Marketing managers and social media agencies are a nervous and unhappy today. It's not because of politics, it's because of Facebook.
You see, they are facing the grim task of telling bosses and/or clients that the heady days of free, far-reaching Facebook promotions are over.
If you haven't heard, this is not one of those scams that sometimes populates your Facebook feed. This is the real deal: Facebook has begun charging pages with lots of followers to reach those followers.
You read that right. If you spent a ton of money to promote your Facebook page and gained a good number of followers, you can't just post something as you have been and expect that your followers will see it.
Recent moves by the social media giant with its new pay-for-service plan have angered many business and casual users. It’s not just that Facebook wants to make money that has everyone upset. It’s the way they implemented this change and the rates they want people to pay that has some ready to declare war.
The changes underscore the importance of blogging for small business. Few small businesses and even fewer nonprofits and community organizations can afford the added expenses the Facebook changes will create.
A post at the Dangerous Minds blog summed up the situation this way:
“At Dangerous Minds, we post anywhere from 10 to 16 items per day, fewer on the weekends. To reach 100% of our 50k+ Facebook fans they’d charge us $200 per post. That would cost us between $2000 and $3200 per day—but let’s go with the lower, easier to multiply number. We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month… a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for freebefore Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year ... .”
Explaining new costs of this magnitude to a boss or client is certainly not going to be the most comfortable conversation a marketer will have.
For millions of small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, performers, charitable groups, and community organizations that have until now used Facebook as the cornerstone of their digital marketing efforts, this change could be devastating.
It's bad enough for the big boys. As James Altucher pointed out, about half the brands advertising during the SuperBowl didn't put their own URL at the end of the ad, they put their Facebook page. How are they feeling about that decision today knowing that instead of a cost of zero to reach all those followers, they may have a bill that quickly zooms into the millions?
It's similar, if smaller scale, for small businesses. It's easy to imagine a business printing up some stickers, for example, to use for marketing. The business might hand them to customers or potential customers at a show or an event. At the bottom of the stickers they have to choose if they want to put their own URL or the link to their Facebook page. If they chose the Facebook page before, they are probably feeling burned right now.
The good news is that this news doesn’t have to be debilitating.
The reason internet marketing is so powerful is that it enables the individual to become the media. One person with a website and a good blog can be a marketing star.
Sure, using platforms like Facebook provide more tools, but those tools as we now see super clearly are beyond the control of the user. Social media sites have helped businesses and organizations expand their reach and that is certainly beneficial, but now that a pay-to-reach-your-own fans policy has surfaced, many are going to start rethinking their strategies.
There's one place and one place only that you know you won't get charged some fee that you were not expecting, and that is your own site. An investment in your own site will never come back to bite you with hidden fees.
Your site is your primary focus, and as we've seen over and over the best thing you can do for your site is to have a blog and keep it fresh.
So get that blog going. It’s the key to boosting your website success. A vibrant and active blog site will get attention and help you improve your website’s search engine rankings. Remember, your blog posts are the only social media that you have total control over.
And, yes, check out the social media landscape to find the sites that still have free or reasonably priced tools that can help you drive more traffic.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build a social media Internet marketing plan around an active blog site, please contact us.
Editor's note: We recently had a couple examples of BlogMutt posts that were more promotional. This one is topical, and about a really hot topic. This is just excellent work by a quick-working BlogMutt writer, and I appreciate it very much. If you'd like topical posts about your industry niche, be sure to sign up today. -- Scott