With the recent Facebook announcement that business pages will virtually see almost no organic reach and new reports saying that Facebook has stopped growing for the first time ever, it begs the question, “are Facebook ads really the way to go?” Or, “is it now time to think more seriously about other channels such as LinkedIn or even Twitter?”
It’s a good question. So, let’s look at some of the facts more closely.
It’s still the largest social media channel
First of all, as a marketer, I’m not biased towards any one channel. Quite frankly, I don’t care what social media platforms ‘wins’ or ‘dies’. All I care about is “What are the social media channels your potential clients are using?”, “Can we advertise on these channels?” and “How effective is it?”
At the end of the day, as accountancy firm owners, it doesn’t matter what social media channel ‘wins’. You need to go wherever your prospects are… whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or something else.
Right now, even if Facebook has stopped growing, in terms of size and active users, it’s still the largest social media channel and it’s miles ahead of anyone else.
This means there’s a very high chance your potential clients are using it too.
We’ve even found this to be true in the private Facebook group we set up for our free Marketing Masterclass for accountants. Having tried Slack and several other forum options, we found that Facebook gets the most interaction, the most engagement, the most conversations. People (like you) are still using it.
When you remember that Facebook also owns Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger AND Instagram, it really puts into perspective how much “online real estate” Facebook has compared to the rest.
Facebook is a strong company and they’re going to do whatever it takes to survive. If growth looks slow for the Facebook platform, don’t forget about other platforms they own like Instagram which are still growing rapidly each day.
How can you best leverage Facebook now and in the future?
There are two things you can do. First, play by Facebook’s rules. Second, plan for the unexpected.
Playing by Facebook’s rules means doing what works best on Facebook.
Right now that includes things like:
- uploading videos on Facebook
- creating helpful content that answers the questions that your target audience has
- building communities on Facebook groups
- having conversations with your prospects by leveraging tools like Facebook Messenger, and
- using Facebook ads
Planning for the unexpected means protecting yourself. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
If you’re using Facebook to generate leads, for example, make sure you also bring that audience and those leads onto another channel (such as email). Growing your email list (which is an asset you will always own and control), is one of the easiest and best ways to protect yourself from channels you don’t have full control over.
Building your email list and moving your audience/leads onto other channels is something I recommend you always do, regardless of what social media channels you end up using.
What about LinkedIn, Twitter and the rest?
Just because Facebook is the largest social media channel doesn’t always mean it’s the best for your specific accountancy firm. Like I said earlier, you need to go where your potential clients go.
In a future article, I’ll go through how you can research what social media channel your potential clients are most likely to be on. For now, if you’re not sure, just ask me and I’ll help you out.
In the meantime, remember, Facebook is still a powerful player in the social media world.
If your prospects are using Facebook, you play by their rules and you protect yourself for the future, you’ll be able to get some amazing results both now and in the years to come.
For more Facebook and social media tips, check out the free videos I recorded on “The 5 critical elements of social media” for accountancy firms.
About the Author
Ashley Davis is the Social Media Director at The Profitable Firm and also works with small to medium sized businesses at Skyline Social.