Sorry, “Social Media Experts” – Facebook Now Admits “Pay To Play”

December 17th, 2013 by Matt Friedman

facebook_dollar_sign_icon18 months ago, we told you about the first change after Facebook’s IPO, apparent to us, and how it would especially affect your efforts to drive attention and/or traffic for your business or non-profit on Facebook.

Now, it seems Facebook is finally admitting that yes, just because you “like” a company doesn’t mean you’ll see what they post like you did pre-IPO. In fact, odds are if you “like” a page, you’ll rarely, if ever, see what they post. This recent article in Advertising Age reports that Facebook now admits they are, in fact, running a “pay to play” system for businesses on their site.

Now, that presentation you paid to attend a year ago by the self-proclaimed “social media guru” that showed you how to set up a page for your business and get more “likes” is probably moot. And what about Instagram that all the kids are talking about? It’s owned by Facebook so it’s probably not going to stay “free” for long. What about Twitter? Facebook should be handwriting on the wall (so to speak) as Twitter is now operating in a publicly owned environment after an IPO. And all the clamoring from “social media experts” about “Pinfluencers” on Pinterest? You had better check your demographic targets first.

The other factor that should grab your attention is increased consumer dissatisfaction with Facebook. A site cluttered with ads you don’t want that doesn’t give you the content you do want easily leads to less time online interacting with friends and photos.

Really, none of this is any different from what we have been advising since 2007 – it’s going to take a multi-platform strategy in order to strategically and successfully communicate your message enough to meet your business objectives. And you can’t do it “for free” on Facebook like you used to, just in in the heyday of traditional PR, there really was no such thing as “free media.”

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