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Can anyone still get real scale with Facebook not spending money? If it's not dead, what types of businesses does it still work for?  You don't need to share how you're doing it, just curious if people should even still be trying to tap Facebook for free customer acquisition.

  • MC

    Massimo Chieruzzi

    over 2 years ago #

    Tough question Sean. I would not say it's dead but for sure it became damn hard to acquire customers for free from Facebook.

    I may be biased being a Facebook Marketing Partner but I tend to agree with Facebook's strategy. While, of course, this generates more revenues on the adv business, I think, most of all, it's a User Experience problem. Facebook main goal right now is not to extort adv revenue from users. It's to avoid becoming the next Myspace. Myspace did little to avoid the huge amount of spam that took it by storm. And we all know how it played out.

    For B2C businesses you can still acquire free customers but publishing "Buy our product" posts is no longer enough. You need to have a great Social Media Manager that focus on engagement first. You need to have a great Content Marketing strategy where Facebook is an amplification channel and you have a clear path to move visitors along the funnel.

    Is it still worth the hassle? Hard to say. I guess for those who can plan this kind of strategy and have a good product fit it's still very effective. For others it's probably no longer a good marketing channel. Like SEO has become harder as competition grew, the same is happening to the newsfeed. As simple as that.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 2 years ago #

      Awesome answer @massimo ! Agree that FB is doing the right thing for users of FB to improve their experience. And agree that you have to "earn" free traffic on FB with great content. Still, the "pay to boost" says FB is willing to sacrifice user experience for a price :)

      • EB

        Elena Benito

        over 2 years ago #

        I think that "great content" isn't enough. Producing great content when it's not evenly distributed is like the "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" kind of situation. I keep repeating that as a mantra, in workshops, lectures, posts and meetings with clients, but we know that isn't true anymore. Many people are sticking to facebook groups because organic reach is better, the problem is that facebook groups don't usually work well with some B2C sectors.

      • ER

        Erik Rivera

        over 2 years ago #

        I agree with @massimo; We look at it as "content market fit". Creating messaging and content that resonates with your audience + paid advertising is recipe for super low CPCs.

        Not free but close to it in many instances.

    • JQ

      Jason Quey

      over 2 years ago #

      I believe the best opportunity for free customers is with Facebook groups. I've only recently started to use them effectively, so I'll share a story from another marketing friend, Peter.

      Peter runs a gaming tournament and forum community. He finds groups with similar intetests, joins them, and posts. We works to build relationships with fb group admins to join his staff. After they do so and use his tournament system, he looks to get them to add hi name/logo to their site.

      When he did this about a week ago, he almost 4x his traffic: http://prntscr.com/68nboo. Yes, it is small so getting that result is easier, but it's also a fairly targeted group too.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 2 years ago #

      I think that everyone can probably agree that the days of building massively popular startups on the back of facebook without spending money on advertising is probably finished forever. I mean companies like Zynga, RockYou, Slide and Upworthy. I haven't heard of any really interesting new companies emerging on the back of Facebook in a couple years.

      • SE

        Sean Ellis

        over 2 years ago #

        Tinder may actually point to the future of how to leverage Facebook to build customers. Facebook today may be more about leveraging easy signup, pictures and data for effective customer onboarding. It can add lots of value to a product without necessarily helping much with distribution (at least not free distribution).

      • ZV

        Zoran Vitez

        over 2 years ago #

        Didn't Instagram rely on facebook initially before building the community there?

    • GR

      Gabriel Reynard

      over 2 years ago #

      Great response!

    • FI

      five in 7

      over 2 years ago #

      I have been using Facebook Ads promoting products over the last several months, I have gotten almost zero conversions using the typical ad testing, keyword and demographic analysis that Facebook provides. The other way is to use targeted groups that are based on product your selling. With using groups I sold lots of products, which tell me that Facebook is just taking my money and throwing it in the wind, I am using the same demographic/keyword in ad spend as I am in groups , so why should I but Facebook Ads when they do not covert, until Facebook shows my ads to people that are in my niche like groups its a waste of time. Until two days ago I was restricted from groups by Facebook for posting my content, so beware Facebook is starting to crack down on groups too... and no I was not posting to groups 20 time a day, I believe its true what someone Sean said Facebook is going the SEO model where the one that pays the most gets the traffic, while your Ads are shown to someone in a cave in Syria

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 2 years ago #

    Yes, IMO Facebook is dead for those in my industry (education) and because of that, we've avoided using Facebook for spending or any acquisition purposes

    We've only used Facebook to maintain an active public image for those who happen to come our profile.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 2 years ago #

      Thanks @loganstoneman !

