Earlier this month Facebook changed it’s rules again, this time preventing the once authorized “like-gating” and giving any incentives for people to like your page.
Like-gating is the practice of making some one like your Facebook page before they can see content or enter a contest. Since the number of likes a page has directly impacts the “reach” or number of people that may be able to “see” activity on a page, this will further reduce the opportunity for small businesses to gain traction in the Facebook world. Here are some stats and other information on the impacts of this change.
The bottom line is, since Facebook went public, over all profits have replaced the social experience as the primary driver for the company. While understandable from a shareholder point of view, it changes the way businesses like yours use the social media platform for business growth.
This brings me back to an on going conversation that I have with business owners about needing their own website. Even if it is only a brochure site, it is still a place they can call home on the Internet that they make the rules. Your clients can always find and contact you there. Counting on the changing tide of social media is like building a house on sand at the beach. Sooner or later it’s going to get washed away.
So, should you avoid Facebook and social media? Like the US isolationist policies of the early 1900’s, that’s not the answer. Facebook remains a great place to find audiences and test your marketing strategies. You will have to invest some money to discover the results. Not huge quantities, say $5-$10 per day will do very nicely. So, you do want to have a Facebook page AND a company website.
I’d love to find out if you have used like gating and how your business uses Facebook, your successes and failures. Please share in the comments below so we can all learn from our joint experiences.
To your focused forward progress!