Facebook Fool

Facebook has been in the news recently for reasons Mark Zuckerberg would likely just as soon forget, but it is still the most powerful social media platform in the West, by far. As a marketing vehicle, it is unparalleled, comparable to Google SEO and AdWords concerning traffic delivery. Its usage within our industry ranges from not at all to very well done.

I don’t care what your business is, you should be using Facebook. While it may deliver a bigger bang for the buck in the prosumer and enthusiast segments, you should not ignore it, even if your business is based on selling million-dollar industrial machines. Wealthy corporations employ Facebook users just as much as anyone else.

What follows is a list of mistakes commonly made within the AM/3DP market.

1. “I can grow my Facebook audience without spending money.” Unless you are a well-known celebrity, this is a myth. If you want a large following, you will need to buy advertising until your page reaches escape velocity – the point at which it continues to grow organically. This is the beauty of Facebook, and it is one of the reasons some marketers prefer it to Google. AdWords can be very effective due to the ability to track browsing habits, but the campaigns are perpetual. You will spend forever on AdWords. Once your Facebook audience is large, you can stop or significantly reduce spending.

2. “I don’t need to use Business Manager.” Wrong. Facebook’s Business Manager is the key to its marketing prowess. It allows you to set up and track campaigns, create a media library, and hyper-target advertising.

3. “We must post to Facebook every day, no matter what.” Worse than false, posting to Facebook every day can be harmful. Except for news sites, post frequency does not have a substantial positive impact on audience growth. However, posting too much can shrink your audience. Post only when you have something interesting to say. Do not hire someone to run your social media and tell them they must post every day. Doing so is a guaranteed way to lose some of the following you are paying to acquire.

4. “If we can’t think of something to say about our company, it is okay to post about general additive manufacturing news.” Every time I see it I shudder. Are you in the business of promoting competing 3D printing technologies? When a boy in Malaysia gets a stainless steel bone stabilizer printed on an ExOne, it might warm hearts, but it won’t sell your FDM or resin printers. Stay within your corporate lane.

5. “We should post links to other people’s websites.” Think about that for a minute. Are you trying to raise SEO for someone else’s site? Is the purpose of social media to generate traffic for you or for others? A news site has written a story about your company. Terrific. Post about the news story on your website, then post a link to your new web page on Facebook. Remember, the goal is always to get people to your site, where they can learn more about your products.

6. “Facebook groups are a waste of time.” No, they aren’t. They are quickly supplanting website forums as a support mechanism. If your Facebook page does not have an associated group, consider making one before a random user does and you have no control. If it has already happened, make sure one of your company representatives is watching the group. It can’t be said enough. Internet complaints last forever and they reduce sales. Put out those fires.

7. “The goal of Facebook advertising is to drive traffic to my site.” Not always. If you have a major announcement, such as a price reduction or new product, you want to drive traffic quickly, preferably to a professionally written funnel page. Otherwise, your goal is to build your following. Meaning, you are typically advertising for page likes, not click-throughs to your website. Once your following is large, everything you post is an advertisement to a significant audience, and those posts are free.

8. “The best way to build your audience is spending as fast as you can.” Not necessarily. Facebook advertising is a bidding system. When someone dumps a ton of money at a specific target group, the cost of targeting the group increases. Likewise, if you see your cost per page like increasing, it means someone has recently spent a lot on your targets. Consider substituting a secondary group or cease advertising for a week, then check to see if ad costs have normalized.