Earlier this month Facebook announced some changes to its advertising policy that will damage the ability of smaller businesses to promote themselves on its News Feed.
From January 2015, Facebook will intensify its efforts to filter out free posts that it sees as overly promotional. This means that small businesses, who cannot afford to pay for the social network’s targeted advertising, or to continually boost their posts, will not be able to reach their followers.
While for ordinary users this might be a welcome change. For Facebook, keeping the News Feed interesting rather than overly promotional is a top priority. Why would users come back if their Feed becomes a stream of ads?
But as they continue to return to read status updates from friends and family, users are seeing more and more paid ads in their News Feed, as Facebook builds revenue by promising paying advertisers wider exposure. Ads in the News Feed are continually out-performing other those in other sections of the page, the social network says, but even those by well-known brands only reach two per cent of their fans, and only 0.1 per cent engages with a post.
The research didn’t monitor the reach of smaller companies. More than 80 per cent of small companies using social media to promote their businesses list Facebook as their top marketing tool, creating a Facebook page for customer acquisition, building a network of followers and increasing brand awareness, according to a survey by Webs, a digital services division of Vistaprint