Why Facebook Marketing Is So Freaking Hard For Small Businesses

vincesuccessyellowI think Facebook is the most amazing marketing platform in history.

Google is pretty good too. And better for getting the low hanging fruit… sales in the door. But Google doesn’t work for everything and is too expensive for a lot of things.

You may have already read my post on the Moz blog “Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads” – it got around the Internet quite a bit.

The essence of that argument was – $1 will help you reach 4,000 people.

Any business can be helped by that kind of exposure.

And if you don’t have $1/day to spend on it, you shouldn’t be in business.

Recently I was looking at a post Facebook has “promoted” (are they really charging themselves money?) with their Facebook For Business page… and it has a lot of comments from naysayers about ads.

I thought it was a little bit ironic- because some Facebook pages would delete or hide comments like that- either they’re not monitoring the comments, or they are tolerating them while trying to continue to educate.

A lot of people are still very unhappy that they spent money to grow fan bases and now need to boost their posts to reach them. 

I can’t completely agree with those people, because we warned people this was an issue back in June of 2011.

This isn’t news. Not even remotely.

You’re way behind the times.

businesscatstaylateBut it’s a sign of a much larger problem in digital marketing: most businesses, especially small businesses, are at least two years behind the times.

In the old days (the 1990’s), it was ok to be 3-5 years behind.

But online, two years is like 20 years.

The real problem with Facebook marketing is that it’s too complicated for the average business to do well.

Maybe that will change.

Maybe small businesses will get better at understanding their fans. And using analytics. And testing tons of ads.

This is nothing new either. Small businesses struggled for a decade to get profits out of Google AdWords. Not because it was impossible. Because it was hard. And complicated.

Google ads are complicated, and have gotten more so.

Facebook ads are three times as complicated as Google ads.

Because there are some serious paradigm shifts required. I don’t even feel like I can list them in brief here. That’s how complicated.

Everything in The Like Economy is still good strategy. Read it to learn how to profit with Facebook.

But if you’re a small business, I would be very cautious at spending MORE than $1/day on Facebook ads. 

marilynfailsmBe prepared to spend an hour or two every other day on Facebook ads if you want to do them well.

Yes, even for a small account.

Because so much stuff doesn’t work, and you have to keep checking back.

That’s the reality.

It’s a shame there aren’t better answers for small businesses. You have the advantage of agility, but you need to be able to conquer tech learning curves, too.

Depressing, isn’t it?

The only thing I can think of is a weekly Q&A video hangout for small businesses– if you’re interested in paying for something like that, use the contact form to reach out to me. If we get enough interest, I’ll put it together!