Debbie Mayo-Smith: Are Facebook business pages worth the effort?

33 comments
Even with the target market, you could still be metaphorically shouting in the wind online. Photo / Thinkstock
Even with the target market, you could still be metaphorically shouting in the wind online. Photo / Thinkstock

Only if your target market is a young woman or you like having conversations with an empty room.

It's almost impossible to get a critical mass of 'Like's, even with putting in a lot of time, effort, thought, incentives, money and heart. Even with the target market, you could still be metaphorically shouting the wind.

This is what I have personally found to be the case, as well as with many businesses and industries I've worked with over the past two years.

First let me highlight that there are four types of Facebook profiles.

1. Personal Profile- Best explained as a private, visual, online chat room. You invite 'friends' you want to allow in to your private room. Only friends can view and interact with your profile and vice versa. The interaction is via status updates, photos, videos, online chat and email. To interact in Facebook or to create another type of account, you must create a personal Facebook profile.

2. Community Pages- Community Pages are dedicated to a broad topic or experience and are owned collectively by the community connected to it.

3. Groups- An online place for 'members' to connect, share and collaborate on a given topic or idea.

4. Facebook (Business) Pages- Profiles that any business, brand etc can create. Think of it as (an additional) free website. These pages are searched and ranked by Google, anyone can view them people don't have to be a member of Facebook to view a business page, only if they want to interact. They can get everything you put on Facebook by clicking the Like button. It's akin to signing up for a newsletter. 'Liking' means all your activity will appear in their personal newsfeed.

For over two years now, I have been doing everything right. A monthly newsletter going to 18,000 with the request and link to join me on Facebook. A live Facebook stream on my homepage and the promotional "Like" on 550 of my webpages. This bi-weekly NZ Herald column. On Facebook itself I post almost daily a mixture of helpful hints, thoughts, questions - all the 'should be doing' to spur momentum. And yet, only 1056?

I believe the key to this problem is one's target market. As a business speaker and author, my demographics are primarily middle aged decision makers. These are people that are busy. Have families. Responsibilities. They have less time to spend on social media.

So not only is it harder to get these types of fans, they will spend less time on social media and thus your messages and updates will pass them by.

Often, with the speed of light if they have many friends and pages they've liked. 78 per cent of my Likes are over the age of 35 by the way.

Alternatively when you look at Belly Beyond - an online retailer that sells baby and maternity gear - their Facebook site skyrocketed from 261 on 10 May 2010 to 5,793 fans November 2010 to 7061 June 2011.
So where does that leave you?

Well, you can listen to the young twenty-something social media enthusiasts who harp on about the wonders of Facebook for business. Or you can take a note from this lady's book and be more discerning about where you spend your marketing time and effort.

Debbie Mayo-Smith is an International Speaker and No. 1 bestselling author of 10 books. debbie@debbiespeaks.co.nz

Contact Debbie on: Linkedin or Facebook

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 24 Sep 2014 09:13:58 Processing Time: 480ms