In just 2 days recently I read three stories about Facebook and Twitter and their efforts around advertising for small businesses. Small businesses are quickly finding that their organic reach on Facebook is dwindling as Facebook promotes advertising as the most effective way to get awareness.
The NY Times did two articles back to back – the first focused on Facebook and their quest for more paying small business customers, even though those small businesses are finding their Facebook reach decreasing, while the cost to advertise on Facebook increases. The second article discussed Twitter’s move to copy Facebook with regard to small business advertising.
It’s important for small businesses to think about what they want and need out of their social network strategy. It is now obvious that the main revenue generator for all these networks is advertising – so any social network that provides free social reach is likely going to change that over time to make you pay to reach your most valuable customers.
There are many different online avenues to reach your customers, but if they are all going to start charging for the privilege, small business owners will need to think about a strategy that fits their budget and their needs. Simply posting your message multiple times on your Facebook timeline or tweeting the same message more often isn’t going to increase your reach!
I can’t help but wonder where the future of social networks is going to take us – while each platform has a different focus on how to reach your network, they are all going to make money exactly the same way – but pushing your ad to people that are not in your network. Ultimately all that will happen is each network will introduce more noise into your personal stream, and how effective will that be?