Facebook admits the organic reach for business users has reduced significantly and some predict it could reach O% later this year.
Brian Bolan, facebook product marketing leads, explains that this is a necessary measure for facebook as on average 1500 posts might appear on a persons’ page each time they login and a very active user as much as 15 000 posts. He blames the increasing competition on the news feed making it more difficult for a story to gain exposure and also the changes to how the news feed works, showing users only the content that is most relevant to them.
In my opinion, this is just a way to make space for advertising and in effect your business will have to pay for advertising even for the people that like your page to view your posts.
Ok so why is this change a problem for small and local business using facebook?
The only exposure available to business users is paid for advertising, but is this affordable and will they achieve a sales conversion to justify the cost? I expect only big business with big budgets will be able to fill this space.
Facebook has forgotten or don’t care why users like a page and I can’t see any reason why users should continue to like pages with these changes, except to encourage facebook advertising to/from your friends. Pages that don’t advertise will probably become invisible.
We all avoid the adverts when online, the intrusive nature of the way they force themselves into our personal space is annoying even if we are interested in that product or service. However, allowing us to choose to like a page and then follow their activity gives the user the power to opt in or out and essentially the only way we will accept interacting with business on our facebook page.
I expect people are more likely to purchase via facebook from a page referral by one of their trusted friends or a positive interaction with a page they liked, a sale created by active choice rather than advertisement.
So what are the options for small and local business?
It’s not all lost, there are options available and SME’s should be running a comprehensive social media campaign to include a variety of platforms anyway (supported by a current and informative website). But be sure to manage your time, it is all too common for business people to waste time on social media under the pretence that it is all part of your sales & marketing strategy.
Google+, desperate to take off and with the added benefit of favourable Google ranking.
Twitter, consistent performer and easy to use.
Blogs, still a great way to interact with your customers/potential customers.
Ultimately the big disappointment for me is facebook seemed destined to become the search engine of the future, linking people and business in a seamless interaction. Unfortunately that is probably impossible now as business will surely log off.
If you’re interested here is a link to the blog of Brian Bolan https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Organic-Reach-on-Facebook
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