If your entire strategy for building a customer marketing database is to beg and plead for people to follow your Facebook page – an all too common marketing mistake these days, then you shouldn’t be surprised when someone like me comes along and completely obliterates your sales numbers and customer reach!

Social media is one tool in your toolbox. It shouldn’t be your toolbox.

You’ve heard the old adage “never put all of your eggs in one basket.” In this case, it’s more like “never put all of your energy into something you have no control over.”

Facebook, more than any other social network, is easily the best example of who you shouldn’t be driving your existing customers to as the primary way stay in touch with your business.

Setting aside the very real possibility that your page could be deleted or hacked at any given time (aka: say goodbye to your entire “database”), Facebook doesn’t even show your posts to everyone who follows you!

This means if you’ve worked your butt off to get 100 actual customers and supporters to follow your new “WeLike2Party” Facebook page, it’s very likely that only a handful of them will even see your post about your upcoming customer appreciation event.

While Facebook will happily let you pay for more of them to see your posts (“boost this post”), this problem could have been solved by you controlling your own customer mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers in the first place.

Those are the basic pieces of contact information that you should always be collecting.

And this brings up the next important point: always diversify your marketing. 

Relying on any single form of traffic or marketing is just plain dangerous. I learned this one the hard way. Readers of SS may recall that we ended up just trashing a 7 figure project because Facebook’s 2014 change to their outgoing post algorithm dealt us a fatal deathblow.

It isn’t just Facebook.

Google is continually changing their search algorithms. Their latest update, Penguin, was devastating to the organic traffic numbers of anyone who had hyper-optimized their websites through “grey hat” SEO techniques. One day their business was based on getting 1,000 visits a day, the next organic traffic wouldn’t get passed 200 visits per day. That’s terrible for business.

Instagram is chock full of people who’s entire business is based on their @lookatme account. That’s it. Their websites — if they even have one, aren’t properly developed. They have no hard database of followers. If they’ve managed to transition into an actual e-commerce website, most of them are still relying on their bajillion Instagram followers for 98% of their marketing.

I suppose we can all just sit back and wait for the crying duck-faced selfie that comes when they wake up to find that Instagram changed something significant to their posting and impression count procedures. #ohshit. #betterfindajob.

I could go on for days about different ways to diversify your marketing (it’s a complicated topic), but for an example of how you should be thinking about this, let’s stick with that customer appreciation event that you’re promoting for WeLike2Party.


 

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Most people now-a-days will set up an event on Facebook, invite a bunch of people from their friends list (who probably won’t even check the invite), toss up an Instagram post, crack open a beer and then consider their job done.

That’s not how it works. 

If you actually want people to show up, then you need to be hitting them multiple times, from more than one angle, through a variety of promotional outlets. Call them, text them, mail them a paper invite and then e-mail them confirmations the day of the event. Have your event flyer plastered in as many (digital or physical) locations as possible. Offer to pick them up and drive them there if you have to!

Do whatever it takes to make your event a success!

This same approach should be used in anything that you’re marketing.  Should you be promoting your business on Facebook and Instagram? Of course. But you shouldn’t only be promoting your business on social media.

And you sure as @#$% shouldn’t have that as your primary customer database. – JC