Facebook Marketing Part 4-- Should You Bother?

Well, well, after going over part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this facebook marketing series, you should have the basic tools needed to really target those customers and improve the engagement with your facebook account. Now the only question is whether you should bother.

I think that facebook is definitely worth it, but only under certain conditions. First, your customers have to be on your business page. And second, your business page has to drive traffic to your website. (You do have a website, don't you?)

On the first point, if you're posting amazing content and you have a super-high engagement rate, that's fantastic. But if the people who are engaging with you aren't your customers, you're wasting your effort. Remember that this is a business page, not a "getting-my-ego-stroked-because-so-many-people-like-my-posts" page. You want the people who are engaging with you online to actually buy from you eventually.

Facebook business pages are for advertising, and that's what most people lose sight of.

On that point, let's say that your fans are your customers, and they're engaging with you in a big way on facebook. That's very nice, but you want them to take the next step, which would be to click through to your website, send you an email about placing an order, or pick up the phone to call you.

If you're working for ten hours a day on the most amazing facebook page in the world but nobody's clicking through to buy, you're wasting your time.

So how do you get those conversions (what the internet sales geeks call making clicks into sales) to happen? Or how do you decide whether to keep putting effort into facebook as an advertising platform?

The first thing to do would be to check your website stats to see where your traffic is coming from. If you see that out of 5000 visits on your website only 5 are from facebook, you might want to either revamp your facebook page to increase that, or go put your effort into higher traffic sources. You might also want to look into creating a facebook group for your business, but that's another story, and it might not be worth the effort because of how often facebook changes the way they show things in people's feeds.

If you don't know how to monitor your website traffic, that's a problem. You need to go in and check with the hosting service or with the person who designed your site to find out where the analytics are. If you don't have them built into your site, you can put a piece of code from google into your site and link to google analytics. Feel free to leave questions about this in the comments section, but check with your website host first.

For my part, my website gets about 56% of its traffic directly from facebook, and my Etsy shop gets about 36% of its traffic from facebook. So I'm not leaving facebook anytime soon. On the other hand, if I look at my other social network data, twitter ranks right down there at the bottom, with only 1% of traffic and less than one page looked at per visit. So pffft to twitter.

So facebook does bring me traffic. But is that traffic customers? This is where it gets a little muddy for cake businesses, because it's unlikely that you're selling things online that can be tracked. If I sell a silicone mold, and I have the analytics for google plugged into my site, I can see what was purchased, where the buyer was from, how much it cost, how long the customer spent on my site, etc etc. For service businesses like custom cakes, the sales aren't registered on a website, so you won't be able to get those details.

What you should do is go to your facebook analytics and get ready to make some assumptions.

Go to your facebook Insights page again, and this time go to the left column and click on "people." This will bring up a chart showing the location of your fans. You can also click on that chart to see the locations of who was reached by your posts and who engaged with your posts, but to start, just look at the location.

Scroll down past the bar graph and look at the middle column where it shows the city that your fans are in. Be aware that they might be breaking up locations, so for example, my local fans are listed by the city of Richmond, the counties around Richmond, and various sections of those counties. Click on the "see more" below that chart to open up more results.

If all of your fans are from Timbuktu, and you're not from Timbuktu, you have a problem.

For people like myself, who sell online and who ship internationally, having fans all over the world isn't an issue. But if you're selling to people in your town and in a 20-mile radius around your town, you want most of your fans to be in that area.

The problem with cake decorators on social media, is that they tend to like pages because they like to look at pictures of cakes. They have no desire to buy anything from you, but they'll like your page anyway. This inflates your numbers and loads your page up with people who will never engage with your posts or buy a cake from you.

If you're feeling particularly brave, and you're not in love with inflated like numbers that really don't mean a lot, you could go in and delete people from your page who aren't active, don't engage with your stuff, and who live 1000 miles away. That will decrease your fan count, which can make a lot of people pass out, but if you're concentrating on local, paying customers, it makes sense.

First, you get rid of the people who will never be your customers, then you concentrate on getting your local customers engaged with a facebook ad targeting them, like the example I used in part 1 of this series. If you only have 100 fans, but they're all local and they all respond to your posts, your engagement rate will be higher than it would be otherwise. That means that facebook will show your posts to more of your fans (who are local because you pruned your list) and you'll reach more of your customers without having to run ads.

Next Week: Attracting local fans who will actually buy your stuff.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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