      • AP

        Andre Pinantoan

        over 2 years ago #

        I used to work a higher education company in Australia (this was about 1.5 years ago). Trust me when I say that Facebook is not dead. Far from it. It's one of the company's main acquisition channel - both Facebook ads and organic.

        • LM

          Leonardo Miron

          over 2 years ago #

          What kind of higher education company, could you tell me more about it?

        • MH

          Mark H

          over 2 years ago #

          Wouldn't you say it was not dead - 1.5 years ago? I mean, a lot has changed in the 1.5 years since you worked there to see that Facebook was a huge driver for them.

          • AP

            Andre Pinantoan

            over 2 years ago #

            The company is Open Colleges. It's still not dead - I know because I still consult with them and if anything, they are spending more on Facebook today than they did when I was there.

            • MH

              Mark H

              over 2 years ago #

              Ah. Makes sense considering organic is pretty much non-existent. So now they spend more to make up for it.

              • AP

                Andre Pinantoan

                over 2 years ago #

                I probably didn't make it clear, but they spend more not because organic is decreasing. They spend more because it works. If you can spend $1 to get $2, wouldn't you?

                If anything, Facebook organic is increasing.

                But because they spend so much money on Facebook ads, it's difficult to tell if they will get the same organic performance without it.

        • SE

          Santiago Eastman

          over 2 years ago #

          Sure!. Currently I work at platzi.com, an educational startup, and we use facebook as a powerfull media channels, after youtube and twitter to get free users.

          We think that only a great content isn't enough. Build a community around your product and engagement the customers come first. And facebook helps us with that.

    • KX

      koraan x

      over 2 years ago #

      Can you expound on this a bit? I'm pitching a potential client in higher education. And I'm trying to convey the augmented visibility with key demographics and impact on ROI (re: enrollment) that social media and social ads management can have. Thanks, in advance!

      • MH

        Matthew Hall

        over 2 years ago #

        I work in higher education as well, and I've seen the same thing. We get very little traffic from our social media efforts, I think, because our audience interacts with universities different than "normal" brands. Attempts to push content pieces via social media have given a few hundred extra visitors, but that's only a drop in the bucket as far as our traffic is concerned.

        LinkedIn advertising has delivered similarly poor results.

        AdWords, not much better. We'll get lots of traffic for our target keywords, but we won't have many conversions. While we're still optimizing our funnel, I think part of it is that higher education isn't really a "buy it now" product. Individuals deciding whether or not to attend our institution usually visit our site multiple times before applying.

        Because of this, we maintain our social media accounts primarily for branding. We want prospective students to find something current if they research our school on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The small investment of time it takes to share news stories and school updates to our accounts is negligible.

        I think one of our challenges has been creating "must read" content for those who are outside of the academic community. Most of our content is targeted at practicing professionals who have some affiliation with the school. Due to the high level of subject matter expertise needed to create contributing content to existing dialogues, we rely on our faculty for this content creation. However, higher ed is a bit slow on understanding the need to publish for the web (rather than traditional academic journals). Thus, it's been a challenge to convince faculty it's worth their time to write a piece on top of their teaching, grading, meeting with students, etc.

        But you might have different success if you're targeting prospective undergraduates. Creating compelling content for a pre-college audience doesn't require as much *deep* subject matter expertise. Then once you have something compelling to share, perhaps Facebook's highly-targeted ad platform could help you reach and connect with your audience. Your best bet trying to pitch to higher education professionals, IMO, is to run a test where you collect contact info of students who want to learn more. Let it go for a few weeks, get a list to prove the value of your social media ads, and your pitch might fly.

