Completing the cycle: Facebook Marketing Part III

Facebook likes and shares are pretty satisfying but there’s continuing doubt in the industry about their accuracy and their worth. Are they truly capable of quantifying product interest?

I always find the majority of business users are like someone who stands behind their shop window and gets a kick out of every passer-by that gives it a look-in; it’s nice, it’s gratifying and somehow reassuring but it doesn’t really impact on sales. It passes for floor activity but it’s not really. The instaneity of these tools can be compelling yet misleading. Don’t get hooked on the ‘frisson’ these tools produce.  Be mindful that behind the ebullience of the comments and the haste with which they arrive, there’s regularly nothing happening. Just be aware that behind the wide smiles, there’s no shortage of indifference. Attention spans are short and commitments fairly transitory in Social Media. If you’ve experienced planning a party on Facebook, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

If you can’t find a way of quantifying a return on investment then approach with caution.

Let’s try putting it another way; if Twitter and Facebook could really perform for businesses their traffic reporting and analysis tools would be significantly more full-bodied. Sadly, they’re both terrifically tight when it comes to traffic analysis and reporting which suggests that Facebook and Twitter don’t want users looking too closely at user behaviour and traffic stats.

There are some third-party analysis tools out there. These fall roughly into two camps: the FREE and the not-so-free and they vary significantly in terms of quality and are more likely to satisfy the curiosity of leading brands than they are the demands of the small-to-medium sized business, especially those on a tight budget.

By contrast Google offers a remarkably comprehensive set of traffic analysis tools, even for its secondary apps and services. And what’s more, the tools are free. That’s because they are so confident they can attract advertisers. The exposure Google offers is immense. The reason for this is simple: people go to Google to seek out something other than what their mates are up to, see some cute barking frog or some ‘mutant giant spider dog’.

If you do ‘go social’ I’d recommend using Google Analytics and rigging it up to monitor and report your Facebook and Twitter campaigns.  Then you’ll be able to track and monitor those coming to your site from either of the two and see how they behave when they get there (which pages they read, which sections they go to, how long they stay, here they jump off etc ).

Also, there’s no harm in using these tools in conjunction with other third-party tools and apps like Google Adwords, Shopify and online ticketing platforms. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Your business page will be a hub of sorts. Try to create an atmosphere of unity and collaboration.

This will be a crowd-based activity and the hub should be compelling, enticing, credible and encouraging, focused and even fun.

By rights your Facebook activity should appeal to all your major stakeholders, whether they are partners or end-users.

I think the fairest thing you can say about Facebook is that it is a very powerful tool when used as part as your arsenal rather than the focus of it. Basically, it’s how it all comes together – completing the cycle, so to speak. This means keeping your website maintained, keeping the offers and promotions rolling in, getting people from your website to your social media platforms, and from your social media platforms to your website. If the cycle is breaking down at any point, then it clearly needs a rethink.

Or should that be #needsarethink?

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