Yesterday, someone pointed out that one of my pages is rapidly losing likers. My response? “Yep, I know right! Isn’t it great?”
What? Sorry what?
[tweetherder]What an earth would possess a content marketing strategist to actively lose likers?[/tweetherder] I mean, isn’t the goal to gain more likers?
Well, that depends. If your likers are engaging and interacting with you, and they are pre-qualified prospects, then you want them to stick around. However, if they are just spamming your page wall constantly, or they aren’t engaging at all, then why would you want them to stay? Let them go and focus on the people who you can help the most.
The Rise and Fall of a Facebook Page– a Brief History
My Page, Support a WAHP (Support a Work at Home Parent/Person), has evolved into something completely different from where it started and in just a few days time, its name will change forever to Your Brilliant Un-Career (The name of my new website and book for women entrepreneurs). Facebook just approved my Page rebrand.
When the Page first started it was a haven for micro businesses to post about their sales, offers and Pages, and they gained a lot of value by participating in regular competitions and promotions hosted on my Page. I took over the business Support a WAHP in March 2011 after the founder decided to sell, and I grew the page from 7000 organic likers to nearly 13,000 organic likers this year (meaning none of the likes were purchased).
The previous founder had a young family and there was promise of passive income. Hahahahaha! That passive income turned out to be not so passive after all, because I worked day and night to keep that Page and the associated blog up-to-date and engaging. I even instigated an International WAHP Week and an International WAHP Awards program.
I created free e-magazines that took me hours to design, ran an advertising program that brought in a few thousand a year and allowed people to spam my Page wall to promote their businesses. I also ran a fledgling membership program where I shared business building and marketing tips with participants, and wrote an ebook that sold, maybe a 100 copies. All the while, I felt completely burned out and undervalued. It hardly seemed worth it to work so hard for so little reward.
My Wake Up Call
There comes a point in time when you realise you can’t afford to spend the resources and time on a project that isn’t producing results. In 2012, I had a wake up call. I realised that advertising was ineffective within the social space when approached like a 1950s aluminium sales rep. That whole approach had never resonated for me anyway, because, with a PR background, I always looked for free publicity.
To this day I have never paid for a mainstream ad…. ever! I had been trying to tell people how that worked, but it seemed nobody was listening. All folks wanted to do was self-promote or join “liking” parties… At at the same time I could see so many were still stuck, working like slaves in time-bound business models for very little income.
When Facebook Pages changed to the timeline format, engagement began to drop and it was less appealing for people to advertise on my Page wall anyway.
After working with a business coach, I developed some new training programs and that lead to the birth of Content Marketing Cardiology in late 2012. I started a new Page in my own name and that Page now has just fewer than 800 likers. Yet, I’ve made 5 times the income from this Page, annually.
Why You Need Your Right People On Your Facebook Page
[tweetherder]So, how is it a Page with nearly 13K fans converts fewer people than a Page with less than 800 fans?[/tweetherder] It all boils down to whether or not they are the right people for you.
The Support a WAHP Page has definitely driven business my way over the long-term, and some of my best clients are people I met through that Page, but some people who engaged with Support a WAHP’s Facebook Page were simply looking for free advertising and nothing else. Thus, when the advertising opportunities disappeared, so did the engagement.
I thought about shutting down the page, but I also knew that there were many who had converted across to my email newsletter who valued and needed my help, and insights. So, after talking with mentors and colleagues, and thinking it over, I decided not to start from scratch but to rewire the Page so that it was a. more likely to attract the right people in the future and b. more able to help the right people in the future. That’s why it doesn’t bother me that people are dropping away… they were never my right people to begin with.
The other hidden factor is the high turn-over rate amongst the work at home set. Working from home, when not driven by a passion or a scaleable business model, often results in people heading back to the regular workforce once kids are in school. It’s silly to try and hang on to people who have moved on in the cycle of life. However, with the Page rebrand, my hope is that I can entice some people back to the entrepreneurial life, people who maybe still want to be corporate escapees but who lost their way… it’s my evil plan (insert wicked laugh here).
If you ever plan to rebrand a page, you can’t just change the name and logo and expect everyone to like it. People generally don’t like change, as we have witnessed every time Facebook updates anything.
[tweetherder]Your followers and fans need to be nurtured through change.[/tweetherder] You will lose people, as I have, but you will also gain new people who will love what you do.
I am currently in the process of re-engaging with this Page’s following and it’s been an enlightening process to say the least. Once the rebrand is finished, I will share a “how to rebrand your business in a social age” post to share my insights, but today I just wanted to focus on the letting go and rebuilding aspect.
If your Facebook Page is not working for you…
If you aren’t getting the engagement you want on your Facebook Page, it may help to redefine who it is you want to reach and why. I spend a lot of time working on buyer personas or customer avatars with my clients and the reason we do this is to make sure we can get inside consumers’ heads, make sure we’re communicating appropriately with the right people and listening to their questions and needs.
Businesses rebrand all the time. It’s part of the evolutionary process in business building and it’s healthy. That Facebook makes rebranding difficult is a bit archaic, however, if you need to change direction, take control and do it. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time trying to reach people who really could give a rats about what you offer to the world.
[tweetherder]Don’t be afraid to lose people. They were never yours to begin with.[/tweetherder]