Future of Facebook for small companies

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New Contributor

Hello there, 

First of all, happy new year !

 

I would like to ask the community about the future of social media like Facebook. They're changing their algorithms again and again, do you think it is still worth for small businesses who don't want to pay? 

And what about the small marketing agencies with small advertising budget?

I was wondering if Facebook was still worth for those companies as the organic reach are lower than ever. (Sorry for my english this isn't my mother tongue)

Thanks,
Steve

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Advisor

I think it really depends on the campaign you're running, the goals of the campaign, the audience you're targeting and the product/service/message you're offering. Facebook has so many different ad types and has fairly robust targeting, therefore, providing a simple yes or no answer is very difficult. 

 

This is where understanding your audience and testing comes in to play.

 

If you have well-defined persona's for your audience you should be able to determine whether or not they're present on social platforms such as Facebook. Looking at website traffic data you should be able to see if social media is a contributor. The same goes for any social accounts you might have and the interaction your audience has with you or your company on them. 

 

When it comes to a limited budget, you may consider allocating funds from different areas into paid advertising spend for a specific period of time. For example, consider skipping the next conference, or go for a cheaper booth selection, limit your print/signage advertising (location, duration, etc.), minimise the number of free-giveaways you may have, etc. Of course, if these are main drivers for your business you'll have to consider your options.

 

Overall, I think in order to dismiss Facebook as a potential driver for business you need to do the testing yourself and see what works for you.

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Academy Team

Hi Steve, 

 

I'm the HubSpot Social Media professor and this is a question that I get asked a lot. The answer is yes--it's viable, but spend does need to be considered. At minimum, companies should have a page and add content to it simply because there are a number of people who may go there for content and information (especially for contact information or to ask questions) even if they never follow the page. I look at it more like insurance; everyone is on Facebook, so it's best for companies to be there too. 

 

That said, the algorithm is always changing so the answer, as has already been suggested, is testing. The content types, the timing and influencers that may be connected to the content affect the post regardless of whether or not it's organic or an advertised post.  Different advertising types may resonate differently with different types of content too. I'm an author on the side and am always toying with Facebook ads for my own promotion. I've noticed in recent months, for example, that video does significantly better for me than regular posts. I have also noticed that tagging other pages extends my reach as well. Those are things that work for me and my type of content but might not work for your business or your clients. There just isn't an easy answer. 

 

The one good thing about Facebook though is that you can start small with the advertising tests, putting in only a few hundred dollars, doing A/B testing then investing more on what seems like it works. But the testing should be ongoing, precisely because of the ever-changing algorithm. 

 

What matters most, IMHO, is that the content is stellar. That's the best bet for big reach--if you have content that resonates and that people want to reshare, the algorithm becomes a much much smaller part of the equation.

 

But the short answer is yes, companies should not give up on Facebook.  Three years ago, Fast food delivery service Eat24 famously deleted their Facebook because they were frustrated with the algorithm: https://blog.eat24.com/breakup-letter-to-facebook-from-eat24   My instinct was that it wouldn't last, and nope, I just checked and sure enough, it didn't. They are back on Facebook again--because as a business they need to be.  https://www.facebook.com/eat24

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4 Replies 4
Advisor

I think it really depends on the campaign you're running, the goals of the campaign, the audience you're targeting and the product/service/message you're offering. Facebook has so many different ad types and has fairly robust targeting, therefore, providing a simple yes or no answer is very difficult. 

 

This is where understanding your audience and testing comes in to play.

 

If you have well-defined persona's for your audience you should be able to determine whether or not they're present on social platforms such as Facebook. Looking at website traffic data you should be able to see if social media is a contributor. The same goes for any social accounts you might have and the interaction your audience has with you or your company on them. 

 

When it comes to a limited budget, you may consider allocating funds from different areas into paid advertising spend for a specific period of time. For example, consider skipping the next conference, or go for a cheaper booth selection, limit your print/signage advertising (location, duration, etc.), minimise the number of free-giveaways you may have, etc. Of course, if these are main drivers for your business you'll have to consider your options.

 

Overall, I think in order to dismiss Facebook as a potential driver for business you need to do the testing yourself and see what works for you.

Did my post help answer your query? Help the Community by marking it as a solution.
New Contributor

I was posing this question for debate. In fact, I plan to launch a digital marketing agency targeting small businesses (I'm preparing everything). I was wondering if using social platforms to reach this type of customer was interesting or not, I can't really find an answer... Of course I don't plan to use only Facebook but with a limited budget and my type of customer, I wonder if it's worth it....

My question was also related to possible requests from my clients and I wanted more details on this subject. Thank you for that clarification.




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Community Manager

Hey @stevebas thanks for posting your question and @shearn for kicking off with the first response. 

 

Tagging a few others I'm sure will have some insights to share, cc: @krystalg@crystalking@Daria@joshclary@caiello

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Highlighted
Academy Team

Hi Steve, 

 

I'm the HubSpot Social Media professor and this is a question that I get asked a lot. The answer is yes--it's viable, but spend does need to be considered. At minimum, companies should have a page and add content to it simply because there are a number of people who may go there for content and information (especially for contact information or to ask questions) even if they never follow the page. I look at it more like insurance; everyone is on Facebook, so it's best for companies to be there too. 

 

That said, the algorithm is always changing so the answer, as has already been suggested, is testing. The content types, the timing and influencers that may be connected to the content affect the post regardless of whether or not it's organic or an advertised post.  Different advertising types may resonate differently with different types of content too. I'm an author on the side and am always toying with Facebook ads for my own promotion. I've noticed in recent months, for example, that video does significantly better for me than regular posts. I have also noticed that tagging other pages extends my reach as well. Those are things that work for me and my type of content but might not work for your business or your clients. There just isn't an easy answer. 

 

The one good thing about Facebook though is that you can start small with the advertising tests, putting in only a few hundred dollars, doing A/B testing then investing more on what seems like it works. But the testing should be ongoing, precisely because of the ever-changing algorithm. 

 

What matters most, IMHO, is that the content is stellar. That's the best bet for big reach--if you have content that resonates and that people want to reshare, the algorithm becomes a much much smaller part of the equation.

 

But the short answer is yes, companies should not give up on Facebook.  Three years ago, Fast food delivery service Eat24 famously deleted their Facebook because they were frustrated with the algorithm: https://blog.eat24.com/breakup-letter-to-facebook-from-eat24   My instinct was that it wouldn't last, and nope, I just checked and sure enough, it didn't. They are back on Facebook again--because as a business they need to be.  https://www.facebook.com/eat24

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