Facebook is cleverly geared to encourage you to easily spend your limited marketing tools to reach potential customers. Not all retailers though have the budget to utilise this effective tools though (yes overall, they work, further disclaimer on this to follow!).
For the growing market of the ‘at home’ business model – the direct sales, small work from home model that is seeing rapid growth in difficult retail market, there are other ways to increase your reach for less spend.
The solution is to utilise local targeted groups in your catchement or target market. Another thing Facebook has proliferated is the creation of POF, BSS, special interest and support groups as well as and local area groups. There is a high likelihood that many of these would contain a significant number of potential clients – given geographic purchasing convenience or comparable interests to the items you sell.
Use these to your advantage – each group has its own rules, abide by these (and please do not – SPAM is not a great reflection on your business) and see your reach expand without the budget of formalised Facebook advertising.
Keep in mind that your posts to these groups should present your image in a professional manner, a well presented graphic will get more views and more likely to be treated as legitimate business activity than poor spelling and bad imagery will.
Returning to Facebook advertising (the kind you pay them for) and its effectiveness. If your budget allows, Facebook advertising will increase the exposure of your content and brand vastly. If you have a broad target market, this could be a very effective tool for you and be worth investing the marketing dollars. One caution though, broad exposure does not suit all retailers.
Many companies have a limited and specific demographic – more specific than males 25-35 say, more like CEO’s of a particular market segment (a specific one). Facebook marketing may well miss the mark here, and group posting’s be more appropriate.
Why? Facebook Algorithm’s miss the mark frequently – befuddled by unexpected browsing habits of unexpected people – not potential customers, just curious people doing a Dr Google on life in general. Many of these land themselves unexpectedly upon your add by their random search habits, rather than their position, interests or needs.
Much of their ‘targeted’ exposure is money down the drain – if you throw a can of paint – some of its going to hit the right spot right? If you need to reach a more specific demographic, marketing to groups is worth your time.