At an event last week at Facebook, the company discussed the News Feed algorithm and Facebook Ads algorithm. In the ads category company representatives also spoke about “Promoted Posts,” a relatively new ad product that enables Page owners to take an existing post and, with little additional effort, give it wider exposure by paying a variable fee.
There have been many conspiracy theories floated to explain Promoted Posts. However Facebook said that Promoted Posts was largely created for the benefit of SMBs, who wanted simpler marketing tools that didn’t require lots of additional thinking and effort.
While Promoted Posts make it easier to send promotional messages to audiences there’s a larger issue: most SMBs don’t really know what to do or post on Facebook. They don’t know how often to do what they generally don’t know how to do.
According to Facebook’s own data, there are 12.8 million local businesses with Facebook Pages (globally). The company says that 8 million of them update at least monthly and 3.5 million post weekly. That 3.5 million figure is impressive. The weekly update schedule and knowing what to say in those updates is probably a hard-won byproduct of trial and error.
Apparently Facebook is recommending to SMBs that they update twice a week. Yet that simple recommendation is not enough; there’s still a considerable amount to be conveyed and absorbed before SMBs “get” Facebook, notwithstanding all the apparent enthusiasm out there.
Source: Reply.com, September 2012 (n=3,270 US SMBs under 99 employees)
It may even take a “generational shift,” wherein long-time Facebook users become business owners, before true understanding of social media occur in the SMB segment broadly. Those people who’ve literally grown up using Facebook will presumably “get” how to use it as a promotional tool for their businesses.
Facebook is doing events and outreach to SMBs to educate them but the company also needs to work with third party channels to gain broader access to the SMB market.
Yet so far no third party “reseller” has figured out a way to scale a Facebook solution that also provides updates more than monthly and reflects the personality and “voice” of the business.
It may in fact be that there’s really no scalable third party solution or approach to Facebook content updates.