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A Facebook Experiment
A few days ago on August 6th. I posted this photo on Facebook. The accompanying text was, “Share this POST. Go ahead…see what happens!”
At the time my Facebook page had 1,158 friends and I know that without taking any further action that only 20 – 60 of those friends would actually see my post in their newsfeed (thank you Facebook). So I chose to ‘Boost” my post and spent $10.
My unscientific experiment results
Three days later there were 24 Likes and 48 shares, 3 new page likes and Facebook said that 2,541 people were reached. I would assume that included my 1,158 friends.
So what happened?
Actually nothing; my post was seen by 2,541 people and 48 of them took the time to like and/or share my post. Did I receive any new business as a result of this post? No. Would I guess that any new prospective customers were now aware that my business existed? Probably not.
What did I learn?
Nothing new, I only confirmed what I have been preaching on this blog since it was begun. Facebook is not your best option to grow and build your business. Focusing on your website optimization (SEO) and content and search engine marketing (SEM) is the only sure way to increase traffic to your website and make your phone ring more often. People use Facebook to be social – to connect – to entertain themselves – to show photos of their cats - and to keep up with family and friends.
How many times have you bought something as a result of a search on Google? How many times have you bought anything on Facebook? People do not generally use Facebook to buy stuff!
Is Facebook bad for business?
Of course not. In fact, it is a business requirement these days. Facebook can help your brand recognition and it is one of the social metrics that Google uses to establish the value of your website. As a business, your involvement with Facebook (and Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.) is mandatory if you want to increase your website’s rank in search results.
The problem is time
Facebook is a huge time suck. To play the game you must post content that people actually want to see, and you must like and share other people’s content to increase your engagement. To do this properly requires an extraordinary amount of time and is the reason that many companies outsource their social activity. I know this because my company manages the social accounts for a number of local businesses and a couple national companies. Imagine if you spent the same amount of time improving your search engine marketing as you do on Facebook, do you think your business might improve?
The time we spend on Facebook is similar to the money we spend on advertising. It’s got to be done, but the ROI in time and money is not always easy to justify.
How do you improve search rank and get more customers?
Search Engine Marketing means making the right kind of noise online to get the attention of search engines. This is done by regularly adding new content to your website (blog posts, photos, new pages, etc.), creating videos and posting them to the top video streaming sites, commenting on other blogs and forums, posting on the top social sites, and a hundred other ways to add content to off-site properties. The primary objective of all this activity is to obtain links from those sites pointing back to your website.
Start with the Flathead Guide
All of the noise you create online does not carry the same intensity; the volume varies because search engines value links differently. One of the very best links you can get is from a LOCAL authority website such as the Flathead Guide. Strong local links are the pièce de résistance of search engine marketing.
The Flathead Guide is the official Flathead Valley Business Directory, and your business listing functions like a mini website that is optimized for smartphones. You can include photos, videos, an unlimited text description of your business, links to your website and all your social sites. It is a stand-alone website optimized for search and has all the features of a mobile app such as ‘Tap to call’. Read all about the other benefits of being listed in the Flathead Guide.