So many people have been saying it lately, and we know you’ve been looking for it: the proof that Facebook hates small business.
All the signs are there, right? The smaller reach for pages, how many hoops you have to jump through for people to see your posts in your groups, schedulers that stop working suddenly and for no explanation at all. Not to mention the ever-changing newsfeed algorithms that determine what people see in their newsfeeds.
And, to make matters worse, every time you get a handle on everything, Facebook mocks you by changing the algorithms. Really? Because isn’t running a business already difficult enough without our social media platforms making it harder and harder to market on?
Why can’t we just log into our Facebook, post our posts and trust that people who signed up to follow us will see those posts? Why does Facebook even need to have an algorithm?
Because without the algorithm, you would miss 80-90% of the stuff you signed up to follow.
The average person spends roughly 27 minutes a day on the Facebook app. And daily users who log into the site on their desktop browser spend an average of 40 minutes a day. Think about how many groups you’re in, how many friends you have, how many pages you follow. Is it really possible for you to be able to stay caught up with all of them if you spent only 27-40 minutes a day on Facebook?
It’s simple math…which, ironically, is exactly what an algorithm is: calculations used in problem-solving.
Obviously, not being able to see everything you’ve signed up to see is a problem in Facebook’s eyes. Their algorithm was developed to help solve that problem.
Why Everyone Says Facebook Hates Small Business
Facebook doesn’t hate small business, of course. On the contrary, Facebook’s algorithms prove a deep understanding of consumer mindset. Today’s consumers like to connect with businesses on a more personal level, something much easier to do on a platform like Facebook. Customers like to feel special, appreciated, and taken care of. They enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpses at their favorite companies, they prefer transparency and authenticity over advertising.
And they hate being “sold to.”
They don’t want to see ads and specials and recruitment offers when they sign onto Facebook. They want to see stories and memes and inspiration. They want to learn how to use the products they’re buying, find out what other people think about companies, and tell their friends about the businesses they like. They want to hang out, have some fun, and read up on Aunty Em and all the things happening over in Kansas right now.
They don’t want to stare at your ads. They want to engage with your brand.
Facebook’s Algorithms Require Engagement to Work
This is, of course, the one caveat to doing business on Facebook: you have to understand how their algorithms work. In order for Facebook to calculate what people want to see and be able to show them as much as possible in the 27 minutes they have that person’s attention, that person needs to engage on various posts, photos, videos, and ads. Without that engagement, Facebook has no data to calculate.
Facebook kind of makes up for this by including related engagement into their algorithms, which means that if a person hasn’t engaged on something but their friends or family members have, Facebook will use that data to try to determine whether or not the person might want to see the same thing. But even this still requires engagement.
Therefore, if you want to do business on Facebook, you have two options:
You can start working with Facebook’s algorithms and help your customers see your content by focusing on high-engaging activities, or you can start paying for your advertising.
Either way, stop blaming Facebook. Facebook doesn’t hate small business, Facebook loves consumers.
Owning your own business doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own! Come hang out with me over in my free Facebook group: Social Marketing for Direct Sales, with Brenda Ster.