If you have a Facebook business page you use regularly, chances are you have noticed a decline in your organic reach on posts.  Unlike-ThumbEven with thousands of ‘Likes’ it is likely that only 1-2% of your fans see that you are posting regularly.  Facebook recently explained on their blog why this is happening and it all has to do with a change in their Newsfeed algorithm back in December 2013. 

Basically, the more popular Facebook gets, the more content gets posted.  If users saw every single post from every friend and page they liked they would be swamped with way to many posts! Facebook estimates average users would be up against 1500 new posts every time they logged in to the Newsfeed.  To fix this post overload the new algorithm which targets content based on what is most relevant to the users interests.  This means that instead of showing someone all 1500 posts, Facebook picks 300 or so for that persons Newsfeed, thus showing them about 20% of what is posted by their Friends or likes.  

What does this have to do with YOUR business page and organic reach? Well, it means that there is much more competition to be part of that 20% of viewable content for that user. It also means that users who do get to see your posts will probably be far more engaged by them because of the targeted interests.  This is why it is crucial to post relevant high-quality content on your business pages AND to start investing some marketing dollars into Facebook advertising.

“But Facebook has always been FREE… Why should I start paying for it now?!” This one frustrates a lot of our customers, but the answer is simple.  On top of trying to clean up Newsfeeds and make content more engaging thus providing a better overall experience for users, Facebook is a public company.  Like any business, they have to find ways to generate revenue and this is one of those ways.  Also, Facebook ads are still extremely affordable when it comes to advertising streams with average costs to reach 1000 people somewhere around $0.25.  Moz.com provides an excellent infographic and thought on paying for Facebook ads:

If you just spend $1 per day on Facebook ads, you will get in front of 4,000 people that wouldn’t have seen you otherwise. If you are doing that and your competitors aren’t, you win the awareness game in your niche.

Facebook Cost to Reach 1000 People - Infographic

Source: http://moz.com/blog/1-dollar-per-day-on-facebook-ads

 

So now what? Should small businesses still use Facebook pages?

YES! Even though organic reach will likely disappear for business pages in the near future, Facebook can still be an extremely valuable marketing tool.  Advertising to customers costs money; that is the reality of business.  Sure it was great when it was free, but all good things must come to an end at some point.  Don’t miss out on potential customers or keeping current fans up-to-date and engaged.  If you aren’t marketing to potential customers, your competition probably is!  Make a plan to put some dollars towards your online presence and be sure to include Facebook targeted advertising in there!

Wilkins IT Solutions has Social Media packages made just for small businesses.  We can help explain how popular Social Media sites work and how you can increase business by adding them to your marketing plan.  If you simply don’t have the time (or online savvy) to get into Social Media, but know how important they are, don’t stress; we can be as involved as you need us to be! Whether you need us to just set you up and get you started or manage your accounts 100%, we would love to help!  

Read more about organic Facebook reach changes at https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Organic-Reach-on-Facebook

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