Facebook pulls the rug on business: We will return the favor soon

marketingThe Valleywag tech blog reported Wednesday that Facebook is planning to slash organic page reach down to 1 to 2 percent of your business page like base. What does this mean for your business?

Let’s say you’ve spent money on Facebook advertising to get your like base up to 2,000 likes, probably $1,200 to $1,500 in spending on top of what you were able to get in terms of likes organically. Once Facebook throttles your posts to only reach 1 to 2 percent of your like base organically, you’re reaching about 20-40 people per post.

Thanks, Facebook is telling you, for spending money to build your like base up to where it is now. If you want to talk to those people here and after, you need to pay us more.

That’s how this will all work, according to the Valleywag report. To have your posts exposed to a wider audience, you’ll need to pay for sponsored posts that will work in a similar way to how sponsored posts work now. Five bucks here, 10 bucks there, for small businesses, and gobs of money if you’re Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Comcast, and others in the world of big business.

The downside to this is obvious. Even now, in the pre-throttling era, there’s no guarantee that your posts being open to your entire Facebook audience get seen by more than a fraction of your audience anyway. A series of ecent posts that we made to a Facebook page that we manage for Top Rope Pro Wrestling, for example, drew anywhere from 300 views to 6,000 views against an audience of 130,000 Facebook fans for the page.

What Facebook apparently wants me to believe is that paying to sponsor a post will result in scads of views on that post even though we’re not even experiencing that right now.

So now as business owners we have decisions to make. Pay twice for Facebook – the initial outlay for likes, the second for getting messages to them – or consider other marketing options that we don’t have to pay twice for. For example, if I buy a banner ad on a website, I pay for that per click or for a specific time period (a day, a week, a month, etc.). If I buy Google AdWords, same thing, I pay once for the exposure, by setting the budget and parameters for the ad run.

TV, radio, print ads – we don’t pay twice for any of those, either.

Facebook, in planning this move, is preparing to jump the shark. The only source of revenue it has is from its business clients, and it’s now putting that source of revenue at risk by thumbing its nose at its business partners.

Our strongest recommendation possible here: seriously reconsider your Facebook strategies.

Chris Graham is the president of Augusta Free Press LLC, a web design, graphic design, audio and video production and marketing firm based in Waynesboro, Va. Online at www.AFPBusiness.com. Email us at augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

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