Are Facebook Business Pages a Waste of Time?

I have been watching, reading and discussing this issue over the last few months with both clients and people in the Marketing Industry and have reached the conclusion that for most businesses, Facebook Business Pages are a waste of time

What you don’t see

In the vast majority of cases, your Facebook Business page posts will not appear in your follower’s News Feeds. That means your valuable time and effort in curating content or creating posts are wasted.

So why don’t your posts show up?

Facebook says (and they have a point) that it is simple impossible to show updates from all your friends and all the pages you have liked in your “News Feed” because of the volume of updates. Here’s a direct quote from a Facebook update on 7 August, 2013:

“The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.

This is no small technical feat: every time someone visits News Feed there are on average 1,5001 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see, and most people don’t have enough time to see them all. These stories include everything from wedding photos posted by a best friend, to an acquaintance checking in to a restaurant.

With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information”.

Why Facebook Business Pages are not worth the effort

From what I have seen and read on various professional marketing sites – the percentage who see your posts in their news feeds can be pathetically low unless you “rank well”. Check it out yourself if you haven’t already, by using the “Pages” app that will tell you how many people see each of your post.

However when you send a targeted relevant email, post a comment in a LinkedIn group, run an ad, hold a seminar – you know people (presumably your prospects and/or customers if you have your target market right) will see or hear your message. But that’s not the case with Facebook.

How can you rank well?

According to Facebook it’s their secret ranking algorithm that determines what news from all your friends and pages likes you will see.

To quote again from Facebook:

When a user likes something, that tells News Feed that they want to see more of it; when they hide something, that tells News Feed to display less of that content in the future. This allows us to prioritize an average of 300 stories out of these 1,500 stories to show each day.

The News Feed algorithm responds to signals from you, including, for example:
• How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
• The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
• How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
• Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

The bottom line

Unless you are a highly popular brand and have lots of active followers who like and comment on your posts it’s unlikely that you will be seen – so therefore your Facebook Business Page is a waste of time. You would be better focus on other marketing options or Facebook’s Paid Ads – where you are guaranteed to be seen (that’s a surprise isn’t it).

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