Facebook marketing is worse than old-fashioned mail

Facebook screen shot

Facebook is THE place to go to ensure people know about your business. Or at least that’s the hype. There are dozens of “Facebook Marketing Gurus” around and plenty of experts on tap to get you to sell your wares through Facebook advertising or pages or groups. And yes, there anecdotal cases of people who have achieved phenomenal success through Facebook.

But one swallow and summers and all that.

Actual data is more reliable than any number of anecdotes or experts and their case histories.

Face facts. Facebook achieves only around a 2% level of action. In other words, only two people in every 100 who see your activity on Facebook do anything as a result.  That is much lower than the percentage of people who act on direct mail these days

Even if you look at the average engagement figures of Facebook – at 6% – this is woeful in comparison to either email or old fashioned direct mail.

The top company that engages the most on Facebook is Coca Cola. They are engaging with around 4.5m people using Facebook – but to achieve that they had to get 72m people following them in the first place.

On average, a Facebook page has around 5,000 likes. That’s well below one calculated minimum requirement of 100,000. Even then, you’d only get around 600 people to take action on anything you posted. As I said in an earlier blog post, Facebook marketing really only works for major, global brands. If you are not one of them, then Facebook is not a priority for your marketing.

Facebook is fantastic for relationships, keeping up-to-date with family and friends. But as a business marketing tool, it leaves a lot to be desired. If you are a small business, do not be egged-on by the hype and the enthusiasm of those gurus trying to sell you their ebooks and training courses on marketing with Facebook.

Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
Is your website ready for Brexit? Whatever happens you need to be sure your digital world is ready for March 2019.… https://t.co/vKAoX0Wp3X - 13 hours ago
Graham Jones

4 thoughts on “Facebook marketing is worse than old-fashioned mail”

  1. This echoes what I’ve been saying to accountants for some time.

    Curiously though one of the most popular posts on my blog is titled: ‘Examples of good facebook pages for accountants’. In it I ask for examples of such pages that have proven their worth. In the two years since I wrote the post and despite it atracting tens of thousands of readers, NOT ONE example has yet been suggested….

    • Thanks Mark – that’s an excellent example backing up what I said. I know it is anecdotal and I criticised anecdotal evidence, but there seem to be more anecdotes about Facebook NOT helping business than there are those which suggest it does. There must be something in that…!

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