Facebook now boasts over a billion, active users. With so many people using the social network, it’s not surprising that many businesses use it for marketing purposes. Almost every entity you know has a Facebook page. It makes intuitive sense that if you want to reach people you go to where they are and they’re all on Facebook.
But while it makes sense, in practice, it’s a little deceptive. I suspect that most people believe that if they post something on Facebook it would eventually be seen by all their friends or followers, provided that they use the site for a reasonable period of time. But that’s not the way Facebook works. When you make a post, it’s shown to a small fraction of the people in your network and depending on the level of engagement it receives, in terms of likes and comments, it’s then made available to more people.
This is essentially what happens when a post goes viral. It gets so popular that Facebook makes it available to more and more people. This makes sense. Facebook would argue that with the vast amount of content on the network, it needs to filter the content that users see so that they only see what they enjoy and care about. A cynic, however, might say that Facebook just wants you to pay for Ads to reach more people.
Ways to get expand your reach
As alluded to before, the method Facebook would like you to use to reach people is their Ad platform. The way this works is that you set a budget and Facebook gives you an estimate of the number of people you’ll reach. It generally works well. It supercharges your posts making them available to more people while still being able to take advantage of the viral effect of the platform.
This is great but you reach is restricted by the size of your marketing budget. You may have a page with 100,000 followers but when you make a post it only reaches a few people. That doesn’t sound fair and that’s why people opt for more direct ways of reaching their followers.
You can’t browse the web for too long before encountering websites with popups asking you to subscribe to their content. They want your email so that they can reach you directly and not depend on a third party to determine who sees their content. This is a tricky proposition as today, concerns about privacy and spam make people reluctant to give out their emails. Often the only way to get people to subscribe is to offer something for free in exchange for their email addresses.
Email subscriptions work well if you can get people to subscribe but if you can’t, then getting a mobile app is an excellent option. In fact, a mobile app can be considered a form of subscription. The user decides that the content or value that the app offers is worth downloading and storing it on his or her device. And where a mobile app shines compared to social media is that you get direct access to the users who have downloaded the app. If you’ve set up push notifications for that app you can send a message to all these devices and be confident that they’ll be received. An app with 10, 000 downloads is worth more than a Facebook page with the same number of followers.
You may be worried about the cost of developing a mobile app. I am convinced that the benefits are worth the price but the price may not be all that prohibitive, anyway. Depending on the feature set that you require, the cost of development may be comparable to developing a website. If your website is based on WordPress that may actually cut down the amount of work necessary to build the app. WordPress sites can make their data available in a format easily consumed by apps which negate the need to develop a custom backend to store data.
An example of this at work is with the kelvinpompey.me app that I’ve developed. It extracts the data from a WordPress-based website and displays it in an Android application.
If you think that something like this could be useful to your business then feel free to contact Safyah Solutions about our app development services!