Will Facebook Lose Small Business?
My frustration with Facebook seems to be growing almost daily of late. I'm beginning to question the amount of time and energy needed to stay on top of my Facebook business Page and the Pages of clients. With the time and effort invested to reach a small percentage of fans on Facebook, the value of the platform is becoming questionable.
Granted one can pay to advertise or promote posts to ensure a higher percentage of fans see Page posts, but the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm mean that this would need to be an ongoing occurrence if one was to 'be seen' on a regular basis. And even then, there are no guarantees.
Of course, Facebook is entitled to charge for their service - they are a business after all. But I wonder if they aren't 'shooting themselves in the foot' with their recent changes. If small businesses, that are unwilling or unable to pay to show up in the newsfeed of their fans, decide the time and energy involved in having a Facebook presence isn't justified by the results they are seeing, what will the impact be on Facebook?
Will the loss of advertising dollars that may have been spent by Pages wanting to build fan numbers, but not willing to pay on an ongoing basis for the privilege of appearing in fans' newsfeed, have an impact on Facebook? Or is all of this a a sign of things to come from not only Facebook but other social networks too?
Facebook may be the big kid on the block today but, like David and Goliath, things can change dramatically in a short space of time.
Many small businesses pay to advertise on Facebook, but not so they appear in their fans' newsfeed, but to grow the number of 'likes' and fans on their Page, and with the expected result that they'll show up in their fans' newsfeed. Not so now.
Facebook has now become a tool that for most businesses will require an ongoing investment of cash into advertising to see results. It's no longer a matter of advertising to get launched with a healthy number of fans. Now, one needs to pay ... and pay and pay.
Today, whether you have 100 fans or 10,000 fans only a small percentage are likely to ever see your posts show up in their newsfeed after they like your Page - unless you pay. And for many small businesses, where resources of time and money are often a bit tighter, this may mean Facebook is no longer a viable option.
Sue is the founder and CEO of 911SmalBiz helping small businesses with their online presence (websites, social media, marketing). Sue can be found on twitter at twitter.com/SueCockburn, on Google+ at gplus.suecockburn.com, on Pinterest at pinterest.com/SueCockburn and on Facebook at facebook.com/GrowingSocialBiz. Her website is 911SmallBiz.com.