“Facebook is not for me”

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I was speaking to a solicitor earlier this week when the subject turned to digital marketing (I’m quite good at making that happen).

I asked him which platforms he was using and whilst he had been quite busy on LinkedIn, with varied success, he told me that Facebook ‘was not for him’.

This is something I hear a lot – usually in a business-to-business sense – i.e. Facebook is a business-to-consumer platform so can’t be used for B2B.

This in itself isn’t true at all – I’m a business owner and I’m friends on Facebook with many other business owners – we may not be using Facebook for business purposes, however we’re still using it, and often several times a day.

I’m regularly targeted on Facebook with adverts for things related to what I do. SEO software, training courses, and also things related to my position in the business – car fleet deals, suits and shirts, you get the picture.

However that’s a subject for another day.

Let’s go back to ‘Facebook is not for me’ from a B2C sense.

Facebook has over 30 million active users in the UK, and over a billion active users worldwide. It ‘knows’ roughly 96 different things about everyone using it.

When I tell people this – they usually reply ‘scary stuff’ and yes, that’s a good point, in some ways, it is.

But from a marketing perspective, it’s a dream.

We can target people with advertising by age, gender, location, hobbies and so on, that’s been the case since the beginning with FB Ads – but in recent months, they’ve become smarter than ever.

85% of us are using Facebook on our smartphones, so it knows where we spend our time, and for how long, and how regularly.

Facebook buys data from a huge amount of sources. Bought a laptop online? Used the same email address for that purchase as you use to login to Facebook?

Facebook knows you bought the laptop.

Facebook knows if you’re mortgaged, what car you’re likely to drive and all sorts of other stuff, and as such it also knows what many of us have in common too – again a subject for another day!

But ‘Facebook isn’t for me’ – this would only apply to the tiniest minority of businesses (let me know if you can think of one).

A solicitor offering the opportunity to purchase a will for example, could aim an advert at parents, with a mortgage, who are likely to have private health insurance, who holiday once a year and with a household income of over £50k.

If the solicitor is local, they can drop a pin on an area and draw a radius around it.

The main reason that businesses fail in this aspect on Facebook, is usually simply down to execution – that the aspects of the advertising campaign are simply not congruent with the objective.

Firstly, the call-to-action of the advert – are you getting the person you’re targeting the advert at, to take the action that you want them to take?

Secondly – if and when they do take the action – are they landing on the content they would be expecting to?

The solicitor in question had tried an advert for Wills, but aimed it at just a generic local area, rather than trying any more specific targeting. Note – 17 year old students probably aren’t giving too much thought as to whether to make a will.

The ad itself, although specifically about making a will, just directed the person clicking on the ad to his website homepage. And on the homepage, there was no obvious place for the user to find out more about wills, or to get in touch (ie no major call-to-action) and that’s where the leads were no doubt being lost.

A targeted ad would make sure the right people were seeing the message to begin with – but if they want to know about making a will, it’s a great idea to take them straight to a page with information about making a will…! It sounds obvious, but this is where so many businesses fail – and make the mistake of blaming Facebook instead.

Facebook is one of the biggest companies in the world, and makes virtually ALL of its money from its advertising platform.

That’s because it WORKS – and I would urge you to see how it could be working for your business too.

Need any help or advice? Get in touch today.

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