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Facebook Business Pages: Buy Likes Or Boost Posts?
Organic reach has fallen so low, business page owners are left in a bit of a quandary: to grow their likes or boost their posts.
And then everything changed when Facebook got super successful and suddenly discovered shareholders and investors and the need to make a thing called profit! Suddenly, business pages weren't treated the same as personal profiles anymore, and woe-betide any business that tried to operate from a personal profile; you'd be deleted or converted to a page without so much as a 'by your leave'.
"And the organic reach of posts
from business pages has been declining ever since!"
Current thinking puts organic reach (how many people who like the page will actually see a post in their newsfeed without the page owner paying for it) at around 10% to 12%. That's declines to between 4% and 6% when it is a link to something outside of the Facebook platform.
Why? Well because Facebook is an advertising platform and wants to sell its members data and have them click adverts it believes they'll be most likely to click on based on what they've shared. How dare a business be allowed to advertise for free!
So what can you do? Well, there are tricks you can apply to a page post to get more people to see it, but it can take a lot of work. I'll cover that in a later blog post, but today, I want to look at a more simpler way of doing things and postulate a question:
"Pay to grow the number of people who like your business page or boost a strategic post each week?"
I think a lot of it depends on what sort of marketer you are. If having lots of people liking your page is a bit of an ego stroke, you could think to yourself that the more people who like your page, well the more people who're going to see your posts, right?
Well yes ... ish. Still only between 4% and 12% of them depending on what you share. And unless you have thousands upon thousands of 'likers' for your business page, then the price you pay when buying likes is going to be considerable before you even try to share something with them.
And how long are they going to stick around and like your page if you're throwing blatant sales posts at them day in day out? Remember, in the social media world it's about 'buy from' not the classic 'sell to' model that many marketers are used to in the real world.
"Did you know someone can like
your page but unfollow/mute your
posts from their newsfeed? Where's
the value in that?"
So is there an alternative? Yes, and it's called a Post Boost. I feel it's more authentic because if you do want to advertise a new product/service/special offer/blog post/whatever, then you post it to your Facebook page and simply hit the 'Boost' button.
In my mind, this sits well with the 'buy from' model that social media is all about and it's pretty quick to do (as opposed to the full-blown ad creation process on Facebook).
When you hit the Boost button for a particular share, you have 3 choices of audience:
Just the people who like your page
The people who like your page and their friends
An audience you define yourself
Which you choose depends on what you want to achieve.
If you're confident that everyone who likes your business page is interested in your products, services, events or whatever, just choose that, but I'd suggest you need a good few thousand likes before this becomes at all cost-effective.
Selecting 'people who like your page and their friends' is, in my humble opinion the best choice because all the people who like your page potentially get to see your post and everyone they're connected to as well.
If someone who clicks through to your page sees that their friends like your page, they'll look more favourably on you and may engage further. This is called 'social proof' where someone sees that their peers like something so feel encouraged to as well.
The third option is to define an audience. I'll talk about that in subsequent blog posts but for now, if you want to reach the maximum audience then this is the best option, but potentially also the most expensive one.
"As long as you pay, Facebook
lets you play!"
From my own experiences, I have a couple of hundred people who like my business page and I'm happy to let that grow in ones and twos each week. Include my likers friends as well and we get up to around 200,000 people I can potentially boost a business page post too.
But that would be super expensive! Even with diminishing costs per click as more people engage with your boosted post, you'd still be looking at £300-500 to reach all of them. You can only work to your budget and for us small businesses, that's not a lot at all!
What you spend is up to you (of course), but for a weekly blog post, I'd pay £10 to reach around 1,000 people. It's better than the 10-30 people you'd reach organically if you didn't pay and with that size of reach, there will be click throughs to your blog or website.
"And unless you've got the budget for it, only boost something once a week, but make it something worthwhile!"
Don't boost a simple status, an inspirational graphic meme or a video from YouTube that plays within Facebook. Boost a post that will take whoever engages with it to your blog or website, which then allows you to talk about you, what you do and how you can help that person, free from any distraction.
After all, if you're paying for it, why should Facebook be allowed to continue advertising and maybe even distract that person to click elsewhere?
Let me know how you get on with your first Boost!
Love, light and logic ...
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