Facebook's drive to push businesses to spend money on each and every post continues.
If you have a Facebook Page, previously, when you opened Facebook and went to your Page, above your Page would be your Admin panel that gave you a snapshot of what was going on with your Page at that moment, including messages, Insights and notifications. Now, however, notifications which were prominent in the upper left corner have been replaced with a new Posts area.
At first glance, Posts is interesting because it lists all of your posts in a simple table view that includes the title of the post and how many people that post has reached (Total Reach). It also includes a separate column for Paid Reach, and now a not so subtle suggestion to "Get More Reach" (Facebook's new term for paying to promote your own post).
In the lower right corner, the first Page Tip is a new video on promoting your post.
And of course the lower left corner continues to suggest that you pay for more Page Likes, though for me at least the recommended Daily Budget has increased by 200%.
What is happening is that in order to be "successful" on Facebook, businesses are feeling forced to pay to get more Page Likes, and then feeling forced to pay again to get those same paid fans to see individual posts, since Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm frequently hides Page Posts from fans.
And since Facebook will not reveal how the EdgeRank algorithm works, businesses and marketers are left to guess. Conventional wisdom has been to create "more engaging" posts that include pictures and questions, but recent evidence suggests that such a tactic may no longer work. On a Facebook Page with over 2,500 fans, posts that included an image were getting a 1% reach on average, while posts with no image or question, just text, achieved an average 12% reach!
The problem is that Facebook's revenue model is not working. Too many businesses are investing in Facebook promotions and advertising and seeing little to no return on their investment. But instead of offering more innovative ways to reach fans and create revenue, Facebook is pushing even harder on their failed techniques and methodology.
I have seen this in my own business as well as that of clients. When comparing the amount of money spent on Facebook versus Google+, and then looking at the amount of website traffic, leads and sales generated, the differences are both staggering and alarming.
Of course, like any social network, Facebook will be more effective and successful for some businesses rather than others. Typically, if your business targets consumers, Facebook can be a good fit. B2B marketers, while still using Facebook predominantly, are struggling and turning to alternatives like Google+.
Have you invested any advertising dollars into Facebook? Has your business seen positive activity as a result?