Did you hear the latest news on what Facebook is doing to businesses? In the last 18 months or so, Facebook has been forcing companies to pay up to reach their Facebook fans. On the surface that doesn't sound too bad, but what does it really mean?
I was listening to Inside Social Media, a most excellent podcast by Rick Mulready. Rick had as his guest, the Director of Digital Media, Peter Stringer of the Boston Celtics. Peter said the Celtics had worked their way up to around 7 million fans on Facebook. Sounds great right? Well, a few months back they got a call from Facebook letting them know that from now on the organic posts by the Celtics wouldn't go very far unless they paid them $2,000-$4,000 per post. The Celtics were tracking the reach of their posts on Facebook and saw it immediately drop from an average reach of 3-4 million people (when it was free) down to a measly couple hundred thousand. Peter said Facebook dropped them down to about 4% reach and kept dropping it lower and lower. Now Peter said they are down to a reach of 2% (if they are lucky). Peter also said this move severely impacted their fan growth on Facebook. The Celtics aren't out there like they once were. Now they can't get as many new fans as before.
Facebook is a business and they have to make money; they have shareholders now. However, to choke off a company's communication with THEIR fans after all the time and effort companies have invested to get the fans in the first place is not very fair.
As marketers, you might want to seriously consider how much you want to invest in building up your client base on any one specific social media platform. After all, you don't own the platform. Advice! Invest the most in assets you do own... Things like your website and your email list. Keep Facebook in perspective. Facebook is not a bad place to be a user chatting with your friends or even a company looking to share information, but beware when putting ALL of your marketing efforts into social media marketing such as this. You never know when it could disappear from your budget.
Here is the link to the full Peter Stringer interview if you'd like to hear it...
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