Facebook has emerged as a major tool for social media marketing in recent years – and in that time it has become integral to many businesses’ marketing strategies. However, with recent data showing that for some brands the level of engagement with fans is as low as 6% – it is clear that implementing a successful strategy is neither obvious nor straightforward.
There is however one further reason why Facebook marketing has become harder – beyond the tricky task of designing an effective campaign. It is that Facebook’s rules have changed so that fewer fans will actually see updates compared with before – which means that a campaign which worked well a year ago might not to do so now.
Facebook’s change is not that much of a surprise – brand pages have become massively valuable to businesses and it is no surprise that the network is now keen to monetise what is one of its most marketable products. So, you now need to pay if you want all of your fans to see your updates – otherwise only a select few (those who’ve engaged recently) will see your updates. You can buy this extra exposure for a specific post or simply subscribe to always have it.
The only way around this is if you can persuade all your fans to click ‘add to favourites’ for your page – in which case they’d never miss a post. Of course, the only way to reach all your fans will be to buy the maximum exposure at least a couple of times to notify them that they might miss out on updates otherwise.
The problem is that for smaller businesses this now represents another investment into social media marketing which they have to carefully weigh against the benefits (more so than previously when they had nothing to lose but the bit of time needed to run the social media campaigns).
The bottom line however is that this change in the way Facebook works requires action and decision making from businesses – even those with a successful strategy will have to re-consider and adapt. The main things to consider are:
1. In what way is Facebook marketing working for you? What role does it play in the overall marketing strategy? How much is this worth financially?
2. How will your marketing be affected by Facebook’s changes? Do your campaigns rely on widespread exposure – or just high engagement with a small number of ‘superfans’?
3. Look at Facebook’s pricing structure – how much would you spend annually if you purchased maximum exposure? How would this figure change as your page gets more and more likes in the future?
Only after considering all these points will small businesses be in a position to decide how to proceed with their Facebook social media marketing. Larger companies will easily absorb these extra costs – but for smaller organisations these decisions are tricky and need to be judged appropriately. Good luck!