It seems like only yesterday that we all regarded our website as the hub of our on-line marketing. All our efforts and pounds were spent on updating and promoting our website. We started a blog, a newsletter and some went so far as to make sure their website was easy to view on a smartphone or tablet. The problem was that even minor updates websites were tricky to make and most of us had to pay for this service.
Almost overnight, Facebook came along and offered us all a FREE Facebook Page – Wow!! ! Facebook had a HUGE network with well over a BILLION users and it was easy to use. We could update our Facebook page ourselves and save a ton of money, hence it became the primary way we interacted with our customers and many websites became neglected. Maybe short sightedly, Facebook only marketing made sense as it was so easy and allowed us to upload not only text and images, but videos and web links.
Letting everyone know we were on Facebook was so easy too; everyone added the FIND US ON FACEBOOK image to their website and any other advertising venues. We got “liked”, “followed” and quickly acquired “fans”. Every time we had something to say, we posted it and they all got the message. It was like having a website, blog, and a newsletter all in one, for FREE. Plus it was mobile friendly! Brilliant!! No wonder we all saw Facebook as the one stop shop for communication.
In reality it was like renting your home with Facebook as your landlord.
It was only a matter of time before Facebook would change the rules.
and that happened in the Autumn of 2012…
According to Business Insider, Facebook secretly changed one of its algorithms, limiting the reach of companies with a large number of followers. The vast majority of those followers would not be getting their posts any longer. Business owners began crying “fowl”, scratching their heads at they viewed their plunging results.
Let me explain; Facebook’s algorithm tracks how your fans engage (likes, clicks, comments, shares) with your posts and then calculates whether they are likely to be interested in your future posts. Put simply, if someone rarely engages with your current posts then that person will rarely see your future posts!
Fast forward to today and, on average, only 16% of your fans will actually see your posts. Facebook’s answer to getting a better reach – Pay for it ! (source).
Sure, keep using Facebook, and other social media networks, as part of your marketing efforts, but treat it as a paid advertising channel as that’s exactly what it’s becoming.
There are ways to increase your natural reach and you can still build a business using Facebook without paying but its hard work and it’s going to get much harder. Keep building your community using your website, email list, or blog. Motivate your potential and existing customers to subscribe to your blog by updating it frequently, making it interesting and full of useful information.
You will then be more in control and have the ability to connect with your customers without worrying about your “landlord” raising your rent.
need more proof…
On October 21, 2013 many users awoke to this message as they attempted to login into their Facebook business pages:
As Facebook users scrambled to find answers via other social media channels, an interesting question came to light; if Facebook, or any social media channel goes down, would this just be a mild annoyance, or a crippling blow to your business?
Remember the Real Reason for Social Media
In the Big Picture of Marketing, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google and they should therefore be treated as tools to enhance your already existing marketing strategy, BUT, not your ONLY means of marketing. Business professionals would be wise to employ other effective marketing strategies like off-line networking, email marketing and article marketing as a means of diversifying their efforts and continue to effectively spread their brand’s message.
How about you?
Have you found that your Facebook Page is not reaching as many people as it once was?
I would love to know your thoughts and you can comment below