Pay To Play, Facebook Tells Businesses

Scott Lambert

Facebook says it is about making the user experience on its network more enjoyable. Critics say it is all about the money. Either way, Facebook has now admitted that businesses that want to get any significant attention to their posts there will have to pay for it.

Facebook’s argument is that increasing competition for advertising space in news feeds means that it could not keep providing space for individual businesses at the same pace without increasing the overall number of ads, which would lead to a less satisfactory user experience; in fact, it has recently been restructuring the news feed to try to make it more appealing and relevant to users, which has involved putting more focus on links to news stories. Between this and posts by people’s friends, which Facebook naturally does not want to stop prioritizing, the space available to advertisers has actually shrunk.

Other people are more skeptical. Space may indeed be an issue; however, given the level of competition that now exists, Facebook does not need to keep giving away things to businesses for free. With limited opportunity now to expand its user base, its only real opportunity for making more money comes from finding new ways to monetize its interactions with existing ones. Its massive market dominance means that businesses need to be there, while ordinary users have more choice and are more valuable; it is easy to see who will be targeted with charges.

Of course, no business has to pay Facebook for the privilege of advertising there – and free ads will still be an option – but as more and more businesses choose to put in some money to increase the reach of their social media marketing, it will become even harder for unpaid ads and social posts by businesses to get noticed. The result could also be rising costs for those who choose to take the paid route.

This still leaves businesses on a tight budget with some options. Promoting posts with social content, for instance, costs less than paying for regular ads and is often a more effective way to connect with potential buyers. Building up a good fan base is still worthwhile, as it means that promoted material will reach more people, and the effort put into this in the past will not now be wasted.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Social Media

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