My morning Facebook fix alerted me to this post by Facebook Marketing Solutions, emphasis mine:
I have been experimenting with the page post ad over the past two weeks and for some posts, it can have a great benefit at extending reach and awareness. The social feature on Facebook ads is cool, fairly clever and impactful. However, as I build up my fan base from essentially a standing start – I should pass 100 likes today! – I am not expecting to have to ‘re-acquire’ each of those fans in order for them to see my content.
Clearly, it is in any company’s interest to promote their business and drive revenue. The irony here is that Facebook’s employees (see the About section highlighted above) are coming right out and saying that Facebook will require you to advertise to your likers. I will probably run an experiment over the weekend to determine whether this results in a lower CPC to target existing page likes, though I’m not impressed at the idea of siphoning off my acquisition marketing budget to direct at retention of prospects who may not even have become customers yet.
With my Digital Media Strategist hat on, it seems obvious that Facebook is trying to push advertisers, especially smaller businesses who rely on Facebook for much of their traffic, to spend more on Facebook. And the timing is not by accident. Facebook gets to announce a surge in Advertising revenues just ahead of IPO day, even more investors clamour for shares, the already anticipated biggest IPO on record exceeds expectations, and Facebook is laughing all the way to the bank.
With my Small Business Owner hat on, Facebook might be becoming an increasingly less cost effective channel. Don’t worry yet, with 800 million prospects, we’re still going to use the platform. However, as soon as you throw additional obstacles in front of entrepreneurs, we simply innovate and work around them. Likers stop becoming a direct communication channel, so we shift them to email or a blog. I realise that it’s one thing for me to write this in my own blog post and an entirely separate thing to do it. But if you think we won’t figure it out, think again!
Just like Twitter, Facebook is a place where we offer up discussions about issues, teasers about our products, services and specials, and address customer service queries. If our likers stop seeing our posts, we’ll have to reach them another way. On the flip side, if a page post ad on Facebook is the most cost effective, no doubt we’ll use it.
I am pleased that Facebook is thinking like a public company already. It will hopefully make advertising on Facebook easier (future post on this coming).
Let us know how you use Facebook for your business in the comments.