As business owners, Facebook has been a great way to get your business out there - effectively free advertising with the potential to push (advertise/market) your business to more people through the use of the 'boost' button. And until recently that has seemed like an option that we don't have to take... until now.
So lets talk about that!
So until the last couple of months, we've been able to actively engage our business with its followers - hopefully, your clients and potential clients, through Facebook. But in the last couple of months Facebook has made changes to its algorithm and that's left a lot of us posting into space. Our followers no longer see as much from us as they used to, and this can see like an unrewarding task.
So let's talk about why these changes occurred.
Facebook made the changes due to a continued strategic vision to get its followers to spend more quality time on the platform. Note that this is about 'quality time', not just 'any' time.
Despite Facebook continuing to grow the number of active users, expected to reach 1.34 billion in 2018, it recognises that it needs to improve the quality of its connection.
"One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
But recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content -- posts from businesses, brands and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other."
Mark Zuckerberg, Jan 2018.
And we're also aware that despite the user base growing, many people are leaving Facebook. Their users are getting older (25 to 34-year-olds make up 29.7% of users - the most common age demographic), with many of the younger generation avoiding the platform as it's not cool to be 'where mum and dad are'. The users instead increasing in emerging countries.
So its growing, but is it long-term growth that will sustain the platform?
So that's the why, but what can we do?
As you've probably taken from the title of the article, we (business owners) need to start boosting our posts.
And there are generally two camps when we discuss this.
1 - Hell No Beard! Why Should I Pay?
Look the truth is that Facebook's platform is a marketing platform. It generates revenue through advertiser platform - that's how it works.
So if you want to improve your reach, then you're going to have to pay for it. When was the last time a TV or radio ad was given for free? Yep, never. If you want access to its users, then that will come at a cost.
The truth is that you can continue to sit in this camp - but your organic reach is likely to decline as Facebook continues to update its feed algorythm as it works towards its vision of improving 'quality time' on the patform.
And, as a result, I would plead with you to start moving towards the 2nd camp.
2 - Ok, So What Can We Do?
Firstly, we need to recognise that this change is Facebook's way of making a better platform. And a better platform for businesses means better reach and better engagement.. and all that means that if we get it right, our marketing will work better for us. Afterall, if the platform stagnates and the loses viewers, then we lose access to marketing eyeballs - our target market.
So boosting posts needs to be seen as a 'way we do business', not an optional extra. We need to commit funds to get our ad out there and viewed.
But we can do this in a way that also helps us. We can better research, learn and implement how to use targeting to better ensure a more successful spend. And this can be done within the business or through the use of professionals.
Let's Wrap This Up
Committing funds is never a fun task of the business, but it would appear that its needed for Facebook. If you're starting this process it doesn't have to be thousands of dollars on one ad, but we should consider what we're communicating (marketing) to our followers and what's the best way to get an effective spend.
This means two things 1) having great content that people want to engage with and 2) knowing how best to deliver this. And hopefully articles like this help guide you along the way. If you're interested in discussing these topics further then I would suggest joining up to our Facebook Group;- How to Shoot Video For Your Business, and obviously if you'd like more information about the types of quality content that your Facebook page could be using to market its business, then we'd love to have a chat.