As you may expect, I’m on Facebook quite often. It’s my business. We’ve also moved a few times and often it’s the only way to keep in touch with far away friends. So I’m there a lot.
Due to Facebook’s algorithm, I often don’t see all the updates I’d like. I see a whole lot of updates from online media I follow – like Mashable. This makes sense based on the algorithm as they post often, get lots of engagement from others, and I frequently click on their links because it’s my job to stay up on social media news.
As great as this is for Mashable, it can seem to leave small businesses out in the cold. Most small businesses don’t have the resources, content, or fan base to get the reach of larger companies.
So does this mean they should consider skipping Facebook marketing altogether as a result?
I always hesitate to see businesses give up on Facebook completely. When potential customers visit your Facebook page and see it hasn’t been updated since April, you look unreliable. It’s not fair, but it’s true. The same is true if your profile isn’t completed or you have no profile picture. But that said, I don’t think small businesses should be trying to compete with the social media “big dogs”.
Since it’s unlikely a small business will ever get the reach of a larger business, it can be tempting to give up on social media during the holidays when you’re already busy and stressed. However, letting your social media presence go can be detrimental, and Facebook in particular can punish you for going dormant. Why not create a strategy to keep your account active and maybe even catch your customer’s attention.
Here are some ways to make Facebook both feasible and profitable for your business this holiday season.
1. Post sneak peeks and previews: Have an item going on sale or arriving in stores in a few days? Get some buzz going by previewing the items, its features, and how excited you are. Then, follow up when it’s actually available. Get your fans excited about what you’ve got to sell. Alternately, you can showcase work you’ve already done.
2. Consider using Facebook ads strategically: I do not advocate sponsoring every post. Your fans catch on to this and quickly begin to think you’re spamming them. However, strategically selecting certain product posts or sales can increase both reach and sales. Ads can start as low as a few dollars a day.
3. Be cheerful: The fact that the holidays are so close is already stressing me out. So, spread a little holiday cheer. Post a photo of you and yours hanging lights or drinking egg nog. Share your holiday card. Be happy. People love to work with people who make them feel good.
So, this doesn’t mean you should spend all your time and money on Facebook this holiday season. It does mean that Facebook should be part of a larger integrated sales and marketing strategy this season. While the holidays seem quite far away, the truth is it needs to be a strategy you start considering now. I, for one, have already started crafting the boys’ holiday lists. I can’t be alone in that. Start thinking about your holiday marketing strategy now and how social media can be incorporated.