Facebook – A Non-Search Engine
Think about how many times have you’ve tried searching for local pages or people only to be served up a sea of foreign places and faces.
This is the first example of why Facebook is not an accurate search engine. It’s doesn’t even try to separate domestic and international people and pages within its search function.
So, with that in mind how can we expect it to help us find a local business, even if you use that companies exact name?
Google Search vs. Facebook Search
Google isn’t perfect all of the time with some broader search terms like “Cyber Security” but if you search “Cyber Security NZ” you’ll only find New Zealand providers. Using that same “nz” technique doesn’t work on Facebook.
Personally, I’ve found this to be a frustrating, time-wasting experience, and the second example of why Facebook for business is a less reliable, accurate engine for business development than Google.
Facebook Search Optimisation
Doesn’t exist, period. My third example.
Currently, there is no way to optimise your business page on Facebook for consumer search. Sure, you can optimise the business page for the consumer’s experience once they actually get to your page but nine times out of ten, you’ll need to guide your customer there with either a link or an advertisement.
Search engine optimisation starts in large part by tuning your page meta titles and descriptions with customer search terms. This enables Google to understand the purpose and location of your page so that it may align your business with a customer query. Currently, your Facebook business pages have no meta title option, just the name of the company.
Guess how many businesses are out there called Speedy Movers? The twelfth result was the New Zealand company and I stopped counting them at 25.
Pay to Play
Over the past decade, Facebook has spent millions trying to monetise its platform with advertising options like Boost, Custom Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences.
Paid advertising is basically the only way to reach an audience nowadays. Let’s break each of those three advertising strategies –
- The buffet of Facebook advertising I often refer to as ‘shotgun ads’ designed in large part to drive (any) traffic at a post.
- Essentially boosted posts are a Band-Aid fix for pages without a strong organic audience.
- One of the core failures with boosted ads is the lack of control over where your ads are seen. It’s a little like running a race in the dark without a finish line.
- Custom Audiences targeting allows you to upload a list of specific individuals by their names + emails, or names + phone-numbers.
- You can also target other audiences, like a regular ad, though with fewer options. Less behavioural, more demographic audiences.
- Sounds great right? The big drawback is limited reach. Unless you have an enormous database, (which is uncommon for many SME’s) then it becomes an expensive exercise in futility.
- The platform is just too complex for the layman, often leaving most inexperienced business owners overwhelmed.
- Building a buyer persona, the traditional way (Age, Sex, Occupation) seems like the right thing to do but the larger the audience target, the bigger the mistake, and the higher the cost.
- Facebook promotes using basic demographic data for targeting options but it’s simply too basic. If you’re not adding interests and exclusions your audience can massive. Too massive.
- If you get it right it can be amazing but the data suggest businesses overall fall short in building personas and give up in most cases.
Family and Friends Algorithm
Facebook wants you to have a good experience by offering you a more connection with your family and friends. This comes at a cost to businesses trying to use the platform to reach more of their audiences.
As of late 2019, the average reach for Facebook posts was down by 2.2%, meaning that brands could reasonably expect their posts to be seen by about 5.5% of their Page’s followers. What that ultimately means is those fluffy (unpaid) posts you spend time curating are basically pointless.
This is my final reasoning (and the cherry on the cake) as to why I believe Facebook isn’t a good choice for business in 2020.
It wasn’t that long ago I thought Facebook was great for business but over the past 36 months I’ve come to the realisation, it’s actually just an overpriced donkey!
Google Ads offers a more transparent platform, that is easier to use and ultimately more cost-effective overall.
Get in touch with us today and find out why Google advertising is a better option for business in 2020.