April 23, 2018

Major shift in consumer behaviour

Facebook page no longer enough; businesses need strong websites

Marketing expert Tricia Dey Twomey.

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As soon as people start to promote their business all the time consumers tune out of Facebook.”
— Tricia Dey Twomey

By Lisa Joy
Blackfalds LIFE

There has been a major shift in consumer spending habits, according to consultants specializing in buying behaviour and sales strategies.
Tricia Dey Twomey and Ranchelle Van Bryce, keynote speakers at a Blackfalds and District Chamber of Commerce Meet and Greet Friday, March 3, shared their marketing expertise with the approximate 30 in attendance.
“Three years ago it was enough to have a Facebook presence or if you were on Linked-in, but one of the major shifts we have seen in the last six months is if you don’t actually have a website people are less likely to make a purchasing decision and work with your business,” said Van Bryce.
Facebook was created as a social media platform and never intended to sell products or services.
“As soon as people start to promote their business all the time consumers tune out of Facebook because that’s not what they are there for,” said Dey Twomey in a phone interview Monday. “They didn’t join up and say ‘please market to me.’”
Dey Twomey added that Facebook limits the amount of business posts that any one person sees in their timeline.
“When you hear that only 10 per cent of the people who have liked you are going to see your posts that’s why, because it’s not Facebook’s job to make businesses happy, it’s their job to make consumers happy.”
“When people start in business I hear business owners say all the time that they get quite frustrated people aren’t seeing their business posts on Facebook. That’s not going to happen. They are not interested in helping you do that. It’s a social media platform.
“It’s like going to a networking event and walking in saying ‘buyers, stop buyers, stop buyers.’ We find that businesses that only have a Facebook page are in danger of doing that. Just like you don’t want to do that in real life you shouldn’t do it online.
When Facebook started there was a perception that it was free advertising.
“People started just yelling their message and people started to leave Facebook when the algorithm change came in,” said Dey Twomey.
Facebook can help generate leads but businesses shouldn’t use it to say “buy this buy that,” added Dey Twomey.
“The purpose of Facebook is to entice people to check you out on your website,” said Van Bryce in an email Monday. “Facebook, by nature is a social platform and not a sales platform. Your business objective for a Facebook page is to tell the story of your brand and your business.
“There is a misconception that a business owner should use their Facebook business page to promote their products and services. In fact, you should inspire, educate and entertain Facebook users and direct them to your website to get more information on your products and services,” said Van Bryce.
Business owners have more control over a website than of a Facebook page.
“Your website is a place where you have full brand control and are able to present your product and services for consumers to make a purchasing decision,” said Van Bryce.
Lacombe radio personality Darcy Stingel was the MC for the event and also gave marketing tips at the Meet and Greet March 3, zeroing in on quality versus quantity.
“It’s natural to use social media as a measuring stick, if you have 100 likes or 100,000 likes you should focus on what you do and what you do best and that’s it. Don’t worry about getting more likes.
“Too often we focus on the quantity, and quality will trump quantity all the time. I would rather have one person spend $100 than the top 10 who spend $10.”
Likes on a Facebook page doesn’t mean revenue either.
“If you have an audience in social media don’t confuse that with your customers,” said Stingel. “It’s easy to say ‘Oh we have a post that went viral, 5,000 people saw it.’ Well my aunt in Iowa shared it so 4,000 of those 5,000 are in Iowa and have no way to get to my salon and use my haircut coupon.”
In fact, traditional advertising still works, Van Bryce told those attending.
“Advertising actually still works. The way you advertise needs to adjust. Your advertising needs to be less about you as a business owner of a business and more about the person that you are trying to direct to you. If you want someone to come into your physical space, you want them to call you, you really need to tie in what is their reason for calling you and it can’t just be ‘we have a sale.’ It’s not just about the promotion.”
Businesses need to have a balance of online and traditional marketing.
“If you combine traditional advertising with online you can increase sales by 132 per cent,” said Van Bryce.
– lisa.joy@blackfaldslife.com

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Blackfalds Living covers Blackfalds and area and is published every Thursday and distributed free to homes in Blackfalds through Canada Post and is available free on the newsstand in Blackfalds, Lacombe and Red Deer reaching about 59,000 readers weekly in print and online. For advertising rates email marketing@blackfaldslife.com

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