I’ve been using Facebook for almost 10 years now, long before Mark Zuckerberg took Facebook public on the stock market. “Using” makes me sound like an addict… I guess it can be kinda of addicting.
I have seen trends come and go and have been through so many timeline and layout changes over the years, it’s enough to make a grown man cry. Each change, being a thorn in the side of those who just got used to the current way things operated.
Though most changes have been a good move for the growth of Facebook, some have not faired so well [Facebook no longer free link].
I started a personal Facebook page a few years ago and was growing it an average of 30-40 new fans per day, some days the number sky rocketed to over 100! These numbers were impressive for a fairly new Facebook page, let alone one for a personal blog.
Unfortunately, with the growth of most companies, money becomes the primary goal.
“But without focusing on money, a business will fail” someone says.
Profit is important, but if that is the primary purpose of a business, that business will fail. I believe the ultimate purpose of a business is to change lives… but I covered that in a different blog post.
The Day the Algorithm Changed
In 2014, Facebook announced that it was changing the algorithm of the newsfeed to lessen the amount of posts in a person’s newsfeed. This was unfortunate news to any small business who used Facebook to reach new customers. Though Facebook claims that the change of algorithm and organic reach was to improve user experience, I can’t help but think it was to increase the bottom line and ROI of their investors.
Regardless of the real reason behind the drop of organic reach, things have changed for small business and we must adapt.
Spending money on Facebook ads works well… when you know what you are doing.
A while ago, it was all about growing your Facebook page fan base. It used to be that you could post something to your Facebook page and 50% of your fans would see the post. This was awesome for a small businesses as there was no cost involved, only the time taken to post.
As time passed, the newsfeed became more overwhelming. This is when Facebook decided that they needed to change things.
The current algorithm monitors what you post, like, comment on and share, then using that information, it shows you more of the same content. It doesn’t only do this with pages, but it also affects the content you see from your Facebook friends.
The organic reach of a Facebook post has declined and is hovering around the 1-2% mark. This means that 1-2% of all your page fans will see a post that you make. If you have 100 fans on your page, 1-2 people will see your post.
There are many ways to increase organic reach, including using video, which is currently getting 10 times the reach of any other type of post.
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I have been an avid Facebook advertiser since 2009 and have seen all the improvements with targeting and post type. Like mentioned before, I used to advertise to grow my Facebook page, but now, with organic reach at an all time low, there is not much benefit in having a large fan base.
It is better to spend advertising dollars reaching new clients, increasing traffic to your website, and growing your email list. Through these types of advertising, I have noticed that Facebook pages still tend to grow! And the best thing is, you don’t need fans on your page to advertise, you just need a page.
A short one month video advertising campaign we recently did for a client saw their Facebook page grow 146% in one month with over 41,000 video views locally! All this with a modest advertising budget.
For as little as $5/day and proper targeting tactics, a small business can get a good return on their advertising dollar. I wish organic reach worked as well as it used to, but as with all good things, they must come to an end.
So bottomline, don’t waste your advertising dollars on trying to grow your page, but rather invest your dollars getting potential customers to your website and ringing your phone.