        • KX

          koraan x

          over 2 years ago #

          @matthewrhallesq thanks for the reply!
          Which platform exhibited the most surprising results? I'm truly baffled as to why LinkeIN ads were not more effective. There is a (content marketing) product to market fit funneling issue in this market, for sure. I believe you can craft a funnel that impacts enrollment, with constant lead nurturing built into the site. My prospective buyer's institution is offering online MBA's, so there is at least some mainstream web content design conformity on that side of their site. And my plan involves leaning on currently enrolled seniors and recently graduated alumni of the undergrad counterpart, to market and remarket to. I am building content for FB, YouTube and LinkedIN, to be promoted natively on FB and Twitter during enrollment pushes, while running AdWords campaigns non-stop alongside an email-driven lead nurturing campaign. I mapped out the ROI with their current website numbers and see a tremendous value proposition. I'll take your advice on gathering leads to show social proof. I'll supplement that with a case study and see where it goes...

          • RE

            Raychel Espiritu

            over 2 years ago #

            I'd like to chime in, since I did all the media buying and social media marketing for The Los Angeles Film School's degree programs. We spent $10k a month on FB ads, keeping our Cost Per Lead below $30, averaging 400 leads per month at a 2% conversion rate. FB was 2nd best to AdWords in terms of lead generation. One of our highest converting channels, although lowest in terms of number of leads, was via our blog. I used a content marketing strategy along with keyword optimization to focus on promoting the success of LA Film alumni in order to attract new students. For higher education I believe it's essential to focus on content marketing first, then push out through social channels. People want to know about the school, the day to day activities, and most importantly the success of alumni per degree program. Twitter ads were the worst performing of all channels, our CPL was $175 and we saw 0% conversions from a $30k spend over 3 months. FB ads are the best channel for education because of how granular you can target.

            • DL

              Dylan La Com

              over 2 years ago #

              Very interesting, thanks for sharing @raychel

            • MH

              Mark H

              over 2 years ago #

              Ganda, how did you distribute your content @raychel?

            • KX

              koraan x

              over 2 years ago #

              Thanks, @raychel! I think that leading with content for education is key, along with the social proof of graduate success. And Twitter is a middle-of-the-funnel platform, and I can see how it wouldn't work for an ad campaign. I COULD see a content marketing plan working with the right content: highly produced native video highlighting student's, professor's works. It can't be directly measured by CPL, instead you have to see how the social drives clicks over and over again to the blog. FB ads are critical to implementation plans for a prospective client with an online MBA program, so I'm happy to see it's working for someone else out there in higher ed..!

  • SM

    Stuart McKeown

    over 2 years ago #

    We have ~6k followers who are all users of our app and a post reaches about 3% of them. Compare that with over 50% reach when I send an email, I know where I'm spending my time.

    I only really use Facebook for Dark Posts lately to test a message or a landing page against a specific group of people to see what copy works best. If I find a good acquisition source along the way then I'll keep that campaign running :)

  • SL

    Stuart Langridge

    over 2 years ago #

    I mostly deal with local businesses and it seems that everyone "local" is putting all their faith into fb for online marketing. In fact, since SEO is so confusing to them now and PPC, you know, costs money, most firms seem to believe that fb is the holy grail.

    However, I also have access to the analytics accounts for quite a few local businesses and I can't see many visitors from fb in their stats. My guess is that their efforts are almost all wasted, but since these businesses do not tend to ever look at their stats, or listen to me, they are still bashing away with it.

    In fact, a few weeks ago I was fired by a client because "SEO is a waste of money" despite SEO generating more than 90% of his monthly traffic. He told me he plans to put more resources ( = time but not money) into fb, despite fb only providing 0.002% of his monthly visitors. At least they have room to improve!

    • NL

      Nick Lucs

      over 2 years ago #

      I understand and have experienced what you're saying. Sorry to hear that loss, but I had to giggle at your last paragraph. :)

      • SL

        Stuart Langridge

        over 2 years ago #

        Its no loss. At first I used to get very annoyed by them. Now I just shrug my shoulders and move on. It really is amazing though, just how few businesses actually look at any of the data they collect to help them make decisions. It is even more amazing to me how a lot of them are still trading, there are some real kamikazee types that are owners and directors of small businesses. It must be scary to be an employee and know that your boss takes decisions about your future employment based on the weather/colour of his tie/length of today's traffic jam/favourite song etc.

    • BC

      Ben Carew

      over 2 years ago #

      @stuart-langridge very enlightening thanks.

  • CM

    Chris Moen

    over 2 years ago #

    Facebook groups are still alive and well, we've used it and generated a lot of signups through it for free. Just gotta have the right message for the right niche group.

