Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was making some changes to the content shown to users. According to his Facebook post, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions…As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media.”
Naturally, this caused some negative reactions from businesses, brands and media about the effects of fewer people seeing their posts.
However, if you’ve had a Facebook Business page for any length of time, you’ve likely noticed that the number of people seeing your posts has been dwindling.
Organic reach (the percentage of people that Facebook would show your post to without advertising) was at one per cent in 2016 and Facebook has given indications that businesses can expect that to be zero in the near future.
So, in terms of actual reach, Zuckerberg’s announcement doesn’t change anything. However, it does highlight the fact that if you want to have any impact on Facebook, you’re going to have to invest money in advertising.
The great thing about Facebook advertising is how targeted you can get; as specific as the first three digits of a postal code and you can narrow the demographic from there. You can create different audiences to market to people with specific interests, you can exclude people with certain interests or job titles (so your ad isn’t being viewed by the competition) and the list goes on.
Your spend per ad can be as little as $25 to reach 1,000 people or more. Even if you’re ready to spend $100, if you find you’re not reaching the right people at first, you can pause the ad, tweak it and start again.
Facebook also has a tool called Lead Ads, which has mostly flown under the radar. The benefit of a Lead Ad is you target the ad to a specific audience and when someone clicks the button to “learn more”, a form pops up with their information pre-filled, with whatever you’ve set up. You can request a full name, phone number and address. While fewer people will do this than click “like” on a post, those who do are much more qualified prospects.
While it’s still important to be posting quality content and growing your list of followers, Facebook advertising is a must if you want to increase your reach and have a more powerful, business building impact.