The Facebook Paralysis Phenomenon

Almost every one of you reading this has experienced this if you actively work or have worked Facebook social marketing.

In the beginning it was SO easy to grow your business page. Your competition, if they had a page, wasn’t communicating but you studied what worked and POW! You had thousands of fans click the page Like button every week.

You saw what generated conversion and maybe a little controversy and you fueled that fire and watched it grow. You would aggregate content from other sources, share it, and your fans saw you as a source for topics and news they were interested in.

You’d use one of the Facebook app services and conduct contests and sweepstakes and people would sign up by the droves to win things. You’d go to company meetings showing your page fan growth and email opt-in count and you were a social guru.

Then something happened to the Facebook platform that changed everything.

User newsfeeds were getting inundated with company posts. So much so that people were complaining heavily. Facebook went through several years of Edgerank adjustments experimenting until we’re where we are today.

Remember all those sweepstakes you conducted that made you look like a star in your marketing meetings? If you targeted the entire world or places where you had no sales channel, your reach is now really bad because you have a big pool of people that just clicked the Like button along with a smaller subset that likes or wants your products. Sure folks that interact with your posts will get more of your posts but many are readers – they read your posts – they just don’t take action on your content.

So what happened? Many small (and some not so small) businesses stopped actively working Facebook marketing. They thought, “it was free and now it’s not so I am done.” They would keep posting company news but that is where their level of involvement stopped. And that is a darn shame because these companies spent years investing in a social platform only to become ambivalent because they have to budget for Facebook marketing now.

Yes, it’s a pay-to-play environment now. But it’s cheap if you know what you are doing. And yes, it can take years to build a loyal customer base out of your fans, but again, it’s cheap if you know what you are doing.

“The biggest mistake I see is people want it all at the same time. Are you trying to grow a fan base from scratch and generate website clicks? Sorry it doesn’t work that way. One objective at a time please.”

This year’s Social Media Examiner report polled 5,000 marketers and 92% want to know what social tactics work the best. 86% want to know how to measure their return. 90% said social media is important to their business.

Only 41% agreed they are able to measure their social activities. Only 46% feel their Facebook efforts are working, however most don’t know or indicated their Facebook marketing is not working. 39% are uncertain if their Facebook traffic has decreased this year.

So… if you say it’s important but you don’t even know what your site traffic looks like from Facebook, something is wrong here, right? Here is a stat that may shed light on some complacency: 40% agreed that social marketing has become more difficult in the last 12 months.

I know it’s not easy. In the early days you just put up a page and fired away. Today there are many components to achieving good results with Facebook and of course it is constantly changes.

So get passionate. Get emotional. Get back in the game! Get people excited to join your cause or share your thoughts or experience something great. And do it now. “Next year” is almost here.

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