The Mighty Hullabaloo (over the Changing Facebook Algorithms and the new Pay-to-Promote)

Facebook businessI don’t normally take a stand on issues that are flying around, I tend to park  in neutral, but I’m going to voice my opinion on this current controversy, which I’m sure will kick up some dust.

What I’m talking about here is the DRAMA over the changing Facebook Algorithms the last few weeks and the furore over the new “Pay-to-Promote” feature that Facebook has recently introduced. There’s lots of folks complaining about having to pay for posts and how Facebook “is supposed to be free”. Let’s get this into perspective because I think the controversy has been a little unbalanced and one-sided lately…..

The facts….

  1. Facebook Business Pages have been around since 2007. That’s a full five years that businesses have had the remarkable opportunity to promote their businesses online  FOR FREE
  2. Facebook Advertising has only been around the last few years. THIS IS OPTIONAL. No-one is holding a gun to your head to advertise on Facebook. You can still operate your Facebook for Business Page FOR FREE, no-one is forcing you to advertise.
  3. The Facebook “Pay to Promote” feature has been around for a couple of months now. Again, THIS IS OPTIONAL. You can take it or leave it.
  4. The statistics I’ve seen flying around this week is that only between 10-25% of your Fans are seeing your Business Posts. Guess what, the “average” number of Fans that saw your business posts before the promotion feature started, was only 17% anyway. THIS IS NOT NEW. It’s called EDGERANK and it has been around since the start of Facebook Business Pages. It is vital that you understand how EdgeRank works and how it affects your Page, and how/when your Fans see your Posts. I have a blog post about this here if you want to read more (I highly recommended that you understand EdgeRank if you want to get some results from your Facebook Business Page!)….
  5. There are 1 Billion people sitting on Facebook every month, and 3 Billion posts a day. I have been asking my clients this week, “Do you want a piece of this?” and “Hell Yeah!” has been the resounding cry! Facebook is the 3rd largest population in the world, why wouldn’t you want a piece of this action for your business!

My approach to all things Social Media….

  1. My approach is to UNDERSTAND the rules and work within them
  2. Rather than get upset about Facebook moving the furniture around, I simply work out WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S CHANGED, WHAT’S GONE and work out a plan for how I am going to use the new or changed features from there
  3. For MISSING features, I simply work out WHAT I NEED TO CHANGE IN MY OWN BUSINESS PLAN to compensate for the missing features
  4. I say, be grateful as a business that you do have acces to a  FREE PLATFORM like Facebook to advertise your business with, online
  5. BE AWARE of the Paid features that are AVAILABLE to you, and make choices in your business about when to pay for a service. Base this choice on your specific needs and remember there is nobody forcing you to pay for advertising or promoted posts. Make a plan for what you will pay for, and what you won’t and stick to it.
  6. BE DISCERNING. Don’t pay for a promoted post just to spread your latest blog post. Use the PAID features wisely. Set a clear budget for promoted posts and stick to it. For example, if you have an event coming up, why not use a PROMOTED POST to ensure that you get a wider spread of Fans that will see (and come to) your event? Makes sense to me! A “promoted” post on Facebook is typically $5 or $10. This is a damn sight cheaper than a newspaper advertisement to promote your event?!?!!?

marketing Facebook business

My advice to all Small Businesses using Facebook….

The advice to my clients this week will be the same as the advice to my clients last week, and that is, that nothing has changed from a Strategy point of view. It just means that you have to ensure that you are taking these steps below…..

  1. Be clear about your CONTENT. Make sure it’s relevant and specific to your Fans
  2. Work on your ENGAGEMENT. This will elevate the position of your posts further to the top of the News Feed of your Fans so that they actually see your business and click on your posts more often. This will help to “spread” your business throughout the community of Facebook. There are loads of ways that you can improve your Engagement
  3. Have a strategy to build up your FANBASE. If your Following is steadily increasing, then the number of people that will see, share, like and comment on your posts, will snowball and will help you gather more Fans and attract a larger Following to your Page (this is the viral nature of Social Media).

