Businesses have to pay Facebook to have people see their postsWhen we look at social media marketing in general, there is always one platform that jumps into our minds – Facebook.

The landscape of Facebook marketing, however, is changing.

We as businesses need to be aware of the trends, results, and strategies that go into our efforts and take step back and look at our overall social media marketing efforts.

Facebook Changes the Rules
Here’s the reality: when Facebook was a growing social media platform that was privately held, it was relatively easy to start a page, interact with customers, and grow a following.

Ever since their company has gone public, they have taken gradual steps towards driving more revenue to please their shareholders.

Slowly but surely they have made it harder and harder to have a business presence on Facebook without paying by adjusting the algorithms they have in place that determine what you see when you log in to Facebook.

For instance, a year-or-so ago the industry was batting around the number of 15-20% for the number of fans that actually see your content when you post it, which was already a “decline” from where it was a year earlier.  If you post something that is more engaging with your fans, more people will see it as well.

The latest study to be done (courtesy of EdgeRank Checker) has shown that the number has dropped to 12.6% on average. Also, on top of that, Facebook has come out and made clear that,

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” (Organic meaning “not sponsored”)

and

We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it. (Courtesy of AdAge, Yahoo Business, sales deck from Facebook for partners)

This is a fancy way of Facebook saying, we are going to make you pay us more money.

How it Affects Your Business
What this means is that the average user is seeing less of pages’ content. However, more and more people are actually using Facebook.

We shouldn’t be thinking about dropping Facebook marketing all together, instead we should be going in with a strategic approach that accounts for some advertising dollars.

By promoting your content and keeping it engaging, you are still getting the same effect, but it is much easier to see results.

You still want to be where the fish are, and the fish are still swimming in the Facebook pond.

Keep a Well-Rounded Approach
While these platforms continue to adjust throughout time, we need to keep a well- rounded approach towards social media marketing and take a good look at your presence across other platforms as well.

Popularity may shift from Facebook to another platform, or it may stay with Facebook.

The value of connecting with customers past, present, and future through social media hasn’t gone away – it’s only the strategy to do so that is continuing to change.

 

Our friend, Brad Cebulski, is the owner / account manager of BConnected, LLC – a social media company based in Appleton, WI.  His team manages social media for small businesses, helping them reach more people and engage their customers with meaningful content and effective strategies.