Facebook’s newest push for revenue, the “promoted post”, has some small business owners crying foul over having to pay to promote posts. Whether or not you feel it’s fair, the truth is that many social media platforms are desperately searching for ways to turn traffic into dollars and that’s OK. Don’t blame Zuckerberg for your house of cards.
In an article called “What’s a Facebook Follower Worth?” from the Wall Street Journal featured a caterer, Richard Bishop, who said it was unfair that Facebook attracted him with a free page and then zapped him with promoted posts. Bishop goes on to say that if he had to promote all 35 of his weekly posts it would cost him over $9,000. That certainly begs the question, is Facebook your only method of marketing?
The small business has the advantage of being agile, responding to change quickly. While the allure of ‘free’ advertising on social media seems obvious, it’s easy to forget that it is not the center of marketing. By placing all your bets on one tactic, you are essentially building a marketing house of cards where one slight breeze is going to send it crashing down.
Having Facebook working as part of a larger strategy is a much better move. Zuckerberg is not to blame because some business owners decided to put all their marketing efforts on a one-trick pony known as Facebook. Even if you’re doing fine with a loyal Facebook following, is it really necessary to promote every single post? Heck, no!
IT’S STILL ABOUT THE ONLINE CONTENT, BABY
Create content that begs to be shared. It’s been said by so many experts, gurus and anyone near a blog. Find out what your audience wants and then keep it relevant. I may not see all 35 posts, but I may see the one that rings true with me that I will take the time to share. Start a conversation, get feedback. It isn’t about pushing and broadcasting till someone finally submits and buys something. Even if only 10% of your audience is seeing the post, you shouldn’t panic. Facebook should be an ‘outpost’ not a hub for your content. Think of other ways and platforms to amplify your message.
STOP CHASING SHINY OBJECTS AND GET TO WORK
Here’s the bottom line. I know how easy it is to get distracted by shiny objects. Pinterest hits the scene and everyone starts building a Pinterest page. Facebook introduces promoted posts and right away people start spending while others complain that it’s unfair. The truth is YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT. Get to work first. Create an overall marketing strategy and BAM! Now you have an actual filter to decide whether promoted posts will juice your social media tactics or if it’s something to ignore for now. Take the time to do the work up front and it will save you time and stress later.
So don’t worry about what Zuck and his crew are doing over at Facebook. Keep your marketing diverse and use the tactics that make sense for your business. Start with a strategy and keep your marketing from being like a house of cards because of a change on Facebook.
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