If you're a business that still posts to Facebook and prays that your target demo will see it, just stop it. It probably has never worked and never will. And because it has never worked, you are probably in the camp that thinks social media doesn't work. Here we go. Strap in.
Social media works. Social media especially works when you think about it at its core - be social with people. If people aren't seeing your posts, then they aren't being social with you, but guess what - it's not their fault you aren't making them see your posts. That's right, make them see it. That is practically what Facebook has become with regards to posting. We could go round and around on whether or not it's "right" of Facebook to make you pay-to-play, or we can just accept the reality and move on.
Yes, if you are a business and you are spending time planning out your social strategies and creating content (and especially if you are paying someone to run your Facebook account) and you are not committed to putting some physical cash to those posts, then I can tell you right now that you are likely wasting your time (and definitely wasting your money if you are paying someone).
Now, there are some exceptions to this thought process - say, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thousands and thousands of fans crave info from the team. They seek it out, share all the posts they can and act openly as Thunder brand ambassadors. Do your "fans" treat you the same way? It should be your goal for them to, of course, but likely your brand is not as popular/powerful yet. Knowing that, stop pretending and start taking action.
Facebook practically demanding you as a small-to-medium sized company (especially B2Bs) to pay-to-play is not necessarily a bad thing - and here's why:
Facebook forcing you to pay is the same as Facebook forcing you to reach your actual target demo and create conversions.
If you're an auto dealer, you may not want to pay $9.14 to get your Facebook post out there. But that $9.14 could gain you 1,000 impressions by only people who:
- Have already visited that car's specific inventory page on your website, proving to you they are already interested.
- Make between $75,000-$100,000 annually.
- Bought a car from you 3 years ago and are likely in the market again.
- Are literally right now - at this exact moment - at a competitor's car lot next door and currently out taking test drives.
These are just a tiny sampling of examples...but if that $9.14 could be seen by these people, isn't it worth it?
I'm not trying to scare anyone into thinking that because Facebook is practically pay-to-play, you should give up. I'm trying to encourage you to see past the ad spend for now, and see right to the spend your customers will be doing at your business because of it.
Social media is much bigger than just making Facebook posts, but if that is your company's only strategy, it's time to make a change.