This is a timely article. At work, we were just talking about how it may not be worth our while to put our time and money into Facebook. Their recent change ruined the whole idea of Facebook Page. It basically turned Facebook Page into an advertising delivery mechanism. If you don’t “promote” your posts by paying, you can’t reach anyone, which means every “post” is nothing more than an ad. If so, why would anyone “Like” any Page? By Liking any Facebook Page, you would essentially be asking for ads to be inserted into your News Feed. It’s silly. People will now stop Liking Pages.
Those who had their own pages for non-commercial purpose (authors, critics, musicians, artists, comedians, etc..) would also stop using it because they can’t reach anyone without promoting, and if they are not operating a business, why would they pay for their posts? They’ll switch to getting followers on their own personal profiles. (I did this myself recently.)
Even for my startup, we mostly wanted to share information, products, and ideas that we thought were interesting. So, we are not even talking about ourselves in the vast majority of our posts. They are mostly about other company’s products. Why would we pay to post them? And, if we are not going to promote them, nobody will see them; then what’s the point of posting them in the first place?
If these non-commercial posts and Pages disappear, people will associate Facebook Page as a strictly commercial vehicle, and will start ignoring entirely. They made a silly decision in my view.
I think the only useful thing about Facebook Page is the number of Likes if you can get it to be high enough. A large number can validate your legitimacy, and make potential customers feel safe and more comfortable trying your product. If you have, say, only 10 Likes, it would have a negative impact. So, you either should commit to getting a large number, or not have a Facebook Page at all.
The whole “engagement” idea doesn’t make sense on Facebook. It’s not a good way to engage customers. Email is much more meaningful. The problem with engaging customers publicly is that the customers too become self-conscious of the public because anyone can see their comments. The stakes are higher to protect their own egos, so having a meaningful conversation becomes more difficult.