Today we look at social media marketing, specifically Facebook, for the gun and tactical gear industry. If you’re an established gun/tactical gear company or if you’re new to the industry, chances are you’re looking to Facebook as a viable marketing platform. This of course raises the question of whether or not you should invest marketing dollars into Facebook/Instagram.
The short and quick answer is no. Honestly, Facebook sucks for marketing anything that has to do with the gun and or tactical gear industry. If you’re looking to actually spend money on those platforms, don’t. It’s a waste and here’s why:
When we started our tactical gear company, RE Factor Tactical, Facebook was just getting started. In all honesty, the only reason we were able to have some initial success in selling product was because we were able to successfully build our following organically through good media, contests, interactive posts and everything else that we could think of at the time. We built our following up to around 200,000 followers at which point we called Facebook to see what else we could do to increase our following. Their answer was simple, pay them money. So we did, and lots of it. We soon saw our account growing by 100-500 users a day! Not only that, our exposure and web traffic grew with it. Simultaneously, sales were up. In short, it was amazing.
Then, around the end of 2016, Facebook decided they needed to increase their revenue from advertisers and our organic outreach plummeted, almost overnight. They wanted companies to pay to play and to only be able to reach their users if they paid money. With our decreased exposure came decreased revenue and web traffic. Facebook’s response was to again pay them more money, which we did. We were soon paying for advertising and we were back in business. But not for long. Facebook continually asked for more money for less exposure and pretty soon we couldn’t justify the ad spend. On top of that, we found ourselves tagged as a gun company and consequently our ads began to be disapproved. In short, it crushed us.
Now if you’re just entering the industry you should know that there is pretty much no way for you to build a Facebook page organically unless you’re ready to pump some serious dollars into videos that will go viral. The only pages right now that are seeing real success organically are MEME pages or pages that consistently post videos that have a tendency to go viral. Anything short of that and you will see zero movement. Does that mean you shouldn’t have a FB page? No, it doesn’t. You pretty much need one to be legitimate nowadays. However, it does mean that any money you spend on FB will be wasted. Even if you get a following of 100,000 people you still will only be able to organically market to a small fraction of them. The same goes with Instagram. We will cover more on that platform later.
So what does this mean for your marketing? Simple, don’t spend money on Facebook. There are plenty of other marketing arenas to use such as social media influencers, banner ads on website, print media and most importantly SEO. However, just know that right now, the worst thing you could potentially do is waste your money trying to market and or build a following on Facebook.
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