Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

Facebook has changed A LOT in the last few years. Back in 2008, ’09 and ’10, Facebook was the place to be for a small business. Likes and comments were flowing like water. Your followers could see everything you were doing. They could interact with you to their hearts’ content. Facebook was the new kid on the block back then, being founded in 2004. They understood that if small business encouraged their customers to interact with them on Facebook, the amount of people using Facebook would grow that much faster.

Fast forward to 2018, and it doesn’t look like Facebook needs small business as much, anymore. There are over 2 BILLION active Facebook users. Over half of these users – 1.3 billion – log on every day. Five new profiles are created every second. Facebook is rolling along just fine. 

So what about small business? Those changes Facebook has been making impact small business. Gone are the days when your posts are automatically seen by your followers. The newsfeed has changed. On average, your organic posts are only seen by about 17 percent of your followers. Let’s do the math. If you have 1,000 followers only 170 people will actually see your post. Of that 17 percent, only about 10 percent (17 people) will comment or share. Not a great showing. You started with 1,000 and now you are down to 17? Ugh!

These days Facebook wants you to BOOST your post. Simply put, they want you to pay for reaching a bigger audience. The bad news is that it costs money. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. The better news is that for the most part, you are in control. 

You can pick your audience. You can pick their geographical location. Do you want just the city you are in, or a radius around your city? You decide. 

You can also pick what age range you want to market to. Right now, I am getting ready to boost a post to men and women 18-65 years old who live within a 50-mile radius of my shop. That’s just my choice, for now. Facebook lets you choose the gender, age and geographical location. You can include or exclude certain people based on keywords like food, business or entertainment, for example. 

You can set your total budget as well. According to Facebook, if I opt for a $50 dollar total budget and run the boosted post for seven days, I can reach up to an additional 10,000 people. That is a lot of people in a local market. If I up my budget to $100 for the boost campaign, I can reach up to 19,000 local people. Compared to some other forms of advertising, that is really not expensive. 

If you really don’t want to give Facebook any money (I don’t blame you), there are some things you can do to get your posts noticed a bit more. Facebook prefers content that is singular to them. This means no links to external places like your website. Images get more views than words. If you don’t need words to describe your image, you will get better results. 

Videos rule right now. Facebook is trying to take on YouTube with their Facebook Live platform. Live video is the new social engagement platform, and if you have a smartphone, they literally cost nothing to make or post. According to Facebook, “Facebook Live is a fun, powerful way to connect with your follower and create new ones along the way.”

What it all comes down to is trial and error. If going with wordless pictures or smartphone videos gets you where you want to be, then great – keep your advertising money in your pocket. If not, then try boosting a post or creating an ad. It’s easy, and actually a little fun. 

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at .