Facebook encourages SMBs to get in marketing shape – and buy ads?

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Facebook has all but admitted organic News Feed visibility is a thing of the past, and it is holding SMB marketing boot camps this summer.

Recent turmoil about how much visibility companies can get in Facebook News Feeds has left many businesses wondering how to properly execute a social marketing strategy and whether they only way to win is to pay for exposure. As Brafton recently reported, this isn’t the case universally. Even though Twitter is ramping up a program of paid advertisements, it still wants small- and medium-sized businesses to begin with strategies focused on organic visibility. Then, when a sustainable fan base has been secured, advertisements are appropriate.

Facebook seems to be taking a different tack with the announcement of its small business marketing boot camp, Facebook Fit.

Getting in the best social shape of your life

The Fit camp will take place around the country throughout the summer – get the details here. Each event will include talks and workshops on how to advertise a small business, with an emphasis on web marketing in general and Facebook in particular.

Tellingly, the bootcamp focuses on guidelines for using Facebook ads to increase awareness for small businesses, and each Fit attendee will be given a bonus $50 in Facebook ad credits. Unlike Twitter, which recommends brands work to build a following over time, Facebook seems to be advocating that companies start using ads right out of the gate.

When visibility is down, nothing ads up

This may seem like nothing but a play for ad revenue dollars, but Facebook’s hands may be tied. As Brafton reported, decreases in News Feed visibility may be a case of the network being a victim of its own success. By encouraging users to Like as many pages as possible, and by incentivizing brands to accumulate fans so they could appear organically in News Feeds, Facebook created an environment where it was almost impossible to be seen.

So brands need to make a choice: Do they start paying for ads, or do they try other options on different channels? That may come down to individual companies’ budget constraints and marketing needs. Good content and interesting posts will still pop up, but ads can be helpful in supplementing organic campaigns. It may take a while before Facebook’s News Feed congestion resolves, but for the time being, brands should aim to produce as much valuable content as possible and distribute it on as many channels as are appropriate.

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