Commitment. It means different things to different people. When it comes to social media marketing and Facebook in particular, it means making the choice to work hard, keep going, and stay disciplined.
Facebook is extremely fickle. Its algorithm relies on momentum, something that dies very quickly after only a few bad posts or skipped days. It’s for this reason that businesses and marketers have to make a choice before diving in. Are they going to take it all the way or is it better to keep it slow and simple?
Both methods work at achieving their respective goals. The majority should consider going for the latter as the effort that goes into going “all the way” must be sustained indefinitely to be successful. There are plenty of strategies that work with each method, but before we get into those, here’s the difference between the two.
Keep in mind, there’s really no in between.
The Easy Road
This isn’t the “stick your head in the sand approach”. Let’s assume that you wouldn’t be reading this article if your goal is to pretend that social media doesn’t exist, that it’s a fad, or that your business cannot benefit from being on it.
The easy road is one that is only targeting interested parties. It isn’t about aggressively going after new fans. It isn’t about using Facebook advertising. It isn’t about playing the algorithm game or going for additional reach for your message. The easy road is only targeting those people who will find your Facebook page through search or through your website. This isn’t about getting into users’ news feeds.
This path takes very little time. While I would never suggest using automation such as RSS feed posts, it’s just a notch above that. With this strategy, the goal is to make sure you’re presenting a strong presence for those who find your page. It means posting text, images, links, and videos on a regular basis. Once a day is plenty but a business on this path can easily get away with a couple of posts a week.
This takes very little time and effort. Use Post Planner, Buffer, Facebook’s native scheduling tool, or any tool with a queue feature and make sure it’s loaded up. That’s it. Put a week’s worth of posts in every week, schedule the replenishing tasks once a week, and let your presence become a good representation of your business for those who proactively seek your page.
There are plenty of advantages to this style. It takes much, much less time. It requires fewer touches of your social accounts. Your posts can be easily scheduled and as long as you’re monitoring via email or alerts for inbound contacts, this method is almost foolproof.
Again, it’s important to remember that you will not be getting into news feeds. Very few people will see your posts, but those who do see them will not be disappointed by seeing and abandoned page or one that is RSS automated.
The Hard Road
The other option is to commit. It’s that simple. If you’re wanting to use facebook as a true advertising and marketing platform, you will want to be extremely active. You’ll need to learn about and keep up with the algorithm, touch your account daily (possibly multiple times per day depending on your reach), and craft content perfectly.
This is the path that most want to take because it’s aggressive. It is the way to get real exposure through Facebook, to get into news feeds and to get your message in front of as many people as possible. The key point is to understand that social media doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t take weekends off, and it knows when you’ve been away for an extended period of time.
It also requires an investment. Any expert that says Facebook can be effective in an aggressive strategy that does not include a Facebook advertising spend is trying to sell something to a potential client. It cannot be done unless you’re an A-list celebrity or a major brand. Local businesses, smaller brands, and just about any entity that is not a household name within their market cannot achieve maximum success on Facebook without spending on ads. I’d happily debate that with anyone who says something to the contrary.
The hard road requires constant monitoring and interaction. If someone comments on a post, it’s imperative that there’s a very quick response. The next day often won’t cut it. You can get more engagement when people are replied to while they’re still online and the comment is fresh to them. It’s also the quickest way to get your posts to spread quickly. When a long conversation thread can be sustained, those involved will help your post become visible on others’ feeds, they’ll tag people that they want to join the conversation, and suddenly the post has the ability to get real traction.
Most of these things are obvious to those who have been doing it for a while, but one thing that so many are missing is that you can never waste a post. There is too much algorithmic damage that can be done with bad posts. They all have to count – every single one of them. They all need a purpose whether it’s creatively delivering a business-oriented message or just posting high-quality content that can be universally liked to boost your algorithmic authority.
One can still use tools and plan out posts, but it’s important to not let them make you lazy. Just because you’re scheduling posts ahead of time doesn’t mean that you can let it sit dormant or that you can stop paying attention for a little while.
This isn’t intended to scare people. It definitely doesn’t mean that you have to live on Facebook to be successful. It’s just necessary to make the commitment to spend enough time, energy, and money to make your Facebook presence strong and to aggressively pursue greater reach. It’s not a matter of fans. The truth is that fans are a very small part of an aggressive strategy. The hard road takes you down a path where reach is 99% of the goal. The more people you can get to see your message and to communicate with you, the more success you can have.
To reach this success, you have to be willing to go all in. There is no gray area. There’s no middle ground. A halfway aggressive approach is not half as successful as the aggressive approach. It’s barely more successful than taking the safe road, which is why most businesses should opt for that path.
It’s all or nothing. Which is best for you?