There’s a myth that social media is free or earned media. While this might be more true for some social networks it’s not true for Facebook.
Back in the day (okay 1-2 years ago) you could maybe argue that garnering traffic from Facebook was “free”.
Today and going forward it’s important that if you want to use Facebook as a distribution and traffic source you must have a line item in your advertising budget. It’s that simple.
Even if you’re a single person out there blogging. If you want to have success with the Facebook platform you will have to pay.
I’ll expand a bit.
The #1 thing Facebook has been insistent they care about is user experience. Having companies or even people advertise or promote themselves typically doesn’t create the best user experience. If you think about this a bit you’ll realize there’s no real incentive for Facebook to show this type of content.
Let’s talk about the newsfeed, the main interaction point for the user. This is where Facebook is always playing a balancing act. They want to provide the user addicting engaging content.
Often times that content isn’t advertising or a promotional message, it’s something that will connect emotionally with their user. The bottom line is the newsfeed has a highly limited placement for any message that’s outside the users network.
So with this limited opportunity they have to be better and better at finding ways to fill this limited inventory. Will they fill it with someone who pays them (and follows their content/ad guidelines closely) or will they fill it with someone who isn’t paying them?
That’s why if you want to be even considered to have your content to be within this stream you have to look at Facebook as a paid distribution network. It doesn’t matter how many likes you have, how much you’ve paid to gain those likes, or how finely tuned your updates are for engagement.
I’ll have more tips and advice to share on this as we go forward but I wanted to get this thought out there today.
Here’s a few more related stories that cover some up and coming Facebook changes: