Is Facebook’s Free Ride For Marketers Over?

Facebook's Boosted Post
To boost a post on Facebook, click on the Boost Post button at the bottom right of your post.

Much like Google, Facebook has been doing some algorithm tweaking recently. For the social network, that means changes to its News Feed ­— the posts users see from friends and companies when they log in. You may be one of the many Facebook marketers who have seen the organic reach of Page posts decline over time. A widely reported statistic in the tech world is that organic Page reach will eventually diminish to as little as 1 to 2 percent.

Some marketers even anticipate a day when organic reach for Facebook Page posts will be zero. This all means that fewer people will see your Facebook posts in their newsfeeds.

In a recent whitepaper, Facebook shared a new perspective that may clue marketers in to the future of the social network. It says the value in engagement rates (which has been the ultimate yardstick of the success of social campaigns) is to show which content is most valuable and that content, in turn, should be boosted through paid media, including Facebook ads and boosted posts. Facebook no longer wants marketers to think that engagement alone is the gold standard.

“The success of advertising campaigns should be measured through business results and not via engagement rates,” the whitepaper states. “The same key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics you use in other channels, and you know drive your business, should be used to assess impact on Facebook.”

So this could be the end of all the great free marketing we’ve gotten all these years on Facebook. This sounds like bad news, but some marketers aren’t seeing it that way.

“It’s actually really good for brands,” an anonymous marketing director told Digiday’s Matt Van Hoven. “[Facebook] is now thinking of themselves as a media platform and as less of a social network as it pertains to brands.”

Van Hoven himself points out that when you pay for exposure through ads, you don’t have to rely on your audience to engage and promote your content.

Two Ways To Expand Your Reach On Facebook

Facebook ads and boosted posts can be very effective, especially in reaching people who are unfamiliar with your brand, because of the complex user profiles it has built over the years. And these paid options still won’t cost you nearly what traditional media does.

1. Page Post Promotion. This is a feature that allows your post to be seen by a larger audience than just people who have liked your Page. You select the demographics you want to reach — friends of your followers or four demographics — age, gender, location or interests. Your posts will then appear in the News Feeds of a new set of Facebook users. Boosted posts are labeled as Sponsored.

To boost Page posts, you choose the amount of money you want to spend and the amount of time you want the promotion to run. Before you buy, Facebook estimates the number of people you will reach with the promotion. The more you narrow down the demographics, the more likely you are to appear in front of the users you’re trying to reach. Depending on your goal, boosting a post could cost as little as a few dollars a day with an added reach of thousands of Facebook users.

To boost a post, write it as you normally would and then click the Boost Post button at the bottom right of the post. And remember: You can send a Facebook post to every single site user, but if it isn’t engaging, educational or interesting, it won’t do your brand any good.

2. Advertising. Facebook offers good old right-hand rail ads, of several configurations, in addition to options for mobile advertising and ads that run in the Newsfeed as “Sponsored.” Facebook offers lots of advice on what type of ad is best for your advertising goals, including the best ad configurations for increasing your number of page likes, driving visits to your website and increasing post engagement, among others. You upload the text and images for the ads.

Facebook ads can be targeted to many more demographics than boosted posts. For example, you can target users by:

• education, by level or field of study
• those who list gardening as a hobby
• gender, age or location
• those who are not connected to your brand
• a particular relationship status
• target income range
• home owners vs. renters
• those who are fit moms, green moms, soccer moms, stay-at-home moms or trendy moms

The cost structure for Facebook Ads differs a bit from boosted posts depending on the goal of the ad. You can choose a daily or lifetime budget for a campaign, or to pay cost per impression or cost per click. You only pay for the clicks or impressions that Facebook delivers.

To create a Facebook ad or to find out more about Facebook Ads, visit

One Thing Not To Do

The Share could be the most important engagement metric on Facebook for getting your content in front of more eyes, but you shouldn’t come out and specifically ask for either shares or likes. In its effort to clean up spammy posts, Facebook will soon be burying posts that come out and ask people to like or share content, according to a recent statement from Facebook.

The best way to get attention and engagement without having to come out and ask for them is to create quality content that grabs attention. And that applies whether you stick to free Page posts or increase your reach with boosted posts or advertising.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Janeen Wright

March 2, 2015

Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]

The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.

Read More
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Latest Stories

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Smart Herb Garden

March 2, 2015

Smartpot Uses Sensors And Cartridges To Ensure Success …

Click & Grow helps make it simple for consumers to grow their own herbs and spices at home, even if they have little experience with plants.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Student Flash Mob At TPIE Has Roots In Floriculture

The local FFA students who entertained TPIE attendees in 2014 and 2015 received industry donations of plants and a greenhouse structure to help expand their horticultural program.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More

February 11, 2015

Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Refuse to accept the status quo in your organization. Explore possibilities until you find what works best for your company.

Read More
Greenhouse on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015 Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, The new design is the product of direct user feedback and analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Noble Foundation

February 3, 2015

Lloyd Noble Scholars Program Application Period Now Ope…

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is offering college students an opportunity to work side-by-side with the Noble Foundation’s renowned agricultural consultants and researchers through the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, a summer internship that provides students the opportunity to enhance their in-class education with real-world application and experiences.

Read More
Andy Higgins

February 3, 2015

MasterTag Names Andy Higgins As Its New President

Former CEO and president of Ecke Ranch, Andy Higgins, joins MasterTag as its new president. He brings more than two decades of industry experience to the position.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

February 2, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 State Of The In…

The Greenhouse Grower 2015 State Of The Industry Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, including comparisons on 2014 sales to past years, details on how 2015 production volume and prices will compare to 2014, crops that growers will increase and decrease production on, where growers stand on using neonicotinoids on crops, how many growers will pursue growing medical marijuana and more.

Read More
Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Lead Role

January 28, 2015

Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Le…

Ronald Valentin has been appointed technical lead for Syngenta Bioline, effective January 2015. He will be responsible for technical support of Bioline biological control agents and will be instrumental in helping growers develop integrated pest management (IPM) solutions.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Innovation Drives Growth At Plantpeddler

Mike and Rachel Gooder, owners of Plantpeddler, a 400,000-square-foot, multi-divisional greenhouse tucked away in Cresco, Iowa, have a unique foresight that allows them to turn potential into profitable reality.

Read More
Carol Miller

January 28, 2015

Retailer To Grower: The Right Plants Are Hard To Find

Retailers say too many growers offer the same plants, leading to a lopsided plant supply. They offer a simple solution: Talk To Your Customers.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Give Equal Time To The Number Crunchers

Before investing in a new business opportunity, check in with the financial gurus of your organization to make certain you have the cash flow to back up your efforts.

Read More