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Facebook forcing marketers to pay

Published November 18, 2014 at 8:18 am


Social media is a way for brands to get in touch with users directly, and has been for some time. However, transparency has always been a concern, and Facebook is taking steps to encourage that with changes to its rules for businesses. Now, companies that want to  promote themselves have to buy ads rather than rely on the casual “regular” posts to attract attention, as the New York Times reports.

Although the network is claiming this as a move on behalf of the user, it does mean that businesses have to spend more money to make themselves known than they would otherwise. The Times quotes company statistics that claim users encounter as many as 1,500 new posts every time they log in.

Businesses should have a flexible approach to online marketing, so changes like this don’t upset their typical operating procedures. They should also research as many different marketing platforms as possible, so they don’t invest in an incompatible one only to find out it doesn’t work later on.

Brian Boland, a Facebook executive, said that this move comes in response to user feedback, specifically from those who said they saw too many ads in their newsfeeds. It also reportedly is designed to privilege better ad campaigns with higher quality content.

“Most of the stuff we listed, like sweepstakes, probably doesn’t fall in the category of great content,” he said. “We’re responding to what people want to see.”

This might make SMB marketing difficult for those companies that don’t have a strategy spread across different media and web-based sources. But adopting automated marketing means that direct mail, email and other forms of advertising materials can easily be consolidated as part of a larger effort.

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