Recently, the number of active small business pages on Facebook surpassed 40 million; that’s a 33% jump from last year! What does this mean for your business? With the flood of Facebook business pages surfacing everyday, it will become increasingly harder for you to reach the customers who’ve liked your Facebook page, whether you use paid Facebook advertising or not.
Facebook is limiting the reach of your business’s posts
An explosion in the number of small business pages on Facebook also means an explosion in the number of posts and ads that are being created by small businesses. Because of this, Facebook has been making an increased effort to prevent these posts and ad content from overwhelming the customer newsfeeds.
How do they do this? They strictly limit the number of your Facebook fans that can be being reached by each post. As recently as 2013, small businesses were able to reach an average of over 16% of their fans with each post without having to pay for advertising. This number dropped to 6.5% in 2014, and further down 3.7% this year! What is to come? According to a recent article in Adweek, this number is expected to decline to 1-2% in the near future.
This means if you are a small business with 2,000 fans on Facebook and you try to reach out to your fans via a Facebook post, only 20-40 of them will actually have it appear in their newsfeeds. And that sucks.
What can you do
There are a number of things you can do to gain back your ability to reach your fans. Here are my top three!
1. Pay for some Facebook ads.
The easiest and most direct route is paying Facebook for advertising. This approach is guaranteed to increase the number of your fans that will see your posts. What’s the catch? This is also the easiest and most direct route for the other 40 million business pages on Facebook. As more and more business pages are competing for the same ad space, the costs of advertising on Facebook are expected to continue growing rapidly.
2. Become a Facebook content wiz.
The more dynamic, funny, relevant, and attention-grabbing your Facebook posts are, the more likely Facebook is to display that content to more of your fans. This approach works great for larger companies that have dedicated in-house creative teams focused on crafting viral posts. However, for a small business with limited time and resources, this approach can become resource-consuming.
3. Use a different channel to reach your customers.
If you don’t want to spend thousands every month on ads or dedicate large amounts of time to create Facebook posts, there is another more reliable way to reach your customers. Time for a shameless plug! We at Fivestars offer text message, email, and mobile app notification marketing tools that allow you to easily reach out to your customers. We help you create your own customer database full of customer emails, phone numbers, birthdays, and customer notes so you can send specific messages to specific customer groups (e.g. customers who have a birthday in the current month, brand new customers, customers who have not visited for a couple of months, etc). Fivestars offers a free 30-day trial if you want to see our promotional messaging tools in action at your own business.
Whether you use Facebook or Instagram, email or snail mail, text message or mobile app notification what matters most is that you stay connected with your customers. Just keep in mind text messages and emails are the most effective! Have a great week!