facebook logoIf your business has relied on Facebook to communicate with your customers and prospects, this article in Duct Tape Marketing should be a must read for you

What it says is what we’ve all known about Facebook for the past few years – except it’s much worse from a marketer’s standpoint.

It has been common knowledge that Facebook picks and chooses who sees the posts from your business pages.

You assumed when you asked for all those Likes that you were in effect building your own Facebook mailing list – and that whenever you added a post, it would been seen by all those people.

Well, that’s not the case.

The truth is that the vast majority of your Friends will never see that post. 

I had been under the impression that on average only about 20% of your Friends were seeing your posts (which was bad enough), but according to this article, the number is less than 5%.  Ouch.

Facebook doesn’t hide the fact that only a percentage of your Friends receive your posts.  Their position was that they did not want to overwhelm Facebook users with every post from every connection.  They wanted to make sure the posts got through to only the most engaged and most interested people on your Friends list.

Seemed logical, reasonable and maybe even altruistic.

But 5%? 

A more cynical and perhaps obvious reason for this is that Facebook simply wants you to start paying for your exposure.

On the surface, Facebook should be a good media buy.  When you consider how many people use Facebook, and how much Facebook knows about its users, you should be able to target your audience with some precision.

Facebook’s paid advertising platform offers you the opportunity to not only reach your Friends but other users of Facebook that match your target audience.  You can target by demographics, expressed interests and behavior (visits to other Facebook pages).

You can also target geographically down to your zip code or a radius from your location.

Your ads can appear in the right-hand sidebar or in the user’s Timeline, or both.

Ads are affordable for every size business and you set a budget limit of just a few dollars per day if you want.

If you sell to consumers or even small businesses, Facebook advertising could be a good option for you.

Like other forms of direct response advertising, you will be able track your exposure and performance by impressions, clicks and conversions.

Test it for a week or a month and see what it produces.

But here’s what I would do differently. 

Instead of focusing on Facebook Friends, use Facebook advertising (and other advertising) to send people to your website and get them to join your email list.

Your email list will be much more valuable to you.  It’s yours.  You own it.  And you don’t have to worry that Facebook might change its rules again.

Most importantly, when you send out an email, you can sure that most of the people on your list will at least receive it.  What a concept.


Need help with Facebook advertising or with setting up your own email system?  Call Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or


About Bob McCarthy

Bob McCarthy is a direct response consultant and copywriter with a focus on direct mail, email and digital marketing. Bob works with B2B, B2C and Non-Profit clients. You can download his free ebook, "Making Snail Mail Work: 13 Lessons in Direct Mail Strategy."