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Facebook Marketing – The Decline of Unpaid Communications

Social Media: the small to medium sized business’s answer to their marketing woes. Or is it? Well, it all started very promisingly. All kinds of businesses have been able to set up a Facebook page, entice their customers and prospects to ‘like’ it and then hit them with content. 

Here at Webheads, we’ve always understood that Facebook marketing was really about remarketing rather than a front-line sales tool; and we help our clients to balance information, entertainment and marketing. Promotion shouldn’t be the lion’s share, or the audience will switch off, never to return. So a careful mix of shared articles, general information, fun, competitions and sales. Sounds great, and it was for a while, so what went wrong?

“Why is it that I have 3,000 fans but my posts are being seen by only 150 people?” is the cry we hear time and time again from companies that manage their own pages. Well, the answer can be found in that dreaded word: algorithm. Yes, Facebook has one of those nasties, which inhabits your page, stopping your posts from getting through like wall on a dam.

So how do you open the dam and get the water flowing again? Well the answer is two-fold. Firstly you need engagement. It’s not enough for people to see your posts and page – they need to interact with it. And not just ‘likes’ either. You need comments and shares – the whole shebang. Your audience needs to be receptive to what you’re posting and then it will start snowballing and more and more people will see your content. Getting that snowball rolling in the first place is something we are often asked to do, because it’s not easy.

The other answer is the reason that Facebook introduced the algorithm in the first place, namely advertising. Social media generally started off by drawing us all in and then when it had ‘scale’ (that’s Silicon Valley speak for lots of users), it introduced the monetisation side of its business model and started charging. Sure, it might appear free but the reality is that unless you’re a big company that’s massively engaged with its customer base, then you’re going to have to pay to get your content seen. And those big companies are probably spending serious advertising pounds anyway.

It sounds a little unfair, but in reality it’s always been like this. We just didn’t have the free start to the model in the past. Print and broadcast media, email blasts, direct mail, PR, you name it, they all cost money, and now you can add social media to the list. In the next instalment we’ll look at how Webheads could optimize your spend and your website, so that they work together to make social media a crucial part of your marketing plan. If you can’t wait for that get in touch with our social media team today!

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