The Age of Free Facebook Marketing is Over

The Age of Free Facebook Marketing is Over

facebook-marketingPages, the longstanding free tool in use by social media marketing companies for years, has allowed businesses to have a wide support base for some time, as the pages allowed businesses to increase their market reach quite effectively.  However, Facebook has been trimming back the organic strength of Pages for some time, and since Facebook boasts a membership of 1.23 billion, even a small trim on the organic reach of Pages can have a significant negative impact.

Pages have had a significant decrease over the last several months, and the powers that be over at the social media juggernaut decided that the best way to overcome this decrease is to actually go ahead and sell ads.  One of the big problems which some may associate with this is they have had a great deal of past success with the free nature of Pages, so the thought of buying ads could be quite daunting.

To combat some of this, developers have gone and decreased the number of Facebook’s organic page reaches.  What this means is there are going to be a number of businesses struggling to come up with adequate funds to cover the cost of ads on Facebook.  These smaller businesses have become used to the ability of Pages to get the word out about their business and now that they would be expected to buy ads, this could impact the business’ bottom line.

Certainly, Facebook becomes the clear winner on this; with $7 billion in ad revenue generated in the last 12 months alone, slowly decreasing the numbers of organic page views that Pages gets is not going to harm Facebook’s reputation much.  What the Facebook shift has meant is that it is looking at what it believes is “high quality” content, and the Pages that are currently part of the Facebook fold may not necessarily foot the bill, which is why it is now asking companies to pony up cash for ads instead.

In fact, the amount of ad revenue is expected to balloon to $10.8 billion for the social media juggernaut this year.  What remains to be seen, though, is how willing companies, particularly smaller companies, are going to be to help contribute to Facebook’s coffers.  Typical users are hit with 1,500 posts daily from friends, family and businesses, and there are up to 300 of these that appear in a user’s News Feed at any given time.  This has meant that Pages and their views are naturally dropping, but that has also come about from Facebook’s careful selection of what’s “important”.

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The only group that will not be happy with Facebook’s shift away from Pages is the group of smaller businesses ranging from the Mom and Pop style businesses looking to get on the map to the larger small businesses who now have to scramble to get ad funding together for Facebook.  Whatever the case, it remains clear that businesses and users alike are going to have to become more accustomed to a more business-oriented Facebook. So I guess the next time you think of starting a business page on Facebook, be ready to fuel the ads if you want more likes.

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