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Small Business Today: More Facebook plus lending fund, names and Staples – small business reading for 10-17-2012

pickingsmallbusinesspocketIn our last roundup of small business news, we focused heavily on the changes in how Facebook is dealing with 'likes' and how it then puts news from liked businesses in front of people who liked their pages. Basically Facebook just unilaterally massively cut back the number of people it shows status updates to while at the same time heavily promoting its new pay-to-promote business. As this article points out, that is completely within Facebook's prerogatives.

But the article ignores completely our prerogative as small business owners to really strongly dislike this change. It inevitably undercuts the value and utility of Facebook for small businesses as a marketing tool. Sure, there's a lot of entitlement floating out there in InternetLand about how everything should be free but in this case it has been free. It's no surprise that we are going to whine a bit when the rug gets yanked out from under our free-loading feet.

The typical cycle for content-driven marketing for a small business is to post a solid piece of content that is interesting or useful or attractive to your potential and actual customers on your website. Then promote it to your various audiences, including social media and thus Facebook. The change in the way Facebook operates means that somewhere between about 30% and as much as 90% of your previous audience (people who liked you on Facebook) will never see your Facebook post unless they independently visit your page. So you've just lost some percentage of your audience if this is part of your marketing playbook.

Some of the other best stories for today:

One year later, checking in on the Small Business Lending Fund.

Naming your business is like naming a child. Well - no, it isn't, but this article which is really an interview is worth a read anyway.

The continuing decline of brick-and-mortar: Staples moving more online.

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