While it’s true that Facebook is (still) free and you can share unlimited content in terms of pictures, videos or links, the popular online social platform has its drawbacks when it comes to online marketing. In order to better understand why, let’s pretend you’ve created a Facebook page for your business, website, blog, service or product. You’ll want to start gathering ‘likes’ and share content with your audience. What could go wrong?
1. Paid Online Marketing
When you create your Page, the first thing you’ll notice is that Facebook really wants you to boost your visibility by creating an ad for the page. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, the ad will start appearing to a number of people daily. There’s no guarantee people will actually click your ad or ‘like’ your page.
2. General Reach of Your Posts
As you’re starting to gather ‘likes’ from people, you’d want to start sharing things that are relevant to your page – after all, what’s online marketing without people directly engaging with your content? Once you’re over the 30 ‘likes’ threshold, you can get Page Insights. From that point onward, you can see how many people have seen your shared items, get demographic details about them (male/female audience ratio, people talking about your page, page likes, post reach and engagement). We’re interested in post reach – how many people have actually seen what you’ve just posted. And this is where it gets interested. Let’s say you have 10,000 ‘likes’ – it’s highly probably that only a few hundred people have seen your post.
Why does this happen? Because Facebook offers users items in their newsfeed based on the user’s interaction with liked pages, other profiles or resources. So if a user just liked your page, it’s highly unlikely that he or she will get constant updates from that page in the newsfeed; they’ll have to actually go to your page and check out whatever you’ve posted.
3. Some More Paid Online Marketing from Facebook
You can, however, influence the reach of your posts by promoting them. For a fee, of course. Under each and every post you share (even as a regular user!), you have the option to either promote or boost your post for a price. Again, based on how much you’re willing to spend, the total reach of said post will greatly differ. So what’s bad about this, you might ask. Well, the boost and promote posts feature only shows other users the post – there’s no guarantee they’ll actually click on it and end up on your website. Neither is there a guarantee they’ll share or ‘like’ that post, so the actual user engagement with your post is up to chance.
4. Do-Follow vs. No-Follow
Everybody knows that whatever link you post on your Facebook page, whatever links you share through your personal Facebook profile are no-follow. This means that popular search engines will not take them into account when determining how many backlinks you have. They (the links) are only there to help guide other people to the resource you’ve pointed out, but have no relevancy for online marketing purposes. It’s only if users actually engage with the links (click on them), that you’ll get some benefits like visits to your actual website. But there’s no guarantee for that, as we’ve previously seen.
5. Facebook Compared to Other Online Social Platforms
Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger (Blogspot), Twitter and Reddit allow do-follow links, for example. Granted, not all links posted through these resources are do-follow, but you can add them, either in your description, your actual posts or profile bio. We’ll talk about each and every one (and how to add those links) at a later date.
Aside from that, posts on most of the above-mentioned platforms are actually free, no strings attached. They’ll reach the audience interested enough to follow your page in the first place and there’s none of that ‘boost post’ rubbish. That’s because, unlike Facebook, other social platforms understand that if a user ‘liked’, ‘followed’ or ‘+1’ed’ your page, they’ll want to be kept up to date with what the page shares in the future.
So this is why Facebook is on a downhill slope when it comes to online marketing opportunities. People are happy to pay for valid services these days – but what Zuckerberg’s creation offers is just visibility, and no guarantee that users will also engage with your content. But, in the end, it’s better than nothing and it’s still free (well, most of it is) – so we still use it. Luckily enough, our online community is pretty awesome and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them!
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