Why Facebook is now Pay to Play

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Posted by luke on

There was a time, not too long ago, when Facebook felt a little bit like a local farmer’s market. It was filled with a decent number of customers, with humble little stalls owned by regular people selling their goods.

If one of the stall owners decided to put a sign next to their stall, people noticed, and went and had a look. If one of them gave out free samples, people stopped and tried some and then possibly bought something then and there. Little motions created big waves and business owners had a considerable amount of power.

Then, it all changed

Almost overnight, the farmer’s market started to operate a little differently. Due to the success of the market, more people started to go every week. More stalls followed in suit and before you knew it, the humble market was more like a small town, rather than just a place to buy fresh mangoes and deep-fried pretzels. 

Stalls were going to ever-more extravagant measures to deal with the competition, including paying the owners of the market for a better position, right near the entry gates. The competition was high, and the owners knew that if they offered a spot right near the entrance, people would be willing to pay for it. 

…and nine months later, Facebook Paid Ads were born.

If you want visibility, you gotta pay

To put things into perspective:

  • Facebook is the third most visited website on the internet (behind Google and Facebook)
  • 2.23 billion people use Facebook worldwide
  • 61% of Australians use Facebook

“More and more content is being created and shared every day. There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.” - Facebook

With these kind of numbers, Facebook is in a position to demand whatever they want from businesses who want to be in the spotlight. When you consider the fact that the average organic reach for a Facebook post is 6.4% of a Facebook page’s likes, the game is played on Facebook’s terms. 

Is it worth it?

In short, yes.

Facebook really has taken social media marketing (and online marketing in general) to the next level. It’s truly remarkable the level of specificity Facebook has managed to provide marketers and business owners in their campaign targeting.

Facebook Paid Ads allow you to targeting customers by location, demographics, life events, behaviours and friends. 

They are also very cost-effective. For as little as five dollars, you can start a campaign and reach hundreds of local people. 

The Future

As it currently stands, Facebook Paid Ads are not going anywhere. With this in mind, the quicker you get involved, the better.

The great thing about delving into this world, is that you can play at your own level of ability. If you don’t want to spend thousands on a campaign, you don’t have to. You can test it out and see if it works for you.

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