4 Reasons Why Facebook Doesn’t Pay Off For Micro Businesses

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Last summer, Facebook rolled out a new algorithm for its business pages, with the pretense of cutting down on spam and fake accounts. The actual result was a sharp decline of organic reach that hit the smallest companies and nonprofits hardest who could not afford to “boost” their posts in order to be seen by existing fans.

On average, only 1-3% of a Page’s fans will see a post without a paid boost.

The more fans a page acquires, the more it must pay to be seen by all of its fans. For example, a page with 240,000 fans must pay $2,000-3,000 per boosted post just to be seen by all of those fans. That’s right – only one post. Here are a few more reasons why Facebook may not be the best choice for micro businesses.

Facebook’s Interface Is Passive

Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr have a mutual-follow mechanism that allows direct contact with like-minded potential fans – a kind of tap on the shoulder. While it takes time and a bit of energy to make friends and engage, a lot can be done with very little or no advertising budget. Facebook, on the other hand, lacks the mutual-follow model. A business sets up a Page, tries to use a few key words and hash tags, and either pays to advertise or waits for the likes to rack up very slowly indeed.

“Promote Your Page” Ad Option Is Useless

There are two basic types of Facebook ads: boosted/promoted posts and ads to promote your Page to a “targeted” audience. While boosted posts can at least pay off by allowing you to be seen by existing fans, the “promote your page” option is a useless scam. Click-farm spammers are attracted to page promotions, resulting in a sharp rise in page likes. While this may look exciting initially, the lack of engagement by these “fans” will reveal a huge percentage of fake followers. Extra special secret bonus for Facebook: your Page now has to pay even more to be seen by everyone in your larger audience! Check out this video to learn more about how it all works or read the blog post.

Giveaway Promotions Are Impossible

Remember the good old days, when businesses on Facebook would have giveaway promotions for fans who engaged by liking and sharing a specific post (a nice roundabout way to attract new page likes)? Facebook has virtually killed this option with its official rules. Here are just a few: Pages are not allowed to ask fans to share a giveaway post, Pages are not allowed to direct-message giveaway winners, Pages must write up complete official rules, preferably in a separate tab on the Page, where they must include a release of all liability for Facebook. These rules prompted one Page owner to snark, “How are you to notify the winner if it can’t be done over Facebook?”

The Bottom Line

Every business should still have a Facebook Page, and business owners should also use their personal page for networking, but truly tiny, micro businesses may find more engagement and a lot less rigidity on Instagram and Twitter, or with a blog platform. With the algorithm shift of 2014, Facebook made a conscious effort to blot out the "little guy” with little or no advertising budget. Micro businesses will benefit by venturing into the wider social media world.