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October 30, 2012

Facebook Wants Money if You Want Customers to See Your Posts

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

One of the ways companies are trying to better reach out to and interact with their customers is through social media, using websites such as Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter, and so on. I’ve often said that social media is an essential tool for raising awareness and communicating with customers, but it seems as though one of the most popular sites for it is trying to take advantage of this in a cruel way.

Facebook users might have noticed something unsettling. On pages for a company, group, etcetera, they can see how many people view their posts, and that number has been dwindling to only around 15 percent of their subscribers as of late. This isn’t a bug, nor is it a sign of customers losing interest. In fact, it is Facebook that is limiting the amount of people each post reaches.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are two ways to solve this. The first is to have each and every subscriber go to the page’s settings and add it to their “Interests” list, so that they will see every post. The other is to pay Facebook to “Promote” their post, which can cost anywhere from $7 to $200, depending on how many people they want it to reach.

It isn’t a subscription deal, either. One can’t pay $200 to ensure their every post will reach each of their subscribers – it’s a per post deal. This means companies will have to spend quite a pretty penny if they want each of their posts to reach all their customers, and frankly, unless they can ensure just as much money will come in from each post and promotion they pay to promote, it’s going to be a money sink.

This might be affordable to large corporations with massive amounts of people following them on Facebook, but for smaller companies with less budget and fewer subscribers, it’s not something they can simply afford.

As such, the uses for Facebook to help a company are greatly hindered. People can still find and like one’s page, then post on it to communicate with them, but any announcements, deals, and so on will be much harder for customers to find. The prices are rather outrageous too (I recently shared a video from YouTube (News - Alert) with my friends today; promoting just that link would have cost me, as an individual with a regular account $7), and are far more than smaller businesses can afford.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other social networks out there. Twitter, LinkedIn (News - Alert), and Google+, just to name a few, are significantly more affordable to use, and provide the same level of customer reach and interaction. However, as Facebook remains one of the largest social networks, not being able to reach as many customers through it may prove a nuisance, if not a hindrance.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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