I was recently asked to give a training session to a large group of business owners on using Facebook to market and advertise. Five years ago I stood in front of the same group and gave training on the importance of Social Media to market and advertise.
The coordinator said they were interested in having me come back because they needed the training again and that Facebook was a great “free place” to market.
Unfortunately, Facebook is no longer “free.” Sure, five years ago it was a great tool to use because businesses could reach a large audience for nothing, just post an update and move on with their day. Flashing forward to 2015, Facebook has become a serious tool, and like any serious marketing and advertising platform, if it is to work correctly it will cost money.
The days of DIY Social Media Marketing are over. Social Media has gone mainstream. It is no longer enough just to “be there.” And the goal is no longer only to make people aware of your business. Today, when done correctly, Social Media Pages are generating revenue. However, in order to realize financial gain, it is necessary to find a professional with a thorough understanding of the various platforms and strategies available. As the sites mature, it is also becoming crucial to find someone who is knowledgeable about how to take the best advantage of the paid advertising opportunities on various sites.
Facebook recently announced that promoting or selling in an update is no longer allowed. What happens if you promote a product or service or try to sell something? Your update will not be seen. Facebook will knock it out of the News Feed and your update may be seen only by you.
“Social Media Marketers” who are still preaching the effectiveness of “free” Facebook Marketing, get all hot and bothered when Facebook dares to ask for money. They complain that Facebook is effectively squeezing the little guy out and giving preference to big companies who can pay. The truth is that advertising on Social Media sites is still far more economical than traditional marketing outlets. In fact Facebook ads are the lowest cost ads in history. (Nuanced Media) When you consider that it takes $35.00 to reach 1,000 people with a Newspaper ad and only 25 cents to reach 1,000 people with a Facebook ad, you might begin to understand that even small companies can compete.
The good news is in order to get the benefits you do not need to spend a lot, and even spending a modest amount to market and advertise will still allow the little guy to compete with the big companies. But it isn’t free!