    • DM

      Daniel Marlin

      over 2 years ago #

      This is exactly what I was going to post. We keep a page going just in case someone happens to look, but it's minimal. Our effort is on interacting within a group or two. This works well for us.

      • NB

        Nick Berry

        over 2 years ago #

        I LOVE facebook groups for reaching business customers. There are public and closed groups for nearly every profession.

      • JP

        Joseph Putnam

        over 2 years ago #

        Can you explain a little more about how you guys are using groups? @chris_moen1 @marlin

      • TS

        Torsten Sandor

        over 2 years ago #

        Exciting! How are you using Groups? I'd love to hear more about this.

        • NB

          Nick Berry

          over 2 years ago #

          Groups are easy. I pop into the related groups(real estate, auto and insurance sales). Ask a questions related to my business, and help people (We sell thank you card services for sales professionals). Eventually someone asks for a link directly instead of PMing everyone. I have found that gets a lot more interested visitors and legitimate leads instead of huge bounce rate.

          • CM

            Chris Moen

            over 2 years ago #

            Just what you said, it's easy to come across to salesy if you just pitch your product - That's counter-productive. You want to provide some sort of value first or ask for feedback on a related topic.

    • KK

      Karol K

      over 2 years ago #

      Exactly what I was wondering too. Why would you create a FB page when you can have a group with almost all members seeing your messages whenever you post them...

      • NB

        Nick Berry

        over 2 years ago #

        You facebook fan page should be your marketing point on facebook. The group page is somewhere you can take the interaction off the fan page and keep it cleaned up. That's how I use it at least.

        • KK

          Karol K

          over 2 years ago #

          Yes, that makes sense from a pure "idea" point of view. But in practice, when you post to a group, almost all of the members see the message. When you post to a page, almost no one does.

  • AP

    Andre Pinantoan

    over 2 years ago #

    Canva gets a lot of users out of Facebook. Can't reveal exact numbers, but it's one of our top channels and we don't a single cent for these users.

    Yes, the app is free and it's in the design industry.

    The SEM team of a company I used to work for in the education industry spends upwards of 7 figures a month on Facebook ads. They work. As a side-effect, we also get a lot of free leads out of Facebook.

    I think you shouldn't compare emails to Facebook reach. Both companies I work with aggressively do email marketing, but as a whole, Facebook still generates more free traffic than do emails in both cases.

  • ML

    Max Lytvyn

    over 2 years ago #

    It's not dead. We have 5M followers, and some of our posts reach 10M viewers organically, without any boosting (https://www.facebook.com/grammarly ). How to do it - it's not that hard. Just create quality content that your audience wants to engage with. If you even try to drive a hard sell and/or post content that does not generate engagement, you will get punished severely. So it's engagement ahead of everything. Once you are comfortable engaging loyal audience, you can start piggybacking on that with branding, then leading users to other content and possibly even to conversion. But all that has to be done in a very soft way so that engagement is not hurt. Good facebook page has to look like an information or entertainment resource that exists for its own sake, only then you have a chance of success. All that makes monetizing facebook success hard, but it's still possible, just requires a lot of finesse

  • JS

    james smith

    over 2 years ago #

    Great question.

    I explored this some time ago - haven't explored groups though.

    I tried to find real life case studies on those who are generating leads through Facebook.

    I'll caveat that a bit was about advertising - and there are some pretty unique ways to spend Facebook bucks for maximum effect.

    I think you have to view Facebook as a content marketing tool. I do imagine that if you are providing quality content that is highly share-able, link-baitable - you can scale an audience you have already. Ie if you manage to seed 1,000 fans and constantly market with good content - I see no reason why this shouldn't grow. Whilst some people only get 3% views, I did find some people who were getting significantly more than that,

    For example:

    The Cleeveland Clinic drive 3 million per month to their site - and the majority from Facebook, through eye catching infographics like 'what color is your pee' and constant helpful content

    Or there is the hippy shop who heavily content market on Facebook.

    My article is here: http://js-marketing.com/12-proven-ways-on-how-to-generate-leads-from-facebook/

    But if you don't want to read that, check out the 2 resources I mentioned:
    http://groovedigitalmarketing.com/amanda-todorovich-interview/
    http://www.businessinsider.com/this-kid-makes-his-whole-living-off-facebook-traffic-2014-1?IR=T

  • LT

    Lee Traupel

    over 2 years ago #

    Facebook is a black hole for B2B brands other than just casual interaction. For consumer facing brands, it's a must platform. But, it's an ad platform and as others shared, requiring stellar community management, curated content (images, text and video) and good tactical execution with ad campaigns.

