Small Business Loses Money and Gives Up on Facebook

by / Friday, 01 June 2012 / Published in News
Written by  on May 23, 2012 in FacebookInternet MarketingSocial Media

Imagine you spent hundreds of dollars on Facebook advertising and it resulted in only two more visitors to your website.
Does this sound familiar? It is not uncommon, especially for Peter Faulkner, chairman and owner of the small family business, Faulkner packaging.

Faulkner Packaging is a family business in the B2B industrial sector. It has been around since 1860 and passed down through generations.

Peter’s business was hit hard by the recession so he decided to start ramping up his online presence and sell his products online to reach a new set of customers. Though he knew nothing about online marketing he figured he would take the advice of the millions of people touting Facebook’s benefits and give it a try.

At nearly 60 years old, he claims he is not technologically savvy, but he jumped in anyways in response to the social media hoopla.

Peter journaled his progress while he developed his company’s online presence. He was thankful that setting up a Facebook page was not that difficult and he was up and running within days.

Here is how Peter described what happened to him:

 “I could not secure the Facebook page with the brand name until I had secured 30 likes. I sent around emails with links to the pages to my children, younger staff members and anyone else I could think of, asking them to ‘like’ my new pages. I got my likes for both and was able to secure the Facebook addresses.

Once my helpers stopped liking, I had expected the viral phenomenon of Facebook to generate more and more likes as the contagion of their likes spread to their friends and colleagues via their own Facebook pages.”

Much to Peter’s surprise he received no new likes and nothing happened.

I can hear my readers chomping at the bit with this one—but keep reading…

Peter decided to pay for Facebook ads and saw his “likes” increase, but after looking at his analytics, he realizedonly two of those fans actually clicked to visit his website.

Shutting Down the Facebook Campaign

What did he do in response? He gave up! He feels Facebook and its ads are a waste of time. But is that the consensus for every company?

General Motors seems to think so. The automaker recently pulled $10 million from its Facebook marketing budget. We don’t know if it was the failure of the campaign or a re-allocation of funds.

Does this spell the end to Facebook marketing strategies? I hardly think so.

What do you think Peter’s problem was? Was it Facebook in general or something he was doing wrong?

Here are my thoughts. I would also love to hear yours in the comments below.

Traditional vs. Inbound Marketing

Traditional marketers like Peter may have a hard time understanding the principles of inbound marketing vs. the quick return of traditional in-your-face advertising techniques. The two strategies are completely different and produce entirely separate outcomes.

Traditional marketing or outbound marketing involves banner ads, print ads, cold calling, junk mail, TV advertising, etc. These methods are more in-your-face and their publishers expect quick returns. Outbound marketing techniques still work especially for the large companies with multi-million and billion dollar advertising budgets. Yes, they are intrusive but they usually do the job if executed correctly.

Even though outbound marketing techniques are still alive and well, inbound marketing is becoming increasingly more important as business reputation and engagement is crucial to the modern consumer and their shopping habits.

Inbound marketers get found by their customers instead of jamming their business in customers’ faces. They build company cultures of trust and develop long-lasting relationships. They become so attractive that customers/prospects arrive at their OWN decision to work with them without being coerced.

Social media marketing is an inbound marketing technique. If you are a traditional marketer, much like good ol’ Peter, you will expect instant results, which does not happen in social media. Peter expected his Facebook page to explode with “Likes” once he published his page.

How long does it take to build a loyal following on Facebook? I will let you answer that question. We all know it doesn’t happen in a matter of days!

Looking Sexy on Facebook

Do you think Peter’s packaging company can look sexy on Facebook and attract leads? Possibly, but it’s not exactly the quintessential Facebook success story. After all, how sexy are boxes, bubble wrap, bags and tape?

B2B marketers can be successful on Facebook, especially if they are targeting the small business owner. But, I believe some B2B businesses may be better suited for sites such as LinkedIn. Although with Peter’s traditional marketing mindset, he probably won’t give the site enough time to see any return on investment.

Bottom line: If your customers are not on Facebook, you won’t find success there.

Peter concluded his article by saying he was sticking with the results he is getting from Google PPC. After reading an article entitled, “Google is the Internet”, Peter decided he would stay with the search engine indefinitely. Ninety-two percent of his traffic comes from his Adwords campaign so why fix what isn’t broken?

For Peter, that may be the best course of action. But for others, Facebook has become a solid marketing strategy to help them attract leads and build a great reputation online.

Are your customers/prospects/clients on Facebook?
Are you ready to dedicate time and resources to building a long-term reputation on Facebook?

If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, Facebook can bring you the quality leads you want and help you to grow your business.

Do you think Peter should have stayed on Facebook for the long haul? Are your website customers/clients on Facebook?