Do You Need a Facebook Page? 3 Checks To Help You Decide

More than 50% of Southeast Asians use social media to check a brand before buying from them. Specifically, 7 out of 10 people in Malaysian and  5 out of 10 people in Singapore and Thailand, do.

The most popular social media platform they do it on?

You guessed it: Facebook. More than a third of Southeast Asians are on Facebook. And the numbers are growing:

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This means most of your customers regularly use Facebook.

Since they do, you think you should at least have a Facebook page for them to find you.

There’s no harm in that right?

Facebook is an organic way to reach customers, right?

Right, but only if you asked me that six years ago.

Back then, most of your fans could see your posts. Posts by pages stood side by side posts by friends.

Today, posts by pages get hidden away. For every post you share, only 5-10% see it.

And it will likely keep declining:

Organic-Reach-Chart

Knowing this, is having a Facebook page still worth your time? After all, creating posts on Facebook isn’t free.

You are taking time away from other activities that may give you higher returns.

In this article, I will show you three checks you should do before investing your time in a Facebook page.

Check #1: Are you serious about using Facebook to get to your business goals?

What do you want a Facebook page for?

For most businesses, they want to use it to get more customers.

While not a bad goal, businesses typically underestimate the time and effort they need to put into their page to make that happen.

They treat their business page like their personal page, posting whatever they want, whenever they feel like it.

This creates a page scattered with random, thoughtless posts their fans don’t relate to and won’t engage with.

Or, they use Facebook the wrong way, thinking that it is their ads board.

They share only posts about sales offers and their product or service catalogue.

These actions make the business look salesy and fans lose interest.

The businesses that do convert their fans to paying customers have a planned and strategic approach to what they share on their page.

They make sure that every post they share on Facebook has a purpose:
– To invoke an emotion in their audience and make them like or comment on your post, or
– Get them to click on a link to their content that may lead them into their sales funnel

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Marketers spend an average of 16-20 hours a week on their Facebook page.

Their efforts pay off when fans engage in their posts and eventually buy from them.

Take a look at these social media posts that fans have engaged in:

Hermo is a an e-commerce site selling beauty products. It regularly holds contests and giveaways on its Facebook page.

In this recent post, they decided give away limited edition t-shirts.

The post received more than 80 reactions. Fans also commented on the post.

Here is another post by Shopback Malaysia that received over 1.4k reactions and 20+ comments.

Fans engaged in it because it poked fun at a funny incident that went viral in Malaysia in the same week.

If you want to see something like happen on your Facebook page, you must plan and strategize. Marketers that get results on Facebook spend their time doing these:

  • Experimenting with different ways to gain genuine fans
  • Testing posts to find out the type their fans love or get excited about
  • Crafting the posts they share
  • Planning and scheduling their posts based on their marketing campaign

Again, if this sounds like a lot of work, it is.

When you start a Facebook page, you need to know what your goals are. Then you can plan and strategize your way there.

Creating a page only to get likes is not a useful goal. Go beyond that and create posts that your fans want to engage with.

If all of this sounds like too much work for you, don’t start a Facebook page. A poorly managed one is worse than not having one.

Check #2: Do you want to spend money on sponsored posts?

As I said at the beginning of this article, Facebook is no longer an organic way to reach fans. When you don’t pay for a sponsored post, only 5-10% of your fans to see your posts.

This means that for every 1,000 fans, only 50-100 will see your posts, even if you spend a lot of time creating it.

Spending 2-3 hours crafting posts for your page for only a few people to see may not be worth your time.

You can increase these numbers, but only if you are willing to pay for ‘boosted’ or sponsored posts, like this one from Malaysia Airlines:

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The good news is Facebook’s minimum daily spend for ads isn’t high. You can start with RM3 (Malaysia) to boost your posts or USD5 a day to promote your page.

But bear in mind that you can only reach more people if you pay more.

Done the right way, boosted posts can give you high returns on your ad investment.

Again, it is not as easy as it looks. To get the best conversions on your ad spend, you need to plan and strategize the posts that you boost.

