I laugh when people get upset about Facebook now charging you to pay to get in front of all the people who “like” your page. My response is usually something sarcastic like “wait, you mean this free service that you’ve been leveraging for years to build your network and brand suddenly wants you to pony up a Benjamin or two so you can connect with your fans?”
Those of us who have been in business long enough to have placed an ad in the phone book remember feeling downright extorted by what we paid for marketing. I remember running a dollar bill-sized advertisement in the phone book, in a pretty small category, and it cost $400/month. I can’t imagine if I were a service provider like a plumber or lawyer and was paying for a full-page sized ad. For a while, the competition in the phone book got down-right crazy. Businesses were spending tens of thousands of dollars a year to have top billing. I realize there are people reading this post who don’t even remember the phone book… but if you ever see an older business named “A1 (insert business name)” or “AAA (insert business name),” this was a direct result of the phone book placement. It was alphabetical. That’s why you’ll never see “ZZZ Plumbers!”
But I digress. We *used* to spend a ton of money in marketing in order to get in front of clients. Then came the internet. Smart businesses started putting their website address in their phone book ad and on their business cards. Many businesses stopped printing flyers, because they could update it for free on their website. Businesses were showing up on search engines and slowly stopped paying for advertising in traditional avenues like the phone book. But that only lasted a while. Eventually everyone had a website and you had to then pay someone to do search engine optimization (SEO) on your website so that you’d rank higher on Google.
But then social media platforms exploded. Facebook allowed you to build a platform for interacting with clients like never before…. for free. Many businesses built up thousands of fans with little to no monetary investment. Many businesses stopped investing (again) on their websites and put their focus onto free sites like Facebook.
Then it happened. Facebook, in an effort to make sure their users only see quality content, slowed down how many of your posts would actually show in front of your fans. Many business owners said “those are MY fans, I can spam them as much as I want!”, which is true… but they forget that Facebook needs to pay their electric bill as well.
Facebook doesn’t ever want to become Myspace. They want to make sure that businesses aren’t constantly hitting their users over the head with offers and spam. So, the more you can get your fans to interact with you, the better. The Facebook algorithm sees that your fans WANT your content. The more they like, comment, and share, the more often your content (no matter what it is) will get in front of them.
But what if you don’t have time to spend months or years building up a quality campaign of content? Consider paying to have your posts “sponsored” to your fans. I’ll be doing a LOT of content about how to best target your fans and get your content in front of them through paid “boosts”. But for now, just look at the “boost post” button which appears after you’ve posted on your business page. Sometimes tossing $5-10 on a post to get in front of your fans is a great way to get started.
If you don’t have paid Facebook posts in your marketing budget, you should. If you don’t know how to push your content in front of your fans, we’d love to help with that. We help with, or completely administer Facebook Ad Campaigns.