the originator of the Live can invite a viewer to join them.
As Snapchat went public, Facebook brought out Stories, a 24 hour combination of photos and video which stays above the mobile personal profile newsfeed. Gather together ‘snaps’ and clips from your day and add them to your ‘story’. For avid marketers with lots to say on a daily basis this will be the perfect brand awareness tool once Stories are available to Facebook pages.
How does the small business keep up?
My first piece of advice is to go back to basics. What works for your business currently? Has this changed over the past year? Are you getting more messages on Facebook? You can rest assured your customer are checking out your Facebook page if you have a link on your website. If it’s not active there’s the chance they might question your offering, even subconsciously.
Work on a content calendar
Potential customers want to read and view the latest information from businesses. Your content calendar should inform your blogging and social media. So when you create your content consider images and video at the same time. And I don’t mean professionally produced video, your phone for most purposes is perfectly acceptable.
Social media timetable
When I train people to communicate effectively online, it is always within the context of the available limited resources of time and budget. Your social media activity, just like responding to emails is a necessary regular activity. Much of the core effort takes about 10-20 minutes a day. Maybe schedule it after you check your emails. Hopping on and off is not the way to make the best use of your time.
For businesses with the budget outsourcing all or part of your social media is the best option as an experienced social media manager can achieve so much more in a shorter period of time allowing you to get on with running your business. In addition, they will be up to speed with all the latest features and tools to streamline this complicated marketing media.
If you would like to discuss how to create a social media strategy to streamline your online marketing efforts, email Amanda Brown