Strangers, Candy and the Facebook Drug for Business
In recent years it has become accepted that every business must have a “social media” presence in support of search engine optimization (SEO). While this is true, today we have a few observations for you.
When we started a Facebook page, we only initially had about 100 “likes”. As we would post, we would see that somewhere between 15 and 40 people would consistently see our posts, and our “likes” grew incrementally each month.
This was all very good – over time we would reach a greater and greater audience through quality posts. All was well in the force.
One day, we decided to try out the paid promotion in Facebook. It was heady stuff! Why for $50 we could have our post seen by over 20,000 people! We had to try it. A few clicks later, and after a brief delay for our post to be approved (our image had too much text so we fixed that) our promotion was off and running.
The results were more than we expected. Our “likes” grew by over 200 in one day. We received a call inquiring about services, and set up an initial meeting. Obviously this was something to keep up. We set a budget for each month of $100. Every other post or so we bumped with some promotion.
This was going to be the easiest marketing bump for the money we ever engaged in! But…something went sideways… Soon, our organic posts (no promotion) were only being viewed by 3 to 10 people. Our paid views stayed high, of course. We were well over 600 “likes”, yet our organic posts were still only being viewed by 8 to 16 people. That’s fewer views than when we only had about 100 likes!
Now, I know that there are other variables: some users get bored, sometimes our posts are not as fascinating as we think they are, yada yada yada…
But the conclusion for us is inescapable—once you start the promotion candy, if you want views, Facebook requires you keep paying the piper! With over 800 “likes” we get about 20 views organically and 66,000 paid. The fix is in!
What can you do? Nothing really. It feels dirty, but we signed up for this, and Facebook does say they control the vertical and the horizontal. So we will keep on paying while expanding our other SEO activities.
Just remember: once you take the candy you will have to keep coming back for more. And it won’t be free.
Facebook promotions can be good, but something affects your organic posts in a negative way after you start paid promotion.