I’ve been involved in social media long enough to notice something – not all brands from Trinidad should be on Facebook. Most people are just doing it wrong. They have a lot of likes, but little interaction, and that is the part where they are falling short. Social media is supposed to be social, not a page with 2000+ likes and a timeline full of business-only updates and not a like or comment on the updates. Now, there are other pages who do it wrong on the other end of the scale – a timeline full of social posts and nothing to do with the actual brand. The trick is finding that sweet spot between business and professional social fun. You’re supposed to interact with people on Facebook, like you would in a real business networking setting. So normally, you would usually get to know someone a little before you tell them about this new product you’ve just launched. Or you’ll just bring it up, like “Hey, have you seen that Company X just launched Product Y? What do you think of it?” Think about that; it makes sense, doesn’t it.
Understand your Market!
First of all, you need to understand the local market you’re about to dive into on Facebook, if you’re not already there. Trinis on Facebook are mainly interested in drama/gossip and funny photos. There are the few who like the ‘feel good’ updates, like a quote or something inspirational, but that is a very small market. Trinis on Facebook are also mainly interested in “free ting”. They will join your page only if they can get something, and even then, they might not even be interested in whatever you’re giving them (for free). You cannot take an international Facebook/Social Media model and apply it to people who aren’t looking for business and sales via social media, it just won’t work. So, if you’re a business which fits the shoe of the masses of Trinis on Facebook, then you’re in luck, and the rest of us, well, we need to get creative and re-evaluate our methods.
What do you want?
What do you want out of social media? Brand awareness, increase in sales, higher circulation of promotions? Establishing what you want from your Facebook page will help you develop it and save a lot of money, and if you don’t, you’ll be “spinning top in mud.” Most people expect their sales to increase as soon as you get some likes on your page. It does not work like that, and more so in Trinidad and Tobago. You need to understand the market you’re dealing with, and then find a way to market to them. Now, if you’re looking for brand awareness, just to let people know more about what you offer and how they can contact you or purchase a product or service if and when they are interested, then it can work for you. If you’re selling casual and party clothing with very high-heel shoes, then it will work well. But if you’re trying to sell a consulting service, or a product for businesses only, it might not be a good fit. To determine whether or not your business is a good fit, a professional can always be called in for an evaluation.
You better have deep pockets.
When Facebook went public, it also got expensive. If you want to grow your community, you need to place ads to build your community. And something many people have experienced with Facebook pages is that only 1-5% of your community actually see your posts naturally (or organically, as they refer to it) so then you have to PAY for the people who you had already paid for to like your page to now see a post you just promoted or boosted. This can get a bit expensive if you’re running a heavy promotion. Again, I would call in a professional to evaluate this and develop a social media plan based on your business’s exact needs.
So, who does well on Facebook?
In terms of a trini market, funny photos and political pages get the bulk of the traffic. I’ve seen many event planners complain about the massive response they got to an event on Facebook and they didn’t get that kind of response at the actual event. However, I’ve also seen fashion pages do really well with Facebook. So it really depends on if you’re in a mass market and if you appeal to these people.
Take a look around, look at the interaction on different pages, see what they all do and compare them all. Be more observant. And if you’re really serious, call in a professional for an evaluation and possibly even a social media plan.
If you have any questions, comments or need advice, I’m always open. Email me at [email protected]