If you are marketing online, you are selling yourself short if you aren’t maximizing your social media properties to grow your reach and increase your brand visibility. One of the best platforms to do this is on Facebook. This used to be a very lucrative and easy service to use to get more visitors, though in the last few years it has become more stringent and a bit of a money grab to get the reach that you used to for free.
How Facebook Shifted to Paid Advertising
I have a cousin in Finland who specializes in Facebook advertising and he was telling me about how things changed on that property over the last little bit. While you used to be able to post on your brand or website’s page on Facebook and it would be put into the News Feed for everybody who was a follower or “Liked” your page, that is no longer the case.
As put wonderfully in this post by The Chive recently, everything has shifted to making the page manager pay for their posts to be seen by all of their followers. They are calling it the greatest heist the internet publishing community has ever seen.
Here is what went down. Back in the day, whatever you posted was seen by up to 90% of the people who followed your page. Not a bad percentage, the message pretty much gets out to everyone. But as Facebook became a publicly traded company and was more focused on the business of making money, their policies changed. The old way was basically just trying to hook advertisers in and show them the power of their platform’s reach.
Starting in 2010, the social media site began to dial back how far their posts reached, from a previous 90% of followers down to 30% and then again dialed back even further to only 16%. Soon enough, it was lowered even more and is down to a current rate of just 1%. That means if your page has 1,000 followers, whatever you post will only be pushed to the News Feed of just 1 of your followers.
Why are they doing this and how can you get a bigger reach? By paying Facebook to make it a “sponsored post” and buying a higher outreach. It is all a money grab. If you want people to see your updates, you’re going to have to pay. There is no more organic traffic (unless someone specifically navigates to your page and scrolls through all of your posts.
This is pretty crappy, but for many businesses this social media property is a necessity, so you’re either going to have to pay up or forego having a presence on there altogether. That’s a decision that each business needs to make on their own, keeping in mind their goals and their budget. I pose the following question to my readers – is it worth it to you to pay for your followers to see your updates on FB? Let me know in the comments below.
For more on internet marketing, check out a previous post here.