Is Facebook Really Free?

It is so amazing how much Facebook has changed our culture.  Even though I don't often post things on my personal account, I am somewhat addicted to checking in several times a day to see what's going on in the world... or at least in the in the world of my circle of friends.

Even though there are often rumors about Facebook's plans to start charging its users, it is and most likely will remain a free service.  So, it is natural that small business owners would want to capitalize on the Facebook revolution.  And, how smart to be able to market to your customers without spending a dime, right?  Wrong!  It is absolutely false to think that Facebook is free for a small business.

Sure, you may not be paying to advertise on Facebook, but it is costing you time at the very least.  And, that is certainly worth something.  Even if you can justify spending the time to reach your followers, many small business owners will be shocked to know thatFacebook limits the number of posts users receive in their news feeds.  According to Facebook itself, the average business post reaches only 16% of its fans.  Think about that... if you have 100 fans, Facebook is on average only going to show your posts to 16 of them.  And, that doesn't even take into account if the followers who get it in their feed are even paying attention to you!  Now, think about if that is worth your time or not.

Does that mean that you should abandon Facebooking for business?  Maybe, maybe not.  Hopefully, you are doing it because it is a strategic part of an overall marketing plan.  If that is the case, it is probably time to investigate the tools that Facebook has to engage more of your followers... ads, the new Promoted Post program, etc.  No, these tools aren't free, but they aren't near as expensive as traditional advertising.  And, Facebook does a great job of providing analytics tools to track success of campaigns.

In summary, you get what you pay for... if you want to start seeing more results from your efforts on Facebook, it might be time to ante up!

Social MediaJennifer Morrow