Brokerages and agents using Facebook Business Pages may have noticed a big drop in post reach and user engagement over the past months. Where did everybody go? Your followers are still around, but you can thank a decision by Facebook to dramatically limit the number of brand posts that they can see. Even before the change, Facebook’s relevance algorithms allowed only about 16% of brand posts in user feeds. Now it’s more like 6% – unless you’re a big brand where it stands at around 2%.
This is not in response to user complaints. It’s because Facebook wants to make money so you can make money by spending money to buy ads. But not just any old ad. Facebook is offering plenty of demographic and user interest data to help you more successfully target your ads to make them more effective. There’s quite a selection to choose from like Sponsored Stories, Suggested Posts, right column ads, mobile only plus premium video ads. You can choose to pay per click or per impression and limit your daily spend.
It’s all good, right? So says Facebook:
“Like many mediums, if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising,”
So what if a few companies have actually left Facebook or have already decided not to use Facebook ads and focus on their websites again. How much of an impact is General Motors decision to ditch the ads after research showed they had no impact on new car purchases anyway?
As for small businesses, my own experience with Facebook ads has been dismal to date. And I suspect that most small businesses don’t have the resources or inclination to get into Facebook’s ad game anyway. But maybe things like Facebook’s Boot Camp for Small Biz will help. Or Facebook’s plan to offer affordable “small business” pricing
so they can throw $10 out the window for single post promotions. Those little dollars can add up to big bucks for Facebook but only if small businesses go along.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking about creating a Facebook business page, skip it since the only way to gain traction is to pay for it. Spend your time on other networks that are free. And pay more attention your website and local directory listings.
For those with Facebook business pages already, maybe there will be some success stories and how-to books and blogs to help you make paid ads work. But forget the old days when posting useful content and engaging with users was the path to social networking success. You’ll need to think of Facebook as a marketing channel that does or doesn’t perform. Because now you’re spending not only your time but your money. You’ll find out sooner or later if the cover charge is worth it.
Image via Eat24