    My soapbox issue: great content on Facebook or any social platform is expensive to create and run fast from anyone that tells you differently.

    We live, breath, eat, sleep in a content smogged world and standing out requires stellar content, that's well written, curated, edited and improved over time.

  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    over 2 years ago #

    Depends on what you mean by "real scale". I launched my t-shirt business entirely on Facebook– posted the ideas on Facebook, got interest and feedback from my first customers on Facebook, took preorders on Facebook, started a Page, used the FB messaging system to manage the early orders, and continue to get customers from Facebook– I think we've sold a few thousand t-shirts by now this way. Would this scale to say, 10,000? I don't know, haven't gotten around to trying– but once you reach 2,000 or so you start diversifying, people reach out to you and you have re-sellers and deals and whatnot. So the whole thing gets a bit more complex.

    I think the critical thing is to really capture the spirit of the medium. You want to create content that people share and talk about, and this probably works best when you're doing consumer stuff– when you're selling products that people will enjoy posting on each other's walls. ("Ship your enemies glitter" comes to mind.)

    Not sure if that helps.

    I probably wouldn't really bother with a comprehensive FB strategy for say, a b2b SaaS company, if only because there are probably better or more important things to focus on. But I could be wrong.

  • AR

    Arian Rahbari

    over 2 years ago #

    What about using Facebook as a channel in reaching out to Facebook followers of the existing competitors? Mainly as a channel to increase engagement via content marketing strategy.

  • PB

    Plamen Barzev

    over 2 years ago #

    Facebook is far from dead, but you can't use it in the way we all used it before. The average organic reach is below 6%, and my experience is that the paid boost is working only for few niches.

    Mostly, this is due to the mindset of the people on Facebook - they go there for their friends, not for the ads of the latest SaaS thing. Thus said, Facebook ads are still working for things that you buy due to needs and emotions (clothes, jewelry).

    There are things that you can still do on Facebook to acquire customers for "free":
    - Change the angle - present your product/service in a way that will be more emotional and closer to your audience.
    - Hire/create ambassadors - posts from people tend to get more attention and news feed space than the brand pages. You can also create private groups for special promotions and invite the active users.

  • CS

    Clifton Shepherd

    over 2 years ago #

    Yes, Facebook is dead. Since they've changed the algorithm it's not the same. Personally, I think that they monitor business type posts and block them from people seeing them just so they can charge you to "Boost" the post.

  • SS

    Salman Sharif

    over 2 years ago #

    Well if you are talking about free customer acquisition then its dead for sure. But if you play with your budgeting and strategy properly you can still find some potential leads from Facebook. Things have changed for every platform whether it is SEO or SMM. You have to ponder now if you can invest in a little budget and check its outcome

  • AA

    Abbas Alidina

    over 2 years ago #

    Facebook isn't the greatest channel if your objective is to drive direct conversions.

    Facebook, and most other social channels, sit higher up in the sales/conversion funnel.

    Facebook does however help to build out the top part of your funnel.

  • BR

    Brad Ruderman

    over 2 years ago #

    I think it depends (obviously), but it still could be a valuable channel for consumer apps. Obviously social integration with apps is one thing, but getting users to use it is another to generate more users. Also the paid mobile newsfeed adv, I hear is effective. Perhaps there are growth hacks to making posts on your company's wall which engage app downloads.

  • AR

    Alessandro R

    over 2 years ago #

    I would say half dead. It's probably still someway useful to get new customers for B2C companies, but not for B2B ones. For most companies it's just an additional distribution channel for the posts of their blog, nothing more than that.

  • NA

    Nick Appel

    over 2 years ago #

    I wouldn't bet my money on Facebook for free user acquisition. The reach is fairly limited compared to the number of likes. Besides those who like your page most probably use your product already. The few users who will see your post because their friends likes it is even smaller. We don't believe the time it takes to setup proper campaigns is worth the output.

    Besides, I highly doubt wether it increases the number app downloads. This is what ultimately matters not the number of likes. I mean you cannot put an app download link in every post, this will seriously annoy users who already downloaded the app.

