By now everyone has heard of Facebook, and everyone who runs a business, large and small, understands its importance in terms of marketing. However, ever since Facebook became a publicly traded company it has become increasingly difficult to use as an organic marketing tool.
If you'd like to reach the precious group of Fans you've collected, good luck. Facebook filters will only allow you to reach 1% of your existing audience. That means you have 1000 Fans, just 10 of them will your post. Unless you pay Facebook to extend your reach using their Promoted Post feature. Of course even this tool won't allow you to reach all your existing Fans--just a group of people who might be "Fans or Friends of Fans" or you can use the targeted approach and use keywords and "interests" and some geographic or demographic descriptions.
This all sounds wonderful until you realize this is going to cost you about $50, for each and every post. Or more.
So, maybe you've consider Facebook ads instead. Those ubiquitous ads which pop-up in our streams from time to time or linger in the sidebar when you visit your profile. You know the ads I mean because you have somehow avoided every clicking on one the entire time you've been using Facebook. Me too. In nine years I've never been interested enough to click on a single Facebook ad, much less have I been inclined to use them for my clients.
Oh, and let's not forget to mention that if your Facebook advertising isn't budgeted for thousands of dollars a month or more, you are unlikely to see any noticeable results. In fact, the only person who I know who has seen a decent ROI for their Facebook advertising spend was someone who sells a program which teaches people how to make money using Facebook ads.
Not a ringing endorsement to be sure.
In my opinion Facebook has squandered their advantage in terms of small business marketing by trying to wring every penny out of business owners. They have created algorithms which force business owners to use Facebook advertising tools regardless of their effectiveness, in an effort to derive some sort of effective marketing strategy. Only to find that they quickly deplete their budgets with little to no return on their investment.
My recommendation is that businesses make full use the free, organic, tactics available for marketing on Facebook until such time as Facebook proves that their advertising tools work with real, tangible, case studies. Without a proven track record of effectiveness Facebook advertising is merely going to waste your precious time and resources and make running your business all the more difficult.