Changes That Could Cripple Your Business on Facebook

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Facebook for business, promoted posts,businesses on facbook, social mediaIn a recent post, we looked at how Facebook is making aesthetic changes to its website. The newsfeed will be changing in an effort to ‘de-clutter’ the site. There will be more options for people that want to filter out certain posts from their newsfeed and instead focus on other updates.

These alterations also mean the way businesses reach their fans will be changing. No longer will it be a case of posting something, getting lots of likes and shares, and then repeating the process ad nauseam. For the foreseeable future there will be specific posts that succeed on Facebook. This means if you aren’t creating these updates, people won’t see them, they won’t interact with your business on Facebook and very soon you’ll be wondering where all your fans have gone.

Pay for Fans

Reaching followers by paying to promote posts is the most radical way Facebook is changing. Recently, New York Times columnist Nick Bilton noticed that his posts on Facebook were not getting as many likes and shares as he was used to receiving. Many of his posts received over 500 likes and well over 50 shares, but suddenly those numbers plummeted. Despite his subscribers growing from 15,000 to 400,000, his posts began to receive less than 100 likes and shares combined. Bilton decided to try an experiment. He paid $7 to promote a post, and guess what? His likes and shares shot back up.

If businesses want to stay in the game on Facebook, it looks increasingly like they will need to pay to promote posts. This will have a major impact on small businesses that rely on Facebook as a promotional tool. Some businesses may even conduct a lot of their business through their Facebook page, but if their fans don’t hear about offers and new products because the posts aren’t promoted, how are they supposed to keep trading?

What will it Cost?

Imagine you’re a business on Facebook with a few hundred-thousand likes. You interact with your customers daily and rely on Facebook to conduct your business. Now, you can’t just post new updates and expect them to get the reception they normally would. Instead you will have to pay Facebook if you want new posts to reach your followers. A company with 100,000 fans, for example, will have to pay Facebook $1,500 to make sure their post reaches every one of their followers.

This might not mean much to a global brand that can afford to pay for Facebook ads and promoted posts with the change they find down the back of the canteen couch. But for small and medium sized businesses who need to strategically budget every penny, it could mean a huge drop in activity.

What Has Facebook Got to Say?

Facebook has denied that the site gives preference to promoted posts. After all, why would they want to shove ads in peoples’ faces instead of quality content that is more likely to keep them on the site? It couldn’t have anything to do with a mountain of money, could it? If this was the case (that promoted posts didn’t get preference), then journalists like Bilton and other tech bloggers wouldn’t be seeing such a sharp drop in their likes and shares, despite accumulating more followers.

These changes mean every business on Facebook must start forking over cold hard cash to remain relevant. The risk Facebook runs is that by waving more ads in front of us, it will drive people away. As much as Facebook might like to think it, it is not the only social network on the internet. If it’s not careful, it may reach a point where people emigrate away from the site in favour of Twitter or, even, Google+. When this happens, businesses paying to promote posts on Facebook will begin to find it about as useful a putting a billboard on the Moon. Sure it’s big and it seems like a cool idea, but what good is it if no one sees it?

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Post by: Conor Sharkey

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Conor Sharkey
I'm an online content assistant at SiliconCloud. We specialise in helping companies increase their revenue via the web, by managing online presence, driving brand elevation, and informing sales strategies. I contribute to the SiliconCloud blog and support Liverpool Football Club in vain.

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