Facebook Free Advertising is Over

If you are hoping to ride the popularity of Facebook and try to gather as many fans as possible to get as much exposure as possible, you’ll be disappointed just as I am.

Facebook, whose platform has offered plenty of opportunities to small and big brands to promote themselves over the years, has tightened the screw even more. It is a widely known fan that not everyone who likes your Facebook page sees your feeds just as newsletters do not reach all intended recipients. But at least the attrition rate for email marketing campaigns are relatively high. For Facebook, it’s only going to get worse.

In Spring 2012, Facebook — in a blatantly headlined post — admitted that only 16% of your Facebook fans get to see your updates. To reach the remaining ratio, you need to pay advertising dollars first. Of course, Facebook needs to make money, and to keep it in active play to buy companies like Whatsapp and Instagram. And maybe it has been generous in the past to offer free platform to reach target audience at minimal cost, if any.

We have advertised on Facebook to reach people other than our Page fans. Now we may have to win the attention of these very fans who Liked our pages, by pouring in more money. If 16% was generous enough, wait until this rate will even drop further to 1 to 2 per cent as claimed by an unnamed source as told to Gawker.

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This means that if my page finally managed to reach 100 fans, I can only expect only one or two to view my future Page updates. We’ll be happy if this “lucky one” will even bother to care about our post by sharing, liking or commenting on it.

Facebook is a business and not a charity movement whose simple interface and broad appeal effectively bypasses other advertising option. At some point we should expect Facebook to clamp down on freebies and that clampdown happens as I post this blog.

I manage a Facebook page with over 100,000 fans. Over the course of a few weeks, I saw my page reach plummet to around 600 (less than 1%) and prompted me to advertise more frequently than before.

But as frustrating as it sounds, reaching 100 people is still cheapest with Facebook ads; LinkedIn and AdWords are more expensive. But if your objective is not just brand awareness but lead conversions, you may want to look elsewhere.