Hey guys! We’re rounding back to Facebook today, because it’s kind of a big pain in the ass that’s also basically mandatory for small businesses, AND can be one of your strongest assets if managed correctly. But that’s easier said than done.
So let’s look at two Facebook-centric questions I’ve received.
Is social media really the way to reach/promote a small upstart “maker” type business? It seems so fleeting for lack of a better word. Take Facebook—I will see a post I feel is interesting and tell myself I’m going to look into that later. Seems when I go back, sometimes in just a few hours, it’s buried, or worse yet, I can’t even find it. If a potential customer has to deal with this in the instant world we live in, hasn’t that opportunity to engage a customer been missed?
—Social Thinker in CLE
I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook for my craft business. The new method of showing (or not showing) posts to followers… aaahhh!! What is your advice about working with the Facebook corporation? Is it worth it to pay to boost posts?
So, for starters, let’s lay it all out on the table. Facebook is not perfect. Facebook for Business is a lot of trial and error. And the minute you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, they’re going to change one tiny piece of code on the back end, and you’re going to lose your mind.
If you can accept this now, you will save yourself headaches, heartbreak, loads of time, and probably a mouthful of crow.
So how do you interact with this necessary evil that refuses to be tamed?
My suggestion is that at the start, you set the terms, not the goals. Facebook is goal-oriented and can very easily seduce you into pursuing 1000 likes. Or 15 shares. Or 3 dozen comments.
But they will thwart your efforts. And even when they don’t, pursuing those numbers will most likely result in too much of your time spent stalking your own page.
So set the terms. Decide that you want to share these 3 (or 5 or 7) things on Facebook next week and carve out a time on Friday to write/schedule those posts. And for the following week, rinse and repeat. Then, after a month or so, look at your analytics, try to determine which types of posts and which posting-times are most successful, and adjust to align with those.
Respond to comments/questions and Facebook messages within 24 hours, but otherwise, let it be.
If you’re interested in paying to boost posts, I would do so for posts that contain important information and/or have potential ROI (i.e. “Our grand-opening is THIS SATURDAY” or “Tickets for our exclusive event are ON SALE NOW” )
Also, engage other forms of social media. Facebook is not the be-all end-all. Instagram is more visual. Twitter is more forgiving (in that you can post more often without annoying your followers; you can’t get away with saying terrible, bad things on Twitter; Twitter is all about holding you accountable; but you’d never do that anyway).
So, in summation:
- Stop chasing likes/comments/shares
- Consolidate execution of your weekly Facebook posts by writing and scheduling them at once
- Utilize Facebook analytics to determine your best post types and post times
- Direct the energy your saving by not obsessing about Facebook into exploring other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter
Over time, you will get more comfortable with Facebook and you’ll find your rhythm. But to get there, I think it’s necessary to pull back and set your own terms for engaging with the social media platform.
I mean, you run your own company. So don’t let Facebook run you.
As always guys, please use this form to submit your own questions for The Sarah Project!