The end of free Facebook for brands

Facebook logoBeginning next month, Facebook is removing Page’s updates from user’s news feeds unless Pages pay to boost their posts. They are also threatening to remove any post that is “too promotional” in nature, or “tricks” the user with click bait.

These changes are based on user complaints, and have really ticked off brands that have built their audiences using Facebook.

As a Facebook user, a Page administrator, and a marketer trying to get drive consumers to see my message, I see it from all points of view.

Facebook lured brands onto their platform as a way to reach their audience for free. Cool! Post relevant updates targeted to your followers! Use Facebook as a customer service tool to manage questions! Then years after you have built up your audience, Facebook says, “Oh wait. Some of you aren’t playing nice, so we are going to punish all of you and make you pay for your fans to see your content.” It’s the one bad apple spoils the bunch type attitude.

Come on, Facebook. Lots of small business and non-profits have limited budgets, and see Facebook as great marketing tool. These small organizations have been posting useful content their fans love. By forcing brands to pay, you are pushing out those businesses that need your platform the most. And here’s the deal, people voluntarily SIGNED UP to receive a brand’s update. If they don’t like what they are seeing, it should be up to that person to unfollow the Page.

Brands, listen up. Those of you who screwed it up for the rest of us by posting only “ads” or click bait, shame on you. Social media is NOT the place for those advertising messages. People who use social media want to be educated, informed or entertained. Save your advertising message for actual “paid” opportunities on social networks, or traditional paid outlets like print, broadcast, billboards or direct mail.

As for those users who complained about Brand’s posting items that were too “sales-y” or “promotional” in nature, you are following a company who is trying to sell a product or service to you. You voluntarily signed up to receive updates from these Pages. If you don’t like what you see, unfollow them. It’s that simple.

Facebook’s changes is a good example of why it’s so important to have a mix of marketing strategies and not just relying on social media.

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