I read a Forbes article about Facebook and its advertising prospects for small businesses.
I would like to expand upon it more. The article, written by Stephanie Chandler, details the EdgeRank system and how it promotes posts from businesses to consumers.
In truth it doesn’t. Take this quote from the article for instance.
For example, if you have 1,000 Facebook fans on your business page and you post an announcement about an upcoming event you’re hosting, you will be lucky if 5% to 10% of your followers see your post (many Facebook users report that their posts reach an average of just 1% to 5% of their audience).
5 percent, if you are lucky. Those are not good odds. As well the article then later talks about using the promoted posts to make your posts more visible to followers and their friends.
Here is the issue. Chandler talks about the fact that a business will spend a lot of time and effort to accrue followers and promote their business. When they finally have all of these followers, they cannot reach their market to promote themselves. The only way they can get their posts out to followers is to pay Facebook to promote them.
Most small businesses do not have the extra cash to be paying Facebook for promotions. Heck, most of them cannot advertise at all. Also, the article states that Facebook is beginning to wane as a platform. Sure it still has the most users, but that doesn’t mean squat if no one is looking at it.
Here is my take on all of this. Facebook has become a Massive Monster. It went from being a great place to see what your friends are up to, to now being cluttered with a monotonous amount of advertising and random fake-cause pictures (1000 likes to save my kitty blah blah blah).
While I will admit that you must have a Facebook presence, I do not think it should be a small business’s highest priority. Heck I don’t think it should even be in the top 5.
The way to use Facebook in its current form is to create groups and include employees and contacts to release important information quickly. Facebook is a great way to publicize memos, updates, or general announcements for everyone to see regardless of where they are. Emails can get deleted or lost, but a Facebook group stores the information so it can be looked up regardless of how old the info is, and can only be accessed by those invited into the group. Facebook can also be looked at on mobile devices, so the information can be accessed anywhere.
Content should be posted on the public business page, but you should not expect it to get on your follower’s newsfeeds. Content should be posted on the page as a reference for people who are searching for you.
Think of it as another website.
The key for small businesses is to get away from being stuck to Facebook. It takes time, but the more platforms you are on the better your chances to reach consumers. Try Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, or Instagram, these will help get people to your business. They are also all free, and if you know how to work them you can make a great impact on your market.