It’s Tougher Than Ever To Advertise on Facebook. What Should Small Businesses Do?

Facebook offers more control to users on what they want to see on their newsfeed; it will start filtering out ads and content they’re not interested in. This came as a response to the growing concern with regard to social media’s role on our society’s well-being.

In this article, we’ll talk how putting more emphasis on community-building over competition for viewer’s attention on social media can benefit small businesses.

Why a Change in Focus is Vital for Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have changed the way people interact with each other. They paved the way for communities of like-minded people to share life’s experiences and interests over the internet.

Since then, users have always thought of getting more people to like their posts, and it wasn’t long before sharing became attention-seeking. Internet marketers quickly saw its potential for marketing and spared no expense getting more ‘likes’ and comments to stay on top of everybody’s newsfeed.

Other businesses won’t just stand and watch while competitors get all the attention on social media. Facebook ads, page boosts and paid ‘likes’ soon became the norm in social media marketing, and staying on top became increasingly difficult (and expensive) as more and more people and companies fight for user attention.

Ads were just one of Facebook’s many problems. They also have to deal with fake news, scams, clickbaits, and viral posts which doesn’t serve its users. Changing Facebook’s algorithm gave users a much better experience. (Notice how your friends’ most recent posts always come first. Same goes for more informative posts; irrelevant posts are demoted or removed completely.)

Facebook is getting more serious about its purpose as a company. Mark Zuckerberg is a little concerned and vows on “protecting the community” which he believes is “more important than maximizing profits.”

Facebook’s Focus on the Community

Most of us can only look back when YouTube was totally ad-free before Google bought it for 1.65 billion USD in November 2006. It soon turned into a money-making social media platform with ads taking the likeness of TV commercials but with some degree of user interaction. Remember how quickly you skipped the ad as soon as it starts, or piqued when forced to watch all 20 seconds of it?

Facebook went down the same path when it started Facebook Ads, paid likes, and page boosting. However, after dragging users into countless hours of endless scrolling and passive consumption, they’ve decided to redeem themselves by giving more attention on things that matter most – meaningful social interaction.

This might cost Facebook a lot of money, considering most of their income comes from advertising. To get around this, Facebook might give users the ability to choose ad-free subscriptions on a monthly basis for a fee which is approximately the price per user paid for by advertisers on Facebook. Another option is to provide premium accounts the ability to fine-tune their viewing experience and exceed certain limitations not accessible in free accounts.

From the standpoint of a social media marketer who rely on Facebook ads for traffic and customer acquisition, this can be somewhat unappealing, since most of their high-end clients and potential customers who can afford ad-free subscriptions would be out of reach by then, and they would have to settle with what’s left of Facebook’s free user base.

Having an ad-free, community-centered Facebook for users is much more complicated than we think. Facebook’s intention to take away distractions from the user experience is a noble one, although much of it remains to be seen. As with any kind of business, it has to somehow generate income in order to survive, i.e. by giving “free access” to services, paid for by advertising.

What This Means for Small Businesses

One of the biggest advantages of small businesses over large companies is the community that was built around it. Creating and maintaining customer relationships is much easier on a tightly-knit group of customers than having to deal with a very broad audience. Instead of social media being used as the battleground for people’s attention, it will become a truly engaging, interactive space where real businesses and customers with common interests can share their ideas.

Paid advertising will always have its place in the marketing mix, but social media is not really about throwing your ad into a prospect’s face. Be genuine with your customers, speak to them on a personal level and they will refer you to their friends. That’s the power of Facebook, not trying to outspend the competition.

Big businesses who rely heavily on advertising might have to take their outbound marketing strategies elsewhere. And what better place to advertise than Google? This way, we won’t have to worry going against these giants on an ad-free social media. We can devote more of our time and resources building a community of customers and growing our businesses through customer referrals, word of mouth, and other networking strategies.

