There has been a lot of talk about recent changes to Facebook fan pages, whereby the reach (and therefor engagement levels) of pages has declined (less fans see content posted by the page). As a popular Irish music/comedy act points out in the tweet below, numerous people who have devoted a lot of time and energy to building a fanbase now suddenly find themselves unable to access their audience unless they pay to promote their content.

It’s a clever move by Facebook in some respects. People have questioned how exactly they would charge for their platform and this is a very effective way to do so, having built up a huge network. It’s no different from any media organisation charging a premium to advertise with them based on the size of their audience.

In the past organisations advertising strategy would simply consist of paying for reach, ensuring that an audience could see their page or content in order to attract fans. Now they have to also pay for engagement, to ensure that their content is visible to the audience they have acquired.

It is this new strand of advertising revenue that will ensure brand manager will question their spend on Facebook. There has always been a touch of the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome about social media in terms of brands building presences on Facebook without having clear objectives in place from the outset.

Now brand managers will have to ask themselves the question ‘I have 20,000 fan on Facebook, so what?’ Particularly if they have trouble engaging with the audience they have paid to acquire. As a result, they will have to weigh up the return on investment of Facebook in comparison to other digital platforms. Some brands have already started to move to other platforms as a result.

Regardless of what platform they use, brand managers need to realise that it’s their creative proposition which ultimately drives engagement. Therefore their focus should always be on investing in developing content, as opposed to simply investing in a platform. On a related note, make sure to check out this report by BrandGym “Can social media show you the money?” (pdf)


One Response to “Why More Brands Will Question Their Facebook Spend”  

  1. 1 Cyril Moloney

    Good piece on the ASAI. Got to wonder if the ASAI understand online platforms like Facebook. As it is Facebook’s platform and their regulations, would the ASAI (a voluntary body) actually have any clout? Ditto with Twitter.

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