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Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Late last year, we wrote about the difficulty that small businesses have trying to reach their customers on Facebook. Changes that Facebook has made to their algorithm over the past two years have made it increasingly difficult for small businesses to talk directly to their customers. Isn’t that what social media promised?

If you’ve struggled with how to engage with your customers on Facebook, you’ll want to watch this video from Veritasium as they break down what has been happening to marketers who rely on Facebook likes:



Facebook is All About Engagement, Not Likes

We’ve seen the very same thing with our Facebook traffic. Lots of likes from places where we do almost no business which drives down our engagement with actual customers and fans in the places we want to be. We’d much rather have 1500 fans who care about our content, than 9000 fakes who never see it and don’t really want to. Engagement, not likes, is the metric that matters here.

The problem brands have when engaging with their fans isn’t limited to small businesses. It may even be worse for larger brands. Of the top 20 Facebook business pages (companies with the most likes) only six engage more than 1% of their fans with any given post. Only one reaches more than 2% of their audience. A recent post by Target, which has almost 23 million fans got 12 likes.

In a recent FEC filing, Facebook even admitted that as many as 11% of its accounts may be fake. We’d be willing to bet that those fake accounts are responsible for far more than 11% of all likes.

Should You Use Facebook Marketing to Boost Awareness for Your Brand?

We’re not saying Facebook marketing can’t be an effective channel for reaching your customers. We’ve seen several examples where it apparently is working. And small businesses may have a real advantage in reaching engaged customers. However, we’ll repeat this advice, if you’re going to market your startup on Facebook, you’ll want to create and optimize your Facebook Business page, including adding a logo and cover photo.

For everyone else, Facebook may become just another place online where you can see funny videos and follow what your friends are up to. Small businesses need not apply.


Amber Ooley
Amber Ooley
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