Having your own site where you can take your customers for a brief tour of your goods and services is the next big step after you’ve accumulated enough audience from social media. This is where your business starts experiencing exponential growth through organic searches and visits driving more traffic to your site.

As a small business, we need to start somewhere, and social media could be one of those places where we can grow our audience. Creating and maintaining customer relationships has always been the key.

Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.

Fixing the Gaps in Your Sales Funnel

sales funnel

Sales funnel is a marketing tool designed to convert leads into buying customers in a systematic way which involves several stages.  The concept of a ‘funnel’ is based on the fact that for every sequential stage in the sales process some percentage of leads get through while others are lost or stay behind.

For businesses, it is reliable indicator of marketing success, or failure. It tells them exactly which part of the sales process is connecting with the audience and which part isn’t

Identifying Problems in the Sales Funnel

A sales funnel can make or break a company. It’s imperative you analysis each part of the funnel to see what is working and what isn’t.

If part of your sales is a landing page that doesn’t convert, then you need to analysis what isn’t working. It could be that the lead acquisition is too generic, or maybe 50% of all the visitors leave without even looking or clicking on your sign up button.

Low click-through rates  against a high number of visits on a landing page, could also be a sign. Something isn’t “speaking” to your customers.

The first step is to identify which part of your sales funnel people are dropping off or not responding to.

Read: What Sales Experts Do to Keep Their Sales Pipeline Up and Running

Fixing the Problem with Lead Acquisition

Marketers use inbound and outbound marketing approach to get people to their site. Some examples include landing pages, surveys, and opt-in subscription to newsletters or free content.

Traditional outbound marketing use advertising such as Google AdWords to generate leads. However, this method doesn’t always guarantee a high volume of qualified leads as this can be exploited for financial gain.

Other companies create a buyer persona to guide them at this stage because it helps generate more responses using the concept of an ‘ideal customer.’

The most common problem at this stage has to do with high bounce rate and getting a high number of low-quality leads. Online analytics tools such as Google Analytics reveal how many visits a page has vs. the percentage of those who have taken action.

Experimenting with the client acquisition tool might help solve the problem. A/B testing or split testing, for instance, can help you pinpoint which specific feature or element in your client acquisition tool has the greatest impact in getting  more response from your target audience.

Studies have shown that even slight changes in page layout, content, or CTA can influence viewer perception and user experience.

Landing pages should also address specific ‘pain points’ or areas of interests instead of being vague or too generic. Unique value proposition’ (UVP) or ‘unique selling proposition’ (USP) helps create a distinction between you and your competitors, and makes your business stand out.

Fixing the Problem with Lead Nurturing

 Nurturing leads is just as important as the initial stage of acquiring them. Unfortunately, this is where most sales funnels start to atrophy and experience massive loss of volume.

This can be attributed to an inefficient email marketing strategy or not being able to follow up with potential customers in a timely manner.

Setting up an email automation can help simplify the task for you. However, to be effective, you need to segment your prospects to stay relevant with them and not sound too generic.

Fixing the Problem with Lead Conversion

Converting leads into buying customers shouldn’t be too difficult if you didn’t have any issue with the acquisition and nurturing stage.

Problems arise when a company tries to fast-track its conversions by skipping other processes. This is usually the case with most traditional outbound marketing which attempts to speed up the sales cycle by hard-selling their leads and prospects.

Companies should  be able to provide potential customers with alternatives  when making buying decisions. Upselling and cross-selling are among the best and effective ways to seal any gaps in your sales conversions.

Call to action words and phrases (CTA) can also influence the way customers respond to an offer or invitation.

Unlock the Power of CRM for Your Small Business

Being able to monitor your sales funnel and fix the gap between customer acquisition and lead conversion is what elevates your company from all the rest.

Small Business Dream is built around this concept of sales funnel, which involves customer acquisition, maintaining customer relationship, and driving sales. It’s a sales and marketing tool aimed at helping small business owners like you. We’ll be looking forward growing business with you.

