IF you're a Facebook business user, you would have noticed that your posts on your Facebook business page are experiencing less of an impact of late. Many a business owner is pulling their hair out over the fact that once upon a time they would pop up a post and, provided they had a reasonably sized audience that they had grown organically and not spammed, achieve a reasonable result.
In the industry, prior to July/August 2012, a 10% level of engagement was deemed exceptional i.e. if you have 1700 users (which we do), if we had 170 people 'talking about' i.e. liking, sharing and commenting, we were doing something right.
We regularly experienced this level of engagement or higher until Facebook went and changed the goal posts on us and its other one billion users. And as of March 2012 there were 42 million Pages on Facebook.
Pre August 2012 we would make a post, approximately 700 people would see it and we'd experience a fair share of likes, comments and shares. Then the goal posts changed and now we are lucky if 30 people see it.
Phone a friend
Speed dial to Zoe Wyatt, The Creative Collective's social media specialist, who lives and breathes social media. Zoe's spin on the introduction of paid posts is that if you think your post could result in a commercial outcome i.e. an increased database, or a sale, you may wish to experiment with promoted posts. She encouraged us to experiment and that is exactly what we did.
With the launch of our popular Get Up To Speed program imminent, we decided to promote a post encouraging people to sign up to a free webinar to find out more about this Government funded 12-week online program.
The objective of the exercise was to connect to new audiences and let them know of this free opportunity. We spent approximately $30 to promote the post to our 'friends and friends of friends'. In hindsight, it was not a wise move.
Whilst we achieved 90 likes, one share and a couple of comments, I was horrified to witness that the majority of these were from foreign countries who are ineligible for this federally funded program and in languages I could not understand. Fortunately not too many of them liked our page from the exercise or this could have seriously compromised our engagement levels moving forwards.
What I learned from the experience
All in all, the exercise was a complete waste of money. No one signed up for the webinar as a result of the promoted posts (though we achieved our numbers via other marketing means).
If you are going to do sponsored stories, only advertise to friends, not friends of friends or you will end up with every Tom, Dick, Harry and probably Wayan, Ketut and Chang too.
For the time being, we're going to give Promoted Posts a miss and instead stick to Sponsored Stories, paid Facebook advertising, scheduled posts and our other marketing means.
By Yvette Adams, director of The Creative Collective.