Ahh, the good old days. Remember when social networks were new? When it was in fact kind of fun to build your brand’s free page on this new thing called Facebook? And even better, when you used to have lots of interaction with people who were called your ‘fans’ there? That was nice, wasn’t it?
But that was before the flood. The massive sunami of businesses – both large and small – that decided to jump on the wave with you. Today, there are over 20 million brands competing for attention on Facebook. In 2012, AdAge announced that only 1% of fans were engaging with brands. And thanks to changes in the holy grail – Facebook’s news feed – the average brand is likely to reach only 3 out of 100 of their followers when they post there.
No matter how you slice it, that’s a dismal number. Of course, all of this competition is intended to make you spend more on Facebook advertising. What a surprise, I know! As you probably already know by now the free ride on Facebook (and other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn) is essentially over. You now have to evaluate each network for its potential as part of your brand’s media buy.
Or, you can take a more radical approach, and drop your brand’s Facebook page entirely. That’s what food delivery app Eat24 did. But here’s what’s really surprising: the business says it’s ‘the best marketing move we made all year’. App downloads were up 75% the week after leaving FB behind. Remarkably, fans of the brand were the biggest supporters of bailing out on Facebook entirely. In other words, people are hoping that you’ll find other, more innovative ways to reach them. There just isn’t a lot of love for Facebook anymore.
Here’s the bottom line today: Unless you’re willing to spend substantial funds on Facebook advertising, it’s simply not worth the time to promote your brand there. Your posts are going to be buried by businesses that are paying for the exposure. This is how FB became profitable. And it will stay that way – until people migrate to the next big idea, and the revenue from advertising goes away.