There’s a growing trend among my clients and it’s beautiful to observe, like watching Neo take the red pill to awaken to the folly of what he thought was real life.
What’s this trend?
Vanity marketing is useless
My clients are starting to see that likes and shares mean nothing and that Facebook business pages are not all they’re made out to be.
Likes and shares fall into a category called vanity metrics. The taxonomy should reveal something about the worth of these metrics.
It’s an absurd trend for business owners to follow, yet they happily hop, skip and jump after it like children spellbound by the Pied Piper’s gay melody.
They’ll not listen
Sadly, I’ve lost clients to the folly of Facebook.
The other day I quickly visited the Facebook business page of a former client (who stopped paying his hosting bill), only to see them posting their projects religiously to their page.
They get likes and shares, to be sure, so the business owner must feel pretty good about his marketing.
But at closer inspection the likes and shares seem to come from company employees and their friends / family.
This is what is often (erroneously) referred to as “brand building”, which is a convenient excuse for marketers who can’t get their clients more leads.
But what if business owners boost their posts?
They’ll get more likes and shares, right?
But what then?
More likes and more shares are just that and nothing more.
This type of marketing’s underpinned by a gross misunderstanding of the company’s goals and the fact that those behind it think the medium is more important than the message.
Will you listen?
What do you prefer, likes and shares, or more phone calls, emails and WhatsApp message looking for your product or service?
I’ll take the latter, thanks.
Here’s the sad thing…
I’ve seen this sort of thing before and you know what people recommend?
“We must get more people to share our posts and we must in turn share their posts too.”
The problem is not that not enough people don’t see their content. The problem is that the wrong people see their content. (To name one issue.)
The better way
Here’s a better way to approach your online marketing…
Get your own website
If you don’t have a website yet, get one.
It’s not expensive if you consider how powerful a business website is.
I’m not talking a static website that sits on a digital shelf and gathers pixel dust.
I’m talking about a website that forms the epicentre of your marketing efforts.
This is your hub where you’re the boss and you decide what you want people to do when they reach it.
It’s not Mark Zuckerberg’s; it’s yours.
You don’t have to worry about someone else’s funny meme stealing a visitor’s attention or a cute kitten popping into their timeline and distracting them.
It’s ONLY your content and ONLY your call to action.
That’s why your own website is a precious tool in your marketing toolbox.
This is the next step.
Start adding great content to your website. And don’t stop. Keep adding useful content that people benefit from viewing and you’ll have a killer website people will love to visit.
Here’s the thing: you don’t have to do it yourself.
You hire me to do it for you.
Yes, of course it’s expensive, but so is throwing all your money into the Facebook pit and not having anything to show for it long term.
If you pay me to regularly add quality content to your website you’re building an online portfolio with a sturdy backbone that’ll work for years to come.
If you keep posting to Facebook you’ll have to keep posting to Facebook. And woe to you the moment Facebook changes their algorithm or increases their ad pricing to a place beyond your marketing means.
And woe to you if a global catastrophe strikes and you can’t afford to run paid advertising campaigns anymore.
Because you never gave thought to building a sturdy website you’re now left with your Facebook business page, the return on investment of which is notoriously low.
Now you need traffic.
This requires one of two things, or both:
If you want immediate traffic, which most people do, throw money at the issue.
This you do by buying ads.
Immediate traffic requires the use of paid ads.
Sadly, free social media marketing isn’t worth used chewing gum.
Once you realise likes and shares are worthless you’ll start thinking in terms of how to get people OFF Facebook and onto your website where you’ve set up calls to action like your phone number, your email address, a WhatsApp number and a contact form.
To do so you’ll need to buy traffic.
On Facebook you can boost your posts so more people can see it.
You can also create dedicated ad campaigns on Facebook and other social media platforms.
The trick is ALWAYS to get people off Facebook onto your website.
You can create Google Ads to drive traffic to your website.
It’s a great way to drive tons of traffic if you have the money to do so.
You might be up against tough competition, but if you can feature for some long tail keywords you should do well.
Long term traffic
A benefit of consistently adding useful content to your website is that Google starts paying attention.
Google’s sniffer dogs catch a waft of your content and before you know it they’re all over you, sniffing the nose off your face.
You’ll start ranking better in search engines, which means you’ll get more traffic.
And traffic from search engines far outlives traffic from social media.
This is not some cliched bromide I’m spitting out. It’s been proven that a good blog post lasts up to two years (or more, as I’ve seen in some of my own posts) while a Facebook post has a five minute lifespan.
You can’t even compare the two.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to search engines, SEO and SEM.
Once your website’s running like a well oiled machine you can look at optimisation tactics like structuring your data and creating internal links.
You could also consider adding videos to YouTube and embedding them in your website (and placing links in YouTube back to your website).
You could post your content to Facebook and enjoy the likes and shares.
Some of those likes and shares might be legit, but many of them will come from people who feel sorry for you and want to boost your ego by giving you a like.
But liking and sharing require no commitment from your followers whatsoever, other than ensuring they rest the mouse pointer on the right pixel before they click the mouse button.
But when phone calls, emails and WhatsApp messages don’t increase, don’t wonder why. It’s your social media marketing strategy that’s lacking substance (big time).
A better way is to get your own website, add great content to it (let me do it if you can’t) and drive traffic to your website.
Because on your own website you don’t have to compete against other Facebook users who post cute pictures or vacant platitudes.
Book your consultation to get more traffic, more emails and more WhatsApp messages or calls.