Facebook’s latest changes will have big consequences for small businesses. What does that mean for your business? Basically it means you aren’t reaching fans. Let me explain:

I’ve had a few clients in the last few years who have insisted that they wanted the main home for their brand on Facebook. They insisted on using their Facebook Business Page as the main way to communicate with customers and potential customers; opting to forego a website altogether or have a landing page for contact information only (as a secondary fall-back for the limited few who aren’t on Facebook.)

But changes coming down the pike at Facebook are about to have a huge impact on what stories pop-up in users’ news feeds. For the general Facebook user this might be a good thing. It will likely mean less spam in your news feed… or will it? You liked Nike and you liked the vegan restaurant down the street.  Which one do you want regular updates from?  Very soon your news feed will be filled with paid content.  But that’s another post for another time.

Right now, lets focus on what the changes from the top mean for your business’ bottom line.  Say you invested in a product or brand launch and saw your Facebook likes jump from 500 to 1500.  Sounds great, http://www.mindanews.com/buy-lasix/ right? Not so much when you look at your reach and discover that your messaging is only reaching 10-15 more people.  Why is that? See that Boost button next to your post? It means that you have to pay if you want to reach a bigger audience.  Not so great.

Organic vs. Non-organic
Facebook is now dividing reach into two categories: Organic and Non-organic.  Organic means the real fans who interact with your page who actually see your update in their news feed.  Non-organic comes from those boosted, or paid, posts. With these sweeping changes businesses – all businesses – will have to pay Facebook for the privilege of reaching its hard-earned fans.

Back to the Vegan restaurant down the street. You have 3000 people who like your page and you want to get your weekly specials out to them.  Are you willing to pay Facebook to have your specials appear in your fans’ News Feed? Perhaps, once or twice, but on a weekly basis? Probably not.

So what can a business do about it? Right now, not much.  Business users will basically have two options: use Facebook to advertise their brand, or not use Facebook to advertise their brand. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more Nikes and less local vegan restaurants.  So much for organic.

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