4.3.14

Brands: Say Goodbye to Social Facebook and Meet Paid Facebook

BY NEIL ROBERTSON

I have spent the past 7 years telling companies, marketers, advertisers… anyone with a brand and a story to tell that Facebook is KEY to any online marketing strategy. Facebook for brands is beyond just social media.

Brands: Say Goodbye to Social Facebook and Meet Paid Facebook

Yes, it is a way to connect with your consumers. But it is so much more than that! It’s a resource for market research. It’s a key outlet for content. It is an important part of your SEO strategy. It’s a great advertising platform when demographics and interests matter. It’s a platform to stay in front of your consumers for the long haul.

Not anymore.

It has been no secret that over the last couple years, organic reach for brand pages have fallen. Drastically. The 16% mark Facebook has admitted most brands will reach organically, in reality has often resulted in organic reach well short of that. Now comes news that most brands have realized for a long time: expected organic reach is between 1-2%.

And with that, bye bye Facebook social marketing strategy. Oh, and Facebook doesn’t really care.

The reason Facebook is no longer a viable social marketing strategy is that it is no longer a social media platform for brands. Instead, it is a long term paid strategy for brands. AdWords, meet your new friend Facebook. Facebook, this is AdWords. You have a lot in common now. Yes, you are very different. Facebook is still built around demographic and interests-targeting (and a very good one at that). Like AdWords though, your goal now is to drive traffic off-sites to your site. No reason to build up page likes anymore. There is no long term benefit of your page anymore. In fact, your Achilles heel Facebook is engagement. Who wants it now? More so, who wants to pay for it now? A like to my sponsored post doesn’t help me and a comment no one will see certainly doesn’t. A share is ok but, to be honest, who needs that anymore? I need to drive traffic to my site and landing pages now. That is what I am willing to pay for. With no one seeing my content on Facebook, I need to connect my customers on my playing field these days.

With that said, should there be an exodus of brands away from Facebook? Well, this isn’t the first time brands have lashed out at Facebook. Maybe Eat24 and the others that may follow suit (I have yet to hear of any others) could get Facebook’s attention. But Facebook has shown now, as it has in the past, that it doesn’t care. It’s moving toward paid and away from what was perceived as free advertising over the years. Therefore, if brands are willing to pay, then their paid strategy just needs a little tweaking and should fit in line with their PPC strategy. If you’re not willing to pay, then you have to ask yourself if your 1-2% organic reach is worth the effort. There is still the SEO benefit of your Facebook page and content posts. Shrinking your social media budget to more effective avenues like PPC and SEO could be a good start though!

Neil Robertson
written by NEIL ROBERTSON
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