    Time is the most valuable resource especially for us, a small startup. We prefer to put our time in a astonishing user experience to increase word of mouth and a valuable referral system in order to attract new user.

    Though we would use facebook to inform our community and interact with it. Also the paid ads might be a possibility for us.

  • JP

    Jason Perez

    over 2 years ago #

    Anecdotally - a few people I know support their own personal spending by promoting the latest MMO hotness... I mean seriously - Passion Parties & Essential Oils is what Facebook is all about... ha.

    But seriously - I think an interesting perspective would be one from someone at one of the contest sites - like Heyo. Their goal is to grow your mailing lists through incentive contests... I'd like to know what customer profile is having the most success on that type of platform - with grabbing good leads - not giving away an iPhone to grow your mailing list for your artisanal donut shop.

  • AS

    Adam Szabo

    over 2 years ago #

    I agree that Facebook has to go this way to keep the user experience great.

    It has consequences, though. A couple years ago we used Facebook as the main channel. This year, we launched a local startup and completely ignored Facebook.

    Email marketing delivers much better results now, but I'm afraid of its future as it seems like everyone is focusing on email nowadays. How long will popups be effective for capturing emails?

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    over 2 years ago #

    @randfish just released this Whiteboard Friday video on driving traffic from Facebook: http://moz.com/blog/driving-traffic-from-facebook-whiteboard-friday

  • KP

    Kalu Charan Parida

    over 2 years ago #

    With BIG NO I would like to put my point is that, Facebook is not a free customer acquisition channel. It is only useful when you pay to Facebook. I do not think anybody in this discussion has seen more social media conversion than search engine conversion.

  • JM

    Joe Murfin

    over 2 years ago #

    Sure,
    It really depends on what market you're in.
    Some products just lend themselves well to being shared, and some pages naturally get likes.

    Some businesses it works really well for from my experience
    Music Festivals
    Musicians
    Content Marketing business's
    Cats/dog products
    Comedians

    You may not have the luxury of a great product, you may have been lumped with something like insurance.

    Reminds me of this Gary Halbert letter : bit.ly/1JyUbTy
    You need a hungry crowd.

    Without it it's pretty hard to get any organic reach ( and therefore conversions) on Facebook.

    If you do have a stinker, use video or pay to promote your content. Facebook weights video very highly in the newsfeed currently.
    Good luck.

  • WC

    William Colbert

    over 2 years ago #

    It's the low-cost leader for our lead gen efforts (Niche SaaS) and we're having great success with eBook downloads, but we don't count on it for anything free. We've had more success with LinkedIn Groups in the past. But, When I hear about Facebook revenue going up, I'm not at all surprised!

  • HM

    Harold Mansfield

    over 2 years ago #

    Is it dead as a customer acquisition channel? No.

    Is it dead as a free one? For people just getting into Facebook...Absolutely!

  • KS

    Kevin Strasser

    over 2 years ago #

    I couldn't figure out how to do it. In fact was seeing so little engagement and activity we killed our company Facebook page.

  • RM

    Rafael Mendez Parra

    over 2 years ago #

    I would say that "yes" it is dead as a free channel for acquisition (from a practical and efficient point of view).

    But Facebook is still a free channel for RETENTION and LEAD GENERATION.

    What I mean, in short words, that pur approach that maarketers have towards FB has to evolve from seeing as an acquisition tool to a retention tool.

  • JK

    Justin Kearns

    over 2 years ago #

    Is Facebook dead as a free customer acquisition channel? For many different types of businesses the answer is yes. However, if the product is the right fit for the medium and there is an ace social media manager creating engaging content then no, Facebook is not dead as a free customer acquisition channel.

    Let's not forget Facebook is the world's largest database and so businesses who struggle to achieve consistent customer engagement should focus on mixing paid adverts including strong CTA with engaging organic content. Over time it is possible to build a custom audience of people who have migrated from Facebook to landing pages and so re-targeting campaigns can drive conversions using very small budgets.

    While the new roll out of Facebook groups is exciting to me for a number of reasons, particularly as I think it will significantly increase user driven content, which has dropped as the Facebook generation has grown up. Private niche groups will empower users to post without worry of any backlash from peers not interested in the subject matter. I feel this heightened level of participation will have a positive knock on to business engagements, especially when savvy company owners & reps are networking within each group.