How Sales People Can Look Desperate and Some Tips to Avoid It

Sales people are constantly under pressure to perform within the company’s standard. Attrition rate in the sales department is fairly high — as much as 50% a year in some companies.

Most of the time, they would resort to desperate measures in a last ditch effort to reach the monthly or weekly quota. But as we know these futile attempts made no difference other than making them look desperate.

Surviving this job requires persistent effort and a high degree of salesmanship acquired from years of experience and training.

What Persistence is Not

One of the roadblocks to becoming a successful salesperson is the lack of understanding of the customers and the sales process. In order to succeed in a highly competitive market, a salesperson should know the difference between persistence and pushing too far.

Here are some telltale signs that a salesperson has already crossed the line:

1.     Salesperson does all the talking.

Sales people can become overly enthusiastic to the point where they start taking up most of the conversation. This usually puts customers on the defensive, especially if they don’t have any intention of buying the product. Some salespersons are not so conscious about it, but it’s actually off-putting to most customers.

2.     Salesperson offers ‘solutions’ prematurely.

Businesses provide solutions to their customers’  ‘pain points’. If it’s something that has real value to the customer, it won’t be too hard to make the sale.

However, giving ‘unsolicited advice’ by offering a ‘solution’ too soon can be misconstrued as pushing the sale.  Although not necessarily wrong, it would be much better if they would hear from the customers first before going any further.

3.     Salesperson gets too ‘salesy’.

Nobody likes a pushy salesperson and people’s natural reaction is to back away if a sales person tries to tell the prospect what is good for them, even if the prospect wants what the salesperson is selling.

Be honest about your product or service and never over-promise — and definitely never lie. A salesperson needs to lead the prospect to water, not try to drown them.

4.     Offer discounts too soon.

If not done correctly, offering discounts right off the bat can actually send a different message to the customers. It could  mean one of two things — it’s cheap quality, or it’s previously overpriced.

Either way, customers will have a negative impression about the offer, especially those who prefer quality and value over price savings.

5.     Criticize others.

Badmouthing other companies betrays a lack of confidence and could undermine the company’s reputation.  However, it doesn’t mean sales people couldn’t give their honest opinion about a certain product or service. They just have to put it in context and not use it to promote their own.

Lead Them in — Don’t Push!

The notion of smooth-talking salesman has long been gone. It’s no longer just about the personality or creating a good first impression.

We now live in an era where customers make buying decisions based on facts and not just on some 30-second TV, or YouTube commercial. Hence, we don’t expect customers to just pour in or take the bait right then and there.

We need to cultivate their minds and educate them about the benefits of using our products or services instead of shoving them down their throats.

Converting leads to buying customers doesn’t have to be that hard, if we only take time to nurture them. There are 3 ways you can accomplish this:

  • Know your customers better. Contacting each potential customer at random will only lead to frustration. You need a tool that allows you to keep in touch with all your contacts and be able to sort them out in the most efficient way. CRM applications like Small Business Dream can make this all possible with less effort.
  • Follow-up your leads. Your initial contact with your customers can give away some clues about the things that they like or are interested in.  Have them fill up a quick survey and ask some basic information, or you can invite them to your mailing list for a weekly or monthly newsletter to learn more about the benefits of using your product or service.
  • Be patient. Unless you’re very lucky, you won’t get the sale on the very first engagement. On average, it takes around 4 to 7 engagements before a deal is made. So be patient and wait for the right opportunity. You don’t want to annoy your prospect with your incessant calls or reminders about the offer. But if your leads are already ripe for the picking, by all means get to them and close the deal as soon as possible.

Being a salesperson doesn’t have to be too difficult with today’s latest innovation in sales and marketing. Small Business Dream simplifies the work for you, so you won’t have to sweat it out just to get things done.

Visit us at to learn more about our suite of tools which include sales funnel, survey engine, email autoresponders and more.

