Is Facebook for Business Worth the Effort

It seems the whole marketing world is; and has been screaming ‘Facebook’!! ‘Facebook’!! ‘Facebook’!! You must be on Facebook for business.

On the other hand, I have been taking an opposing view. I let the vast majority of small businesses off the hook by saying ‘you’ll never get anywhere near your return on investment like you would for database marketing’, so either don’t bother or simply consider Facebook an administrative necessity in 2016, but don’t expect anything.

Why? Because for the most part you are putting lots of effort into talking to an empty room.

 “The average organic reach for posts from Facebook pages in March was 2.6 percent of a brand’s audience. … This percentage dropped to 2.3 percent for pages with more than 1 million likes.” (Source: Localytics, reported by 1to1Media

Organic reach is the total number of people who were shown your post from you simply putting it up. This doesn’t mean your fans actually look at what is on their feed. They have to be online when it appears.

Why is this happening? Why am I talking to an empty room?

Here are some statistics I found online from a great source

The simplest answer to the decline is there is a significantly greater amount of potential content flooding into everyone’s news feeds on a daily basis. The cannon of content is caused by several factors, including:

  1. The average number of Facebook friends users have is 338
  2. 15 percent of Facebook users have more than 500 friends.
  3. There are between 1500 and 15,000 pieces of content that Facebook could potentially show in your news feed each time you log on to the site!
  4. The Facebook news feed ranking algorithm (‘EdgeRank’) uses more than 100,000 weights to determine what you’ll see. Examples of weights: how many mutual friends like the person/page/content, how often you interact with the person/page, when the post was published, when the last comment was made, what types of content you typically interact with: watch more videos and Facebook will show you more videos, like more links and Facebook will show you more links. 
  5. Ultimately, out of the 1,500 – 15,000 potential stories, Facebook passes them through the mega algorithm and displays approximately 300 stories in your feed. This is a personal feed.

Therefore if you want Facebook to work (better) for you – you’ll have to pay for it. Consider it another avenue to advertise in. By advertising it’s either buying an ad, or paying to promote the post that you put up so it has a wider reach.

Last week, the final nail for small business Facebook use was laid for me after I read these statistics from  Why Paying for Social Is Better Than ‘Doing’ Social  The article was aimed at larger companies, brands that have hundreds of thousands of social media followers. Think how hard small businesses have to work to get even 100 or 1000 fans.

The premise is instead of hiring an employee to work social media for you; you’re better off to just pay to have your posts seen, plus email marketing works.

Here is an excerpt:

Social media service Buffer recommends that businesses post 1x a day to Facebook and LinkedIn, and 14x a day to Twitter. Data shows that posting more often than once per day on Facebook yields heavily decreasing click through rates (for businesses). And more than one email per day is grounds for immediate unsubscribe, but otherwise 7x a week is not too much for good emails. We’ll go with once per weekday to give our hypothetical marketing person the weekend off.

So, over the course of a month, here’s what the optimal cadence of content sharing would get a company:

  • Facebookposts to 100,000 fans, 5x per week: 52,000 impressions, 2,600 clicks per month
  • Twitterposts to 100,000 followers, 98x per week: 60,000 impressions, 2,500 clicks per month
  • LinkedInposts to 100,000 followers, 10x per week: 400,000 impressions, 2,600 clicks per month
  • Emailsto 100,000 subscribers, 5x per week: 400,000 reads,120,000 clicks per month


Now please, start working on enhancing your database!