Phoebe Wright, the founder of WhiteSpace Marketing and herself an SME owner, said there has been fear among many business leaders about how Facebook’s algorithm changes – designed to make it “more social and not so businessy” – will impact their bottom line.
In January this year, Facebook announced changes to its platform that would seek to restrict “posts from businesses, brands and media”.
Ms Wright stressed that, for those businesses invested in paid advertisements on Facebook, it was business as usual.
“The changes are not going to ruin businesses despite some saying it is going to be harder,” she said.
“The point is that yes, the algorithm has changed so that organic has less reach. And yes, this has affected businesses which had previously grown large numbers of fans so that their organic engagement was strong.
“But for most businesses, who don’t have enormous fan bases to start with, they always had to invest in paid advertising to get reach.”
Ms Wright also claimed that less than half (47 per cent) of SMEs are on Facebook anyway.
“The changes just reinforce the fact you have to pay to promote your business; the scare mongering is moot because nothing has changed from a business perspective.”
However, MS Wright urges businesses to steer clear of ‘boosting’ posts on the platform.
According to Facebook’s business page, boosting a post “may help you get more people to like, share and comment on the posts you create”.
“Boosted posts are also a way to reach new people who are likely interested in your content but don't currently follow you on Facebook. Your boosted post can include a call-to-action button so that you can drive people to take other actions you care about, like booking an appointment, signing up for a newsletter, getting in touch with your business and more,” the website states.
But Ms Wright suggested the marketing budget can be spent much better elsewhere.
“Boosting is the biggest waste of money and only goes to lining Zuckerberg’s pockets,” she claimed.
“Boosting is the biggest crock and does no favours to any social media strategy. You can’t track it or do anything with the results, if you get any. We always advise our clients against it.”