A few months back I wrote about whether your business should bother with a Facebook page as they began to close down the free ride they were giving business to promote themselves. In a nutshell, overly promotional posts are now removed and you have to pay to reach most (if not pretty much all) of your followers. As expected, the backlash to this has been people mainly snipping and moaning… I mean, because life just isn’t fair, right?
Whilst I agree – not only is it hard to run a Facebook page for a business that doesn’t have the extra spend available to advertise, but it’s also pretty depressing to see a great piece of content reach only a tiny minority of followers – let’s not forget that Facebook offers us all something for free. Whether you use the platform to stalk your ex-partner or promote your business, we’re all enjoying the ready-made world Facebook has created for us to communicate in. And in my opinion, if Facebook have decided they’d like to slap a price tag on it then that’s their prerogative. They’ve brilliantly sucked people in and then hiked up the price in the old ‘bait and switch’. Clever old Zuckerberg, eh?
But I might just be the only person who thinks this. I recently saw a post about a band and their attempts to ‘fight’ Facebook in the post ‘Metal Band Launches Petition Against Facebook’s Extortion Of Bands’. The band have launched a petition at Change.org that states how unfair of Facebook it is to raise advertising rates of bands who “should be able to reach all of their fans without having to pay for it”.
Over 40 thousand people agree with them (which I suspect is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of people that it would take for Facebook to sit up and listen). That’s over 40 thousand people who don’t think it’s enough that Facebook provide somewhere for bands to host music, display tour dates, sell merch, interact with fans and reach potential new fans, all for free.
When I was younger I did a lot of band ‘stuff’ and like the author of the above post, I also spent my time out in the cold handing out flyers. I was excited when MySpace launched because suddenly something was going to help with promotion – and it was a bonus that it was free, not a right. Bands using Facebook shouldn’t feel too hard done by for having to pay for the privilege of their audience being handed to them on a plate. I would rather pay for a targeted audience than waste time and money handing out flyers to people who couldn’t give a toss. As the writer states:
The Internet is f*****g awesome, and so is Facebook as a band platform, even if it doesn’t end up having the desired reach and/or it costs money.
You are probably thinking ‘how does this affect me and my business?’. But bands are businesses – the band itself are a brand, which they promote in order to sell their product – and getting people onboard who truly love the brand results in higher sales. You might be able to draw a parallel between that and your own business. And just like these disgruntled bands, you too might be feeling the sting of having one of your best sources of promotions and customer communication suddenly slapped with a hefty price tag. But instead of sitting back and waiting for Facebook to retract their costs (hint: you might be waiting a while), take the advice of the author – Facebook can be a brilliant tool, even if it costs you money. Look at it as paying to speak to 100 potential customers instead of getting 500 rubbish leads for free.
Pretty much all forms of advertising cost money, and Facebook now needs to be added into that pile – but if you can justify the spend with engaged fans, more referral traffic from Facebook to your website and ultimately, increased sales, then it’ll be money well spent. Don’t let the rising costs of social media put you off – just learn how to make everything you post worthwhile. Facebook have made it clear that promotional posts are finished and posts with
hideous clickbait great content are the way forward. And so to repeat a mantra that we at Browser Media just can’t get enough of, this just goes to show that content truly is king in pretty much every corner of the digital world.