Facebook has killed free advertising – what next for business pages?
You may have heard Facebook has changed users’ timelines so they can connect and interact more with family and friends rather than businesses and organisations. As a social network set up to connect people with people it’s going back to its roots. On the flip side, this makes it much harder for businesses to use Facebook Pages as a free advertising tool. So what’s next for businesses on Facebook?
Can I still use Facebook for free?
Yes. But the number of people who see the posts on your Facebook Page will be extremely limited and reducing all the time as Facebook updates its algorithms.
Facebook wants pages to publish posts that get users talking amongst themselves, not with your business. This is going to call for clever content creation to start a discussion.
What Facebook Ads work best?
There will be a lot of trial and error during the coming months as everyone tests what works best for their particular business or industry. However, videos, gifs and questions are likely to perform best. Build this rich content into your Facebook Page posts.
Should I set up a Facebook Group instead?
Facebook Groups will still appear in timelines as they are for people with shared interests who want to support each other and offer advice. Setting up a Facebook Group and inviting your followers to join it may help you to share some marketing content.
However, groups with too many marketing messages will put people off. They also take time to cultivate and monitor. So only go down this route if you have even more time than you did for your Facebook Page. Don’t spam your group with sales messages but be helpful; sharing knowledge and inviting others to do the same.
Are Facebook Ads worth it?
If Facebook sparks sales or drives a lot of traffic to your website then the answer is yes. Set aside a monthly budget for boosting posts and placing Facebook Ads in sidebars.
The good thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can be really precise with your targeting – picking customers and potential leads by location, age, gender and interests. A well-targeted ad will help you reach many more people and give you good statistical feedback about your return on your investment. It will also offer you insights about the type of content that works for your audience and when to post.
What else can I do to reach my audience?
The changes to Facebook business pages make it a good time to review your social media and PR plans. Look at how many leads you get from each social media platform and maybe rethink where you invest your time and budget.
Amplify PR is a Southampton-based Hampshire PR agency. If you would like help to update your social media and PR plans then we’re happy to chat through the options.