Should you be on Facebook as a business in the construction industry? In short it depends.
Let me ask you a few questions of my own;
- Are you willing to put money behind Facebook ads?
- Is your content so good people are clamoring for more?
- Have fans of your brand already created a page for you?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes then Facebook is for you. Answered no to all of them? Then it’s going to take some hard work to build that page.
It’s no secret that Facebook has experienced a shrinking of organic reach for business pages. People have hailed it as the end of Facebook, just type Facebook zero organic reach into Google or click here to see the sheer number of articles on this topic.
In my opinion the reason organic reach has declined is quite simple. With over 1 billion users Facebook is the most popular social network by far. This means competition to appear in the newsfeed of your fans is tougher than ever.
Facebook estimate the average user has a potential 1,500 posts waiting for them when they login, and the news feed displays roughly 300. So on average 1,200 posts aren’t going to be seen. The number of potential posts increases with every new friend added and paged liked. Those with the largest networks have the potential to see up to 15,000 posts, and their news feed can still only hold around 300 at a time.
To cope with all of this Facebook have an algorithm, you might hear people refer to it by its old name of Edgerank. The algorithm takes into account more than 10,000 factors to decide what you see when you login. This algorithm is regularly updated as Facebook attempts to ensure you see the most relevant high quality content every time you log on.
No one outside of Facebook knows exactly how the algorithm works, the only thing we know for sure is that if your audience likes your content you’ll do well. Though finding out what your audience likes is a lot easier said than done. When trying to reach people on Facebook you are competing with all their friends, family and everything they are interested in. This isn’t easy and requires a flexible approach to content, producing more of what works and dropping what doesn’t.
Returning to my three questions should give you a clue as to what will help you succeed on Facebook. Facebook ads are the easiest way to get into the news feed and if you know what you’re doing they will get your content in front of the right audience. However if you don’t have good quality content even Facebook ads won’t help you much, good content will keep people coming back to your page and stop them unliking it. By far the best way to succeed on Facebook is to have an active and enthusiastic community; this is also the part that takes the most work. However when you look at pages such as FEIN UK you can see what a combination of Facebook ads, good content and community building can achieve.
When approaching Facebook I now recommend clients invest in Facebook ads to get their content out there because I know it works. For one of our clients Facebook ads helped their monthly average reach per post go from a good month being 150 people seeing a post to 11,000, all for under £700. There is no denying that Facebook’s organic reach has drastically declined for everyone. However for those brands with a budget for ads and content generation Facebook can deliver results.
If you’re stuck for ideas on the content side of the equation then look to video. Quality video content, like this one from Metsec, delivers high organic reach and very good engagement rates. No other type of post on Facebook consistently delivers engagement at the level of videos. Video is already a big driver of engagement and it is only going to get bigger over the next few years.
At their recent F8 conference for developers, Facebook announced a whole host of new features and improvements to the current platform. A recurring theme was not just video but virtual reality. Give it five years and plain flat video will be old hat!
Facebook demonstrated at F8 that they are planning for the future of social media and technology. Not taking Facebook seriously would be a mistake and with the blurring of B2B and B2C the construction industry really can’t afford to ignore the largest social media platform out there.
As social media has grown and more brands have seen the value in being able to connect directly with their audience the easy wins have disappeared. Facebook is pay to win, either through advertising or amazing content, which makes it no different than any other marketing channel out there. Except Facebook provides analytics to a degree that you need a degree to make sense of all of them. The ability to track exactly how many people see your content, how they interact with it and if you're sending them to your website what they do there, is something you simply don’t get with more traditional marketing channels.
TL:DR Facebook can be a huge asset for your brand if you’re willing to pay to win, either for ads or amazing content.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter @max_cib