Social | August 8, 2019
Why The Latest Facebook Business Page Posts Are a Sham.
Have you fallen victim to the latest marketing technique trawling Facebook's business pages? Maybe you've seen an influx of invites to like business pages, but you don't know why?
In 12 hours, we have seen the same “clickbait” post sweep so many business pages, and whilst it may have been a great marketing ploy, the countless notifications are beginning to annoy users.
What is it?
If you’re yet to experience the trend, count yourself lucky, but I expect it’ll make its way to you soon.
Small business owners that utilise Facebook Business Pages to connect with their audience, offer online booking services and the like are posting what appears to be a brilliant marketing ploy to encourage their followers to invite all of their Facebook friends to like their page. Yes, you read that correctly, all of them. Now, in the ten-or-so years that I have been active on Facebook, I have built up over 2,000 Facebook friends. Imagine the same number of invites being sent out by five people, and the ratio of people to actually hit “like” from the mammoth 10,000 invites.
It’s a great tactic.
But it’s quickly developed into an increasingly annoying one too. And as most trends go, those joining the bandwagon later than others won’t get similar results, and they definitely stand to leave a negative connotation in the invited user’s mind.
You called it a sham, why’s that?
Let’s list them, shall we? (I love a list!)
- It’s a trend. Not a genuine call for help from your local small business.
- It’s emotional blackmail.
- It’s full of tall tales.
- The solution requested doesn’t help the issue of you not seeing their content.
- It was probably thought up by a semi-desperate social media manager…
It’s true, Facebook has altered its algorithm to put more of a focus on meaningful content, but this algorithmic change doesn’t exclusively block out business pages, – it simply means their content needs to change. Start meaningful conversations, share helpful and resourceful information, take advantage of video, and get to know when your audience is online; the more engagement your posts drum up, the more people will see them.
Understandably, small business owners may shy away from sponsored posts and Facebook Advertising, simply because it’s considered a money burner. But with considerably much lower costs-per-users and costs-per-conversions than Google Ads, it’s a quick-win for more attention on particular content posted. Have an event coming up? Raise awareness! Offering a discount to new customers? Share it! There are easier and much-less soliciting ways to get more eyes onto a business.
But what grinds my gears most, is that the help they are requesting (i.e. to invite your entire friend list to join their community) doesn’t alleviate the problem highlighted,
“Facebook/Instagram are hampering you seeing our content unless we pay.”
A solution that addressed the problem would have been to ask their followers to engage with X amount of their most recent posts to indicate to Facebook that the user is interested in seeing what the business page is posting. What this post is doing instead, is duping users into inviting if not thousands, but hundreds, of people to like a business page, essentially doing the hard work of building a community for them.
Is it really a sham? It appears to be working!
100%. A bigger community doesn’t mean an engaged community, and neither will it help a business to truly understand their audience. You’re right, those who jumped on the bandwagon early may have experienced an increase in likes, and their recent posts will be visible on new follower feeds for a short time, but if the new follower doesn’t engage with any of the posts shared by the business page, it will soon disappear from their homepage.
Albeit the same issues will continue to exist; that nobody is seeing their content, and unless the ratio of engagement increases alongside the number of new followers, their statistics will appear dismal.
For me, the consequences of building a fake community over an engaged one outweigh the buzz from a spike in new followers.