Coming Facebook Changes Could Hurt Small Companies

As it stands right now, Facebook is a great way for small business owners to get the word out about their offerings, whether they’re a local restaurant in a small town, or a growing e-commerce business that has the capability to ship products worldwide. However, experts now say that all the efforts entrepreneurs make to use social media properly could go for naught in the near future.

Early next year, the world’s largest social network will once again change the ways in which it lets users see certain posts in their news feeds, and this time it seems that Facebook is targeting small businesses in particular, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. When the changes go into effect in mid-January, the site will begin filter out a larger number of promotions that businesses post as status updates, with the idea being that this will encourage companies to place paid advertisements instead.

Today, about 4 out of every 5 small businesses nationwide say they use social media services of some kind to promoted their companies, and Facebook – given its almost ubiquitous use among just about every demographic – is often at the top of that list, the report said. And while the social network itself understands how these changes will likely affects all companies, it still believes that the company can help, even if it’s for a low cost.

“Having a presence where you can be discovered still has a ton of value,” Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of small business, told the newspaper. “We don’t want them to spend any dollar with us unless it’s doing something spectacular to help them grow their business.”

What’s the issue?
Even now, it already seems that many companies aren’t reaching a large majority of the people that “Follow” them on the site, the report said. Recent data shows as little as 2 percent of posts by even the best-known brands are actually seen by other users, and less than 0.1 percent of them actually share, like, or comment on those postings.

To free up more money to devote to social media efforts, it might be wise for owners to look into ways in which they can reduce their ongoing small business insurance costs. Finding more affordable commercial insurance, for instance, could end up saving them thousands annually.