Last month I saw an announcement from the owner of a handcrafted items page on Facebook saying she was winding up the business. All her sales were done via Facebook, but so few people were seeing her posts that the business was no longer viable.

Following on from a study of brands on Facebook (Apr 2014) which showed that their posts were reaching only 6% of their page fans, another report from an industry insider says the numbers will soon drop to 1-2%. If you’ve spent time building your Facebook page to promote your small business, this is bad news.

basket of eggsSo why are Facebook doing this? In part, it’s because they want businesses to pay for advertising. Don’t forget, Facebook is also a business and needs to make a profit.

Another, according to Facebook, is that it makes for a better user experience. FB started as a way for people to keep in touch with each other. Now, with most users having loads of friends plus liked pages, newsfeeds are way too cluttered.

So should you pay to run adverts on Facebook? That depends. If it’s to get more page likes, but most of those new fans don’t see your posts, is there any point? An ad that takes people to your website or perhaps an offer may give you a better return on your investment.

The point is, you can no longer rely on Facebook and nothing else to help promote your business. Expand into different social media platforms such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube. If you don’t have a website, get one – it’s a must. And consider building an email list so you can reach all your customers, when you want to, and not when a third party decides.