Will Facebook Always Be Stuck at the Top of the Funnel?

If you're trying to win conversions on Facebook, are you wasting you time?

Are you looking for conversions on Facebook? Several companies have been experimenting with it, but on-platform sales are still, at their best, in their infancy. Even with apps and widgets being developed to facilitate on-platform sales, it’s easy to use Facebook ads as a proxy for the success of on-platform selling devices … and the future looks grim for them. In the end, it looks like Facebook is destined to remain at the top of the sales funnel.

Now this really isn’t a bad thing. There are plenty of people on Facebook, and more are coming every day. If your target market is well-represented in this environment, you could do well by pulling them into a community for future marketing, as long as you have it appropriately weighted within your mix. The role of Facebook, in this context, is to gather eyeballs that you can push into your sales funnel when it’s time for them to take action.

Remember: there’s nothing wrong with relegating Facebook to the top of the funnel. In fact, that’s probably the right place for this social media environment.

Why is that? Well, Facebook is a place where you sit and wait patiently. It’s not really a place of action.

If you want to know what an action environment looks like, head over to Google. When you start to execute a search, you make it clear that you are looking for something, and Google’s job is to help you find it. When you see the search results, you also see ads. If the ads are likely to send you to what you’re looking for, you’ll click them. And, you won’t care that they are ads, because you want something. It’s all about satisfying a need in the search environment.

Facebook doesn’t work that way.

You’re talking to your friends, liking photos and playing social games. You’re not on the prowl for a product, service or information. You want more pictures of your great aunt smoking a cigar! So, when you see an ad, you’re not in the mood to click it. If you are, it has more to do with chance than mindset. That’s why it takes so many impressions for a Facebook ad to generate a click-through.

In a way, Facebook ads are akin to having a high-pressure salesman walk up to you while you’re talking to your brother. Google ads, on the other hand, feel more like a sales associate seeing you lost in a department store and helping you find the aisle or section you need. The latter leads to a positive sales/buying experience. The former, of course, is exactly what you’d expect it to be.

Google is a place for action. Your online sales (or lead-generation) environment is a place for action. Facebook is a place for harvesting with the hope of future gain. As such, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a Facebook environment that will double as a store. Instead, focus on getting your friends and fans to convert via effective Facebook-based content marketing. Send those would-be customers to the sales people who know what to do with them!