SURVIVING THE FACEBOOK CONSPIRACY
- the truth behind Facebook and the new fees for posting
Facebook has been and will continue to be, a great source of free marketing for businesses. But as some of us have just learned the hard way, Facebook as an alternative to your own website is a mistake.
As you will now be aware, Facebook has just recently added fees to their site, so that for your posts to reach all of your fans you are now required to pay-per-post, otherwise only about 1/4 of your fans are even seeing your posts at all.
Facebook can still be used as a source of free media, but the reality is that the rug can be pulled out from under you again at any time. You have very few rights when using Facebook and no input as to what fees or changes may arise in future. Additionally your posts are not going to reach all your fans unless you pay whatever amount Facebook deems necessary. But why do we think we should have control over something that is by nature, a free resource? Perhaps we have been naive to think that social media would remain free, as no other advertising method has.
This new pay-per-post feature is being called Facebook's "Promoted Posts" feature, and comes at a cost dependent on the amount of recipients you wish to post to. This same feature is available to individual users who use Facebook as a non-related media source, offering to make your posts available to your whole friend list rather than just the small percentage that now receives your updates. Ironically these new charges come at a time when Facebook's shares have dropped dramatically, and right on the heels of what some might call their "IPO disaster", and subsequently there has been a lot of speculation on the timing and reasons behind these new fees.
Although Facebook have been clear on what these this new pay-per-post feature offers, they have not stated WHY we are now being charged for something that has been a free resource for so long. I believe that in making these changes many loyal Facebook users are now waiting for a Facebook alternative so they can once again enjoy the openness of free Social Media with more stability and less surprises. The lesson we must take away from this experience is that in future there will be NO GUARANTEES that Social Media sites such as Facebook will not flip the coin on their processes, fees, and your rights as a user.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THESE NEW FEES?
Here's what we suggest; if you have spent copious amounts of time arranging your Facebook page to just how you want it, attracting hundreds or thousands of fans - then like so many others you will be feeling the frustration of these new Facebook fees while your posts will only be reaching a very small percentage of your fans.
What we advise is taking advantage of those fans who are already interested in you, and enticing them over to your website. Don't have a website? Then Contact Us today and we will talk you through the process, and get your started on having your own permanent place in the world of online marketing.
Enticing people to your website may require that yes, you need to pay for a post or two on Facebook, to ensure you get the message out to ALL of your fans; that they can now visit your website and be guaranteed to see all of what you have to offer, not to mention that having a website increases the legitimacy of your business, and offers up your website as a permanent port in the storm of online advertising.
• Talk to us about creating a website for you. We are passionate about building websites, mobile website, iPhone or iPad applications and a larger range of online marketing tools to help you promote your products and services. See our Website Portfolio Page for examples of our website design excellence.
• Apply your Facebook Marketing skills and enthusiasm to your website. Take what you have learned about marketing through free Social Media sites, along with your enthusiasm about connecting with your client base, and let us work with you to take advantage of and improve, these marketing methods.
• Offer something to entice your Facebook Fans to your website. You will likely need something more than just "visit my website" to transfer your Facebook fans to your website. Some sort of offer, teaser or sweetener may provide the necessary motivation to encourage them to follow you. A printable voucher or similar special may be just the ticket to pulling all your Facebook fans through to your website, and we can work with you to find just the right Pied Piper to lead your fans directly to you.
• Keep posting via a newsletter. Encourage your fans to 'subscribe' to your newsletter. We have a fabulous newsletter system called "ActiveMail" that is so easy to use you probably won't even believe me till you see it! We create a newsletter template for you, working with you to get the look and layout that suits you, so you can add your own articles and images and send out to your clients as often as you wish.
• Keep posting via a Blog on your website. Keep up your posts hourly, daily, whenever you wish by having your own blog on your site. We will show you how to create keyword-rich text that search engines can pickup on to both generate more traffic and keep the interest of your current fan base.
• Stream your Twitter feed through your site. Again using keywords and moments of interest, fed through your site, to stream your fans back to you. Twitter is enjoying a boom while many of us are Tweeting about all kinds of business events and activities from open days to new product launches, keeping our client base up to date and INVOLVED.
WHY HAVE MY OWN WEBSITE?
• Legitimise your business and run your business properly with your own website. Let's face it, running your business solely through Facebook, TradeMe, or any other such free Social Media site does not generate faith in your legitimacy as a business. People are taking a "risk" on you, and customers are more likely to believe in your value and reliability if you have a website with clear communication on who you are, where you are, and how to contact you in the event that sales do not go smoothly.
• You have more control over the look of your site. You make the decisions on what you want in a website, and we will show you the options available to you, and guide you along the way. Our goal is for you to have a site that you're proud of.
• You are not at the mercy of "fad" Social Media sites. If a site becomes unpopular, stop using it. Generate interest that will direct back to your own website from your own site, or from a different Social Media site. In that way you will remain up-to-date, and will not be at the mercy of sites that have become greedy or unpopular by investing all your time posting on sites people no longer visit.
• You have control of the features you wish to have available to your fans and clients. We have many options available such as creating a Mobile-friendly version of your website, portfolio pages, eCommerce sites for selling your products online, full editable access for you the client, our ActiveMail email system and more!
• Be aware of the costs of creating and hosting your own website. We will layout exactly what's involved in having your own site, with no surprise charges or changes that may leap out at you in future such as what you may experience from Social Media sites turned greedy.
• You can have a website that YOU can edit yourself. Your website will be more editable than Facebook in that you can have access to the whole content and can make changes to the information displayed at any time, or our friendly team can update the site for you at your convenience. Training on editing your site is included in our website packages.
• Facebook is not under your control. Whereas your own website would be, and the Activate Design team is here to offer full support for your ongoing website needs.
• Anything you post to Facebook belongs to Facebook - in that they can use your images for their own marketing, as you gave them permission to do so when you signed up. This is not so when having your own site. Your website will be SECURE and all your files remain your own.
There has been many successful business stories come out of the free marketing that is available on Social Media sites such as Facebook, so we know that online marketing works. What is now frustrating for so many of us, is that the time and effort that you have put into making Social Media work for you, can so easily be taken away by corporate decision making beyond your control.
I like think of it like this, anchor yourself with a website of your own, where content remains in your control and where you can rely on it always being there. Where you can change or edit, refresh or re-brand, add and remove products and alter pricing at your own convenience, and have the peace of mind that the website is YOURS.
Once securely anchored with your own website then by all means, go sailing in the sea of Social Media, utilising Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blog, UTube, and any other sites that take your fancy - knowing as you do so no matter what may change on those sites, the interest you are working to generate will be diverting back to your permanent website. Your website becomes your lighthouse in the storm of constantly changing Social Media.
Visit our Website Portfolio page for examples of our website creativity and production experience.
CONTACT US to discuss having a new website created, updating your existing website, or leading your current Facebook fans over to your website.
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Posted in Branding