EDITOR’S NOTE: This post comes from associate partner Pierre Babineau, Digital Marketing Strategist.

Web marketing is unavoidable when it comes to business this day in age.

I honestly, deeply believe this. And don’t think I’m just tooting my own horn since I spend many hours each day working in the field: nearly 90% of Canadians are connected online.

Today, I’m playing Devil’s Advocate to warn you about the truth of doing business on Facebook. While it’s the most popular social platform in Canada by a large margin with more than half the population as active users, strong growth is present and other alternatives are present, such as Instagram or Pinterest.

Let’s assume you’ve already strategically chosen Facebook as the ideal platform to reach your audience, here are 3 things to consider when doing business on Facebook:

Organic Reach

Let’s face it; when Facebook went public with their IPO in 2012, their mission unofficially went from “Keeping you connected with long lost friends with cat pictures” to “Making money for our stockholders”.

How does that affect my business on Facebook?

Creating your business page is simple and quick, but building your followers can be painfully long and expensive (in money and/or time). So once you have your followers, you’d expect to post an update – like a new product or a promotion – and all of your loyal followers to see the latter.

However, Facebook’s algorithm has a limited organic reach, which dropped from 16% (2012) to 6.5% (2014) to around 2% (2016).

How to fix it?

Here, you have 2 options:

  • Use Facebook Ads to pay (boost your ads) and make sure your followers see your updates,
  • Find another platform that offers better organic reach, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Facebook Ads budgeting

On the note of having to use Facebook Ads to reach your followers (or even your non-followers), Facebook is trying to sneak a quick one past you to help you spend your money!

How does that affect my business on Facebook?

Having faith in the system might be hurting you. While creating your Facebook ad, if you don’t choose to manually set a maximum bid price, you might be paying far too much for your targeted ads.

How to fix it?

Calculate your ROI per engagement, and make sure that your maximum CPC bid is profitable to your bottom line.

Ex: My last calculation showed my breakeven for a 10% ROI per click was at $1.14, but the automatic optimized bidding set my maximum CPC at $2.81, which means that I would potentially lose money on all of my sales driven through Facebook and have non-profitable operations.

Using Facebook as a sales tool

Facebook – much like most social media platforms – should be used to communicate with the general public and engage with your followers.

How does that affect my business on Facebook?

Too many companies are using Facebook to push down promotions and product information onto the potential clients.

How to fix it?

  • Define your reason of being for your social media accounts
  • Build a content calendar to know what type of content to share each day
  • Sprinkle product & company shout-out once out of every +/- 10 posts maximum