  • MJ

    Max Juhasz

    over 2 years ago #

    There are ways to get customers and followers on Facebook, with a very small investment. The ability to target people with ads is great and the better you get a truly defining the "archetype" definitely makes it easier. I know people who are getting leads with FB ads for pennies.
    It is difficult to network one at a time on FB, unless you already have a huge Friends list and a ton of followers.
    Although, I do have some Marketer friends on FB who do nothing but FB marketing.... free marketing... and have built a sizeable income for themselves.
    Their real trick is engagement and joining groups with a lot of interaction. It may take a while to find some groups with people that are willing to chat it up all day, but they are out there.
    Their best advice was to find groups ( and not spam groups ) that are very niche driven, with active members, and just engage with people.

  • AS

    Anshul Singh

    over 2 years ago #

    We are launching our closed beta product in 2 weeks time frame. Our team made a strict policy of not acquiring users through Facebook recognizing the user goals in Facebook are very different from our product positioning. Acquiring users from Facebook is the last resort in the puzzle. Probably when all options are dead.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 2 years ago #

      Thanks Anshul. So you are saying that even if you could acquire users through Facebook for free, they just wouldn't be a good fit for your product (or it would present your product in the wrong context)?

      • AS

        Anshul Singh

        over 2 years ago #

        Facebook doesn't seem to fit our product positioning. Our MVP has attracted around 25,000 users from Facebook but conversion has been really low. On the other hand LinkedIn and Quora have attracted less number of users but conversion rate has been really attractive. Facebook has been like a no brainer marketing device for us but other channels have more potential. It is easy to attract Facebook user base but Linkedin, Quora and other channels have been the true friends so far!

        • KP

          Kalu Charan Parida

          over 2 years ago #

          Without paid promotion Facebook is no use for any business. If you want increase conversion then publish your post at right time when your most followers are active on Facebook.

  • CC

    Craig Cherlet

    over 2 years ago #

    We also only maintain a limited facebook page presence. Our target customers aren't shopping for our services there.

  • AD

    Adam Daigiain

    over 2 years ago #

    If there's an opportunity to tap into the private groups on Facebook there is a very real chance you'll see free customer acquisition but it's difficult. It pretty much has to be generated by ambassadors.

  • ME

    Michael ezeike

    over 2 years ago #

    The best type of business for great user acquisition via FB right now is e-commerce

  • AP

    Andre Pinantoan

    about 2 years ago #

    It's a bit late, but if you're interested, I finally got a chance to write about Canva's experience with Facebook as a customer acquisition channel: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2015/05/07/how-i-grew-my-facebook-traffic-by-200-in-60-days/.

  • JP

    Jack Paxton

    7 months ago #

    For organic it has decreased a lot but free is still alive.

    We are getting traffic from incentivising sharing and running contests etc that encourage sharing. We see a decent amount of free traffic from these two strategies.

  • CT

    Chris Tweten

    7 months ago #

    I think it's inevitable for algorithmic feeds to reach the point Facebook has. When a platform ages, the level of competition for a spot in the newsfeed becomes greater and greater. It has a lot less to do with reach being hurt by Facebook itself and the number of entities competing for space.

    I have a few pages with amazing organic reach still (15%-30%) and some that are more around the 6% average. The potential is there, but the difficulty in succeeding on Facebook without spending money is growing.

  • KT

    Kevin Tang

    7 months ago #

    FB is still very much alive for free traffic. FB live is huge right now.

    A lot of B2C content businesses are getting massive reach with FB.

  • EG

    Emily Goldring

    3 months ago #

    This is a great question and one I'm currently struggling with at my company. We're B2B in tech and I think for our industry it's not doing so well. I did a comprehensive competitor analysis and it seems all companies in our ecosystem are struggling with FB. Some pages might have high followings, but essentially no engagement and I would not define that as being successful on FB. Or they have one post with high engagement, but clearly that was boosted b/c the other posts have 1 or 2 likes.

    We're not doing any paid advertising (not sure when or if ever I'll get a budget), but we post our content and industry related content often and we also post in groups. But still seeing minimal return. I'm almost ready to say that for my industry FB is dead. If anyone has some amazing growth hack, I'm down to hear it, but overall I find it very frustrating b/c unless you have a budget there's no free way to grow on FB.

    Anyone can say differently? And I really mean B2B high tech companies b/c for other industries and B2C FB is a different story.

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