Last week, we were flooded with all sorts of news stories about how Facebook is changing. For those that use Facebook purely for keeping up with friends, family and other people of importance in their lives, they view the changes as something positive. I’ve heard more than a few Facebook users say, “Well good – I’m getting sick of all those ads anyway!” Unfortunately, for those of us with small businesses and Facebook business pages, it leaves us wondering, “Now what?”
It’s hard to admit, we were all happily riding the Facebook train of somewhat free advertising. And even if you did purchase Facebook ads, the cost seemed manageable in comparison to other marketing channels. As long as you were driving people to “Follow” your business page and get your marketing message to customers and potential customers, the world was right.
Unfortunately, Facebook has now deemed those ads and the business pages that purchase those ads as annoying. I find that interesting considering I am more annoyed by people who bicker constantly back and forth about politics (and I am speaking about both sides of the political lines). I also find the Facebook Memories and people who share and re-share and then re-share those memories over and over more annoying. Videos of crazy high-calorie recipes I’ve never seen anyone really make or have time to make (probably because they are too busy on Facebook) are more annoying to me.
Not everyone will share my sentiments. That leaves me with the choice to unfollow people with the proclivity to share their political opinions every ten minutes or hide videos from High-Calorie Cooking Monthly. And shouldn’t that be a choice we make about ads, too? Like we all have the option to do with e-mail, we already have the choice to unfollow, unlike and change settings. Frankly, I’d rather see what my local tea store is offering this week more than see another image of a former co-worker, who I no longer know, of their kid’s travel rugby team. Therefore, it seems to me that I need to take on the responsibility as a Facebook user and decide what I want to see and don’t want to see and unfollow the former co-worker.
The good news is, I know I am not the only one who cares about my local tea store and I am sure there are Facebook users who currently follow your business and care about what you are sharing too, provided you are sharing worthy content. Therefore, it is extremely important to let your customers and followers know that if they still want to hear from you, to make sure they click on that “Follow” dropdown on your company page and choose to “See First” and turn their notifications “On”.
How will these changes really affect your business? It’s hard to say at this point. But ultimately, it is up to each of us to cultivate real relationships with our customers so they care enough to hear from us. It is our duty as marketers to share quality content that our customers care about – which is far different than inundating them with just any content and sales pitch. And, we must really listen. What are our Facebook reviews saying? What comments are being made to our posts? How can we truly hear our customers needs and have our page be a page that they genuinely want to hear from? Those are words of advice we all received when we started into Facebook advertising. Now is the time to start following that advice.