Recently, Jason SurfrApp (formerly Headsetsdotcom, formerly Sadler), had a wonderful post on Facebook about its changing nature and role in the marketing mix. Jason gained fame through his company “I Wear Your Shirt,” where he wore a different sponsor company’s t-shirt everyday for nearly 5 years. He would promote these sponsors through social media, his blog, and his many appearances on legacy media.
Suffice it to say, Jason knows his way around social media. When he takes the time to post something like the quote below, you should pay attention. I’m going to post the full status here because there’s no way that I could say this better. You can read the original post on Facebook here.
If you’re using Facebook and seeing a decline in reach, specifically because you want to use Facebook as a marketing tool, here’s what you should do to get the most value out of Facebook:
Step #1. For the next 30 days, spent $10-20 boosting/promoting your posts. These daily posts should be status updates and photos that direct people to sign up to your email list (if you don’t have an email list, use MailChimp, Aweber, or another service). Don’t bother posting anything else at all (unless you have to). Your entire goal should be to shift your audience from Facebook to an email list.
Step #2. During these 30 days, every message you post should include a link to get people to your email list. Tell them exactly why they want to be on your email list, what your brand will offer them, and what value your emails will provide. If you do a good job of “selling” signing up for your email list, the RIGHT fans/customers/followers will opt-in. It’s safe to assume you’ll convert 10-30% of your total Facebook fans if you do a good job of promoting your email list. DO NOT just say “Sign up for our email list.” Make sure to explain WHY your fans/customers/followers/friends should sign up. (Maybe you have multiple email lists? One for daily email updates? One for weekly? Make sure people know the frequency of your email marketing too.)
Step #3. After 30 days, assume that Facebook is useless to you. Maybe you can post updates here and there, but don’t look at Facebook as a marketing platform anymore. In fact, I’d just continue to post email newsletter signup info (without paying).
Step #4. Start using email to market to your fans/customers/followers. Use drip campaigns, use good copywriting, do A/B testing, and track every open rate and click. Unlike Facebook, email doesn’t have useless metrics like “reach.” Email has open rate, click rate, read rate, and you can sort, segment, export, etc, your list subscribers as much as you like. You should expect to spend money for an email provider to manage your subscribers and the messages you send, and it’s 100% worth every penny.
Step #5. Enjoy talking directly to your audience and not having to worry about algorithm changes or news feeds. Your messages now go to a very special and coveted place for people: Email inboxes. This magical place IS NOT overrun with baby photos, wedding announcements, complaints, political rants, or competition with your brand. People select what email they receive. It’s a very curated and special place to be.
Step #6. Don’t f&$k it up. Don’t oversell your product. Don’t send something people didn’t opt-in for. Respect the fact that you now have a direct line of communication with your customer. Do everything in your power to make sure they are happy and are reading the emails you send.
Step #7. A few months later, take a look back and realize how much you don’t miss Facebook at all. You might even notice you’re happier and feeling more excited about your marketing.
I’m moving all my marketing strategies from social media to email and I’m the guy who built a business based on social media (and used it daily for nearly five years). Facebook is not the network it used to be and will never be the same again. Accept this reality and move on while it still doesn’t cost you much to do so.
I don’t plan on paying Facebook to promote this message. If you think it has value, click the Like button, leave a comment, tag a friend, and share it. If it doesn’t bring you value, don’t do any of those things.
And if you want to sign up for my email list, you can do so by going to JasonSadler.com and entering your email in the green bar at the top. I send out a couple emails a month and they typically contain updates about projects I’m working on and things I’ve written. I’d add a direct link here, but that would kill this post immediately in Facebook’s algorithm.
Jason is spot-on in his assessment of the future of organic page reach on Facebook. Even though many of us have spent countless hours (and sometimes, lots of money) to build up followers on FB, the game has changed and it ain’t going back. So, now what?
First, follow Jason’s advice, above. His strategy is pretty solid and is darn-near guaranteed to pay off in the long run. And when you think about it, it makes even more sense — if a ‘fan’ is not willing to join your email list, then how valuable can they really be?
Second, use Facebook sponsored posts!
But why?!? I thought we were talking about how Facebook is done as a marketing platform?? Well…it is, but stay with me.
Facebook has clearly demonstrated that building a Facebook Page follower base no longer makes sense. Period. Hard stop. No further argument. BUT, FB is still a very powerful way to connect with people that will find your brand relevant. Because of the generous amount that Facebook users self-disclose interests, you can very easily target people you want to reach. Additionally, the depth to which you can drill down in your advertising makes Facebook paid advertising very economical!
So, now that Facebook has us in this pay-to-play corner, the only thing we can do is move people off of Facebook!! Because you can find your market by targeting very specific people, this makes FB sponsored posts ideal for:
- Promoting Events & Conferences
- Building Blog Readership
- Building Email Lists
- Contests & Giveaways
- Whitepaper downloads
So — start moving your “fans” off Facebook to email…and Linkedin, and Pinterest, and Instagram… But maintain an FB presence so that you can utilize Facebook Sponsored Posts when the need arises!