True Facebook Promotion is No Longer Free

Written by Danielle Bachini

One of the most important places to market your business today is via social media. No matter who your target audience members are there’s a good chance that they are using social media to some extent and most people are logging into at least one social account on a daily basis. There’s evidence that the younger generation may be moving away from Facebook but let’s face it, it’s still the social media powerhouse for now. That’s why it’s still necessary to have an active company Facebook page.

One of the big draws to Facebook for businesses has been that it’s a free place to market your business. Obviously it’s necessary to invest resources in the upkeep and management of the page, but you didn’t need to hand any money over to Facebook in order to create a fancy page that provided a convenient outlet to engage with your target audience.

In fact, it was believed that Facebook was so great that businesses started doing all they could to send people to their page. Most websites include the Facebook icon somewhere on their website homepage linking over to their Facebook page and even print advertisements exclaim, “Like us on Facebook!” Obviously Facebook has enjoyed all of this free advertising.

The thing is, somewhere along the way Facebook realized that they needed to do more to monetize the site. They were smart enough not to ask members to start paying to use the site. That would have led to a quick demise. Instead, they set their site on the businesses that had been benefiting from their free services for so long. While it’s still free to set up a Facebook page, Facebook has made it much more difficult to engage in conversations with followers. That’s because the people that like your page simply aren’t seeing the posts that you’re sharing, along with the conversations that you’re trying to start. Why is that? Well, Facebook has made dramatic changes to the News Feed algorithm. While you may think that your thousands of followers are seeing a post about your upcoming sale, the sad reality is that it’s likely that only a tiny percentage of your followers are seeing it. For example, one of our clients has approximately 2,500 Likes, yet their last post was “served to 10 people”. Just 10! Of 2,500! And it was only “served to” 10 people, there’s no guarantee that those 10 saw it! Is it even worth posting it at that point?

This doesn’t seem fair. These 2,500 people have opted in by Liking the page. They want to see your posts, but the behavior of Facebook users is typically only to check the News Feed and carry on with their day. They aren’t going to actively seek out every page that they like. Facebook picked up on this and essentially is now requiring business page owners to “pay to play”. Sure, it’s still free to set up a page but you’ll need to pay to “Boost” a post to ensure that even a fraction of your Facebook followers even see it. This is why true Facebook promotion today is no longer free.

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