Facebook has been a lucrative advertising medium for tens of thousands of small businesses since 2007. One thing has changed, however. The days of wide-reaching, free promotion are gone.
Until late 2013, businesses reached about 20 percent of their fan bases with posts from their pages. For many small companies, this proved to be an affordable alternative to more expensive channels like Google’s pay per click offering.
In 2014, most businesses saw non-paid reach decrease below 5 percent per post. Facebook’s message to advertisers and small businesses is simple. If you want to continue to profit from Facebook, you’re going to have to buy paid advertisements.
The good news is this shift resulted in many new forms of paid advertisements within Facebook.
The bad news is Facebook marketing costs, in general, have risen. So how do you deal with the loss of non-paid reach?
You most likely have to buy advertising space to maintain and/or expand your Facebook presence.
Your business can continue posting content, products and the like to your page. But you should give key posts a boost so your reach is large enough to continue to generate interest and sales.
There are many other types of advertisements, too. We’ve found the most successful promotions are displayed in Facebook’s news feed. You have the ability to send people to your Facebook page or directly to your website. You can create ads that allow consumers to download your mobile app. There’s even an opportunity to create and promote a gallery of images that displays your work.
While things have changed dramatically in the last couple of years, one thing remains.
Facebook is still a viable means of reaching new and existing customers. Small businesses continue to see positive returns, but many have shifted into paid advertisements.
You don’t have to be an expert to create successful ad campaigns. There are local seminars through groups like SCORE, the Wake County Libraries and Shop Local Raleigh.
You can also study Facebook’s tutorials or contact a firm that offers Facebook training to get up to speed. Youtube is another great resource for DIY tutorials.
Don’t let a simple change in strategy deter you from leveraging the world’s largest social network.
Jeremy Sisk is owner of small-business marketing firm Xperience4Higher. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org