I won’t go into details about how to do that, but here are some useful resources you can learn how:

7 Psychological Insights That Will Help You Develop a Powerful Strategy for Facebook

Boost Posts or Promote Posts on Facebook: Which is Better?

5 Essential Tips to Consider Before Boosting a Facebook Post

Again, to get the best results from your paid Facebook posts, you need to be willing to spend time and effort crafting great posts.

If this too looks like too much work to you, don’t start a Facebook page.

Check #3: Is Facebook the best way to market your business?

Though social media is all the hype now, not all business will benefit from using it. For instance, Kissmetrics recommends email marketing over social media marketing for B2B businesses.

But what if you already do email marketing? There’s no harm in creating a Facebook page for the sake of it, right?

While this may be true, your hours spent on Facebook might still be better spent on a proven, more effective marketing channel.

This is because creating a Facebook page is no longer an additional ‘nice to have’, free marketing channel.

To get results, you need to spend a lot of time managing it and a budget to reach your fans. If you are already tied up with your current marketing, you may not be able to afford Facebook marketing.

This is especially true when you have a small team or are working on your own. Facebook can easily become a distraction with no positive ROI.

So before you start a Facebook page, it helps to ask yourself: are there better ways of marketing my business I have not considered?

You may have even overlooked some ways ‘free’ ways of marketing. Take a look at these ideas:

21 Big Marketing Ideas for Small Marketing Budgets (#6 is no longer applicable)

Marketing with no budget: Things that work (again, #2 is no longer relevant)

HOW TO: Market Your Small Business With No Budget

Although these posts are a few years old, most of the ideas (except the one for Facebook) in these posts are still very relevant today.

Using the right marketing channel will increase your chances of reaching your potential customers and converting them into fans.

For some businesses, Facebook is not the best social media platform for marketing.

But how would you know if it is for your business?

For a rough estimate, you can research other businesses in your space. Check to see what their activities are like on Facebook.

While most businesses will have a Facebook page, not all of them will have high levels of engagement from their fans.

This may be because social media marketing is not a suitable marketing channel for the business (as I mentioned earlier), or, that the business is performing better on another social media platform.

Take a look at FashionValet’s Facebook and Instagram page.

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You will notice that FashionValet’s posts on Facebook get 0 – 3 likes on average, but hundreds of likes on Instagram.

 

This happens even when the same post is shared on Facebook and Instagram.

This post got no likes on Facebook.

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The same post was liked by 368 fans (at point of writing).

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You may conclude from this that FashionValet’s audience is more active on Instagram than Facebook.

If I had an e-commerce business selling clothes, I might consider forgoing a Facebook page and focusing on Instagram instead.

This is especially true when I know I don’t have enough time or support to update more than one social media account.

But to be sure, you need to experiment with both Facebook and Instagram. This requires you to spend time running tests on both platforms.

Conclusion

Creating a Facebook page with hundreds of thousands, or a million followers is a sexy goal. But you are only wasting your time if only a tiny portion of those followers end up buying from you.

By creating a Facebook page with a goal in mind, you would be able to get higher engagement from your fans. Engaged fans often become loyal customers.

To get there, you need to spend time experimenting on the best ways to get your fans to engage. Being successful with Facebook will take time.

As Facebook continue to reduce organic posts reach, you will need to be ready to invest money into reaching your fans. If you are not ready for this, you can consider other untapped, but free ways to market your business.

Having a poorly managed Facebook page can often times be worse than having no page at all. You may leave a bad impression on fans who drop by your page only to see it full of random and uninteresting posts.

This article is not meant to discourage you to start a Facebook page, but to highlight the key factors you will need to consider to achieve your business goals with it. By knowing these, you will increase your chance of success when you do start one.

Do you have a Facebook page? Have you found it useful for your business? What are some Facebook page practices you would recommend to another business owner in your space?

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Lu Wee is the Founder of The Entrepreneur Campfire. The Entrepreneur Campfire (TEC) is where smart entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia gather. You can find practical articles on how to grow, market and scale your business on TEC.

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