In recent months, I’ve found myself telling clients that Facebook is no longer a free tool for small businesses. If you want to use Facebook successfully as a small or medium sized business, it’s time to open your wallet.
The hawk-eyed among you may have noticed a word I sneaked in that previous sentence: ‘successfully’.
Yes, you can still set up and run a business page for free on Facebook, but with declining organic reach and the constantly changing newsfeed algorithm, it’s unlikely your posts are going to be quite as visible as they once were.
Industry reports suggest organic reach is at a measly 3% – meaning if you have 100 likes on your Facebook page, it will only appear in 3 user’s newsfeeds – THREE!
Add to this, Facebook have just announced three updates to its News Feed algorithm. These changes could cause reduced visibility for some pages.
What this means is that your newsfeed is going to be busier with posts and updates from users’ ‘friends’ – as opposed to the businesses or brands they are following.
Facebook say it’s because it is ‘giving people what they want’. Maybe so, (although why would we ‘like’ a business page if we didn’t want to see updates?) Whatever, it’s clear that Facebook is encouraging businesses to pay for advertising.
In February 2015, Facebook announced it reached two million active advertisers. Unsurprisingly most of this reach came from small businesses. A trend line would show a clear decline in organic reach for small business, and an increase in advertising spend.
Depending on your target market, Facebook advertising could be for you. I can’t give you a guaranteed yes or no, but I can warn against advertising because you feel pressured in to it.
The fact is that results can be achieved through Facebook advertising with very little budget. Luckily Facebook users hand over a lot of information about themselves when they sign up and use the platform, so by using the very precise targeting options available, you can narrow down who sees your advert – minimising your financial outlay.
Of course, you could go advertising-free! There are plenty of success stories for small business on Facebook, but it needs a lot of hard work, content creation, persistence and patience.
If you want to find out more about how we can help with your social media strategy, or perhaps you’d like to see if your business is suitable for Facebook advertising, get in touch online or call us on 01202 684 009 and we’ll be happy to help!
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