My book Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business is dedicated to these 3 x topics above of CONTENT, ENGAGEMENT + FANBASE. My book is based on 3 years of dedicated research on these subjects areas where my overall aim of the book was to help small business owners feel….

  1. Empowered to run their business their way, and no longer be at the mercy of Marketing Companies or PR departments
  2. Knowledgeable about what they need to do, and the steps they need to take, to get the most out of Facebook for their Business as a FREE ONLINE MARKETING TOOL
  3. Aware of the various PAID OPTIONS available to them within Facebook
  4. Skilled with the tools they need to make a choice between the various FREE and PAID options that Facebook is making available to all businesses, as it best suits their mission, aims, purpose and intentions of their business.

Bottom line is, Facebook has leveled the playing field for all businesses. Online marketing is no longer confined to the big businesses with the big marketing budget. Small business now has the ability to make a big splash online if they treat Facebook as their online marketing partner and learn how to best utilise the tools available to them

So for my 2 cents worth on this topic folks, it’s not about what Facebook can do for you FOR FREE, it’s about how you can BEST USE the features that Facebook is offering you, to maximise the benefits for your business. This is how I see it. In other words, get this into perspective people, let’s get our big pants on and let’s get on with dealing with the changes at hand. Did we complain when floppy discs went to CD? And when CD’s went to DVD? No, we just evolved. So let’s evolve what we need to do, rather than whinge about it….

Oh, and another thing, Facebook (and all of Social Media), is also primarily about building community and sharing your knowledge, love and wisdom with your customers. It is about creating an opportunity for your clients to connect with you on a “Social” platform. Let’s not forget that it’s not just about making a dollar. These other “touchy-feely” aspects of Facebook are just as important as any other reason to use Facebook to promote your business.

Overall folks, let’s keep positive about this! We couldn’t expect ALL the Facebook features to STAY FREE FOREVER right? Seriously? We forget that Facebook is a  PRIVATE COMPANY, and they need to MAKE MONEY too, just like you and I. Can we really blame them for adding some EXTRA PAID OPTIONS in an effort to make money and elevate their share price? Can we begrudge them this? I don’t see any other company that is publicly-listed on the Global Stock Exchange, come under this much scrutiny because of their efforts to try to make some cashola and bring home some bacon….

It would have been really nice for Facebook to have stayed completely 100% free forever, but this is a fantasy. The true reality is that we live in a world of business, driven by cash, and the need to generate it. Facebook is no different in this desire and need to make a profit

I would love to hear your thoughts on this very hot topic Peeps? Leave me a comment on my Facebook Page, and let’s have a good pow-wow….

PS. And for the cynics out there, I am not paid, reimbursed or compensated in any way shape or form, by the  Facebook Corporation, to say anything favourable or positive about them. These opinions are my own and are completely unsolicited. Yep, I truly believe that Facebook Business Pages are  the best thing for small business since sliced bread. But then, I fully embrace the best of all the online tools available for my business, free, almost free or totally unfree.

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here

Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca

Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here

Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And I would be totally over the moon if you shared this post with your friends in your favourite online playground. Thank you xx

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Specialist, Author, Speaker & FaceBook Business Specialist

{Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

 

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About Francesca

Francesca Esposito-Rose is CEO of SummerHills.com, a successful Australian Retreat. Also Digital Strategist, Business Mentor and Facebook Business Specialist. With extensive experience over many years in corporate and public management and private business ownership, a past life as a geek and too much internet experience to admit in public, she translates Facebook for Business into understandable language that others leave you wondering about. Francesca has a fresh and straight-talking style in both writing and management, getting the job done, quickly, efficiently and successfully.

2 Responses to “The Mighty Hullabaloo (over the Changing Facebook Algorithms and the new Pay-to-Promote)”

  1. Locky December 5, 2012 4:22 am #

    good material here

    Locky

  2. Omar K. January 12, 2013 7:38 pm #

    Spot on with this write-up, thanks for that information. I think that Facebook will be around for a while longer too – thanks for giving your viewpoint

    Omar K.

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