How To Market Your Business After Facebook Goes Away

“I’m looking for ways to bring in more clients to my studio. I started my business at the beginning of 2012 and currently use my Facebook page for promotion. I have around 500 followers and post regularly. I try and get everyone over to my page when I’m out networking by using a business card to let them know how to find me on Facebook. I can’t afford a lot for marketing now so I’m looking for cheap ways of doing things. Any ideas?”

I get questions and comments like this all the time.

Because you are starting out on a shoestring budget, you head to the one place that seems the most user friendly. If you already have a Facebook profile and understand how to use it, why not set up a free page and use that too?

Makes sense. Facebook is visual. Its easy to share your photographs. And with access to hundreds of millions of people, it seems like a great place to be.

Until they start changing direction.

When Facebook went public, their entire business model changed. They no longer are working for Mark’s desires; they are working for shareholders desires. Shareholders want profits – noting else. They don’t care about one user’s happiness; they want a return on their investment.

Which means the new goal of every person working in the Facebook offices is now focused on bringing in as much money as possible.

Nothing wrong with that – that’s what businesses do.

But if you were relying on Facebook and Facebook alone to help build your business, you are most likely in for a bumpy ride. A VERY bumpy ride. And it’s already coming through.

I wrote about one of their newest features a while back:

Dig Deeper: Using Facebook Promoted Posts For Your Photography Business

And if you have been relying on a page in any way, you are probably feeling the pain. Your Facebook page is probably receiving less traffic than before, and those numbers are continuing to head down every day, even if you are increasing your likes in the process. This has coincided with the release of the “promoted posts”, and while Facebook insists it isn’t artificially driving down traffic, hoping you’ll pay more for promoted posts, it is difficult not to put the two together.

No matter if it’s a coincidence or not, if you have a page, you’re not getting the same  traffic you did a few months or even a few weeks ago.

So now its time for a lot of questions on both sides of the court.

Can Facebook strike a balance between keeping users happy with their newsfeeds, helping brands reach out to potential customers in an affordable way, all while making the profits they need to keep their shareholders happy? Only time will tell.

But one thing should be apparent to you:

If you are relying on Facebook as your sole marketing tool, its time to make a change.

Facebook may be here tomorrow … or not.

Facebook may offer brands easy ways to connect with potential buyers … or not.

Facebook may offer affordable ways to reach out to clients … or not.

Facebook may have tools to help you market your business … or not.

But one thing is for sure. Facebook won’t work the way it has in the past.

However you have been using it, however you have been relying on it, that’s changing. The only question now is are you willing to change now and see what’s really happening? Will you do something to make your marketing tools more permanent, more reliable for you? Or will you be a holdout waiting to see where this all ends?

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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

  • http://www.rons-prophoto.com Ron Rosenzweig

    Greetings,
    You are so right about Facebook. The percentages are getting smaller every day. I read a published story about how 16% or fewer of your Facebook friends get your post. I have currently over 1,500 friends on Facebook and less than 100 ever show up on my feed and most of them are the same people over and over because those are the one’s I’m in contact with the most.
    Facebook is worth no more than about 10 – 15 minutes a day. I know photographers that spend hours a day in fruitless marketing, trying to sell to their 16%.
    Great post. Thanks for sharing a truth in marketing!
    Best Regards,
    Ron

  • http://virtualphotographystudio.com Virtual Photography

    Hi Ron

    Yep, its always about adjusting. We were spending a lot more time on Facebook a few months ago, when the reach was there. Now with the adjustments they’ve made, we’re adjusting too. That’s not to say it won’t come back, but its ultimately about knowing where your customers/visitors are coming from and how to reach out to them. Don’t spend too much time on one thing or it can really hurt you down the road.

    Lori

  • http://www.michaelmeeksphotography.com Michael Meeks

    I know a lot of people that are giving up on their blogs to focus on facebook. At least you know that your blog is still going to be around in a year or two.

  • http://virtualphotographystudio.com Virtual Photography

    Michael – Right now, I’m convinced content is king … and you have to control the content, which means your blog is your powerhouse. Then you can use Facebook, or Google+, or whatever the next one is that enters the playing field and do okay. But if you give up on your site to spend time on a “free” site and they suddenly turn it off, you are in big trouble.
    Lori