How Technology Is Changing Sales Forever

Technology has shaped the way we do business, especially in the last fifteen years. Over the course of its transformation, the sales and marketing aspect of business has evolved from one mode of customer engagement to the next.

This paradigm shift has had a lot of implications in many of today’s small to medium enterprises. Accessibility to products and services coupled with the growing number of online users also meant that the competition for customer attention will be more relentless than ever.

There are number of ways our recent technology in sales and marketing has affected the business sector. However, our focus will be the most prominent ones and have the greatest impact to customer engagement and sales on a global scale.


Major Shift from Traditional Marketing to Omnichannel Marketing

Before PCs and smart phones were adapted for consumer use, customers had no way of interacting with the businesses since everything was basically a one-way communication between the company and the audience (also known as traditional outbound marketing).

But as more people are starting to gain access to online services, this type of customer engagement had slowly become a thing of the past.

Some companies took their old marketing approach and moved it online (YouTube commercials, online ads, online stores, etc.). However, unlike traditional media, online consumers are able to make their voices heard through the social media, comments section, forums, online reviews, vlogs, and the list goes on.

This sparked a new era of customer engagement and the birth of omnichannel marketing. Businesses are continuously harnessing the potential of social media, blogs and online sites, using the latest CRM technology to manage their contacts and maintain customer relationship.


Bigger Opportunities for Small to Medium Enterprise

Big companies used to occupy a large portion of the market until the Internet reached full status at the turn of the 21st century. They stayed top-of-mind through promotional ventures and ads, while small businesses struggled to make an impact.

But with the major shift from traditional marketing to online customer engagement, things are about to change. Today, it is not uncommon to find multi-million dollar businesses with a solid online presence coming from the lower echelons of the business sector.

Social media, email marketing, content marketing — to name a few — enable business owners to expand their borders far beyond the reaches of traditional marketing.

However, unlike TV ads and other promotional material, it is by far the most cost-effective method when it comes to promoting brands and maintaining customer loyalty, so much so that even long-established companies followed suit and retrofitted their businesses with online marketing strategies.


More Businesses Competing for Online Space

Competition is the natural outgrowth of this technological innovation in customer engagement.

During its infancy the Internet relied heavily in physical servers to create a virtual space for users worldwide.  When cloud computing went full swing, this limitation was done away with.

Consequently, competing businesses have also grown by the millions using the Internet as the battleground for online supremacy.

To see just how much competition we’re dealing with, try searching the word ‘car’ in the Google search bar and you’ll find over 5 billion search results just for the word.

Assuming that you’re doing car sales, this meant that establishing your online presence would be an uphill battle unless you have the technical know-how to outmaneuver and bury your competitors.

Because competition is so fierce, businesses must continue to innovate and find new ways to stay relevant. Content marketing has become a buzzword and now businesses are flooding the market with blog posts, podcasts and videos. But because there is so much content, it is hard to stand out with a simple 500-word post.

Kijiji featured some up-and-coming rap artists in one of its campaigns. A Montreal rapper made a song called “Gotta sell my stuff” which received over 830,000 views on YouTube.  This is the type of content marketing that will be successful — fun, entertaining, and inclusive. Content marketing is not about talking to your customers. It’s about including them into the conversation.


Improved Customer Service through CRM

Since the advent of customer relationship management tools, customer service has improved by leaps and bounds. Companies don’t have to pull numbers out of thin air when trying to figure out their customer’s specific ‘pain points,’ creating value for their customers, and improving customer experience.

Mobile CRMs such as Small Business Dream features customer acquisition tools, including sales funnel, card scan function, survey engine, Google Analytics, coupled with an efficient follow-up system to keep track of every customer engagement, upcoming calls, or scheduled appointments.

By emphasizing a customer-driven approach to sales and marketing, businesses are able to keep a steady flow of qualified leads and repeat customers.

Visit our site at and experience the power CRM technology for your small business.