Facebook and the Decline of Small Business

As I was eating breakfast this morning, and idly flipping through Facebook on my iPad, a disturbing article popped up from a couple of different pages that I follow.

THIS ARTICLE, posted by the UK based site "Business 2 Community" outlines that a recently leaked slide deck from the Facebook offices indicates that pages - such as non-profits, fan-pages, and even our beloved SMALL BUSINESS will slowly see our visibility in user feeds trimmed down, unless we start to shell out the cash to bump that up.

As of this writing, Dryad Tea is hovering at about 1,250 fans on Facebook.  I watch our posts, and see who we reach, and just how much people interact with our content.  Based on these numbers, we try to post more of what we see that people interact with the most.  But a disturbing trend has come up that our posts have been seen by fewer and fewer people.

If we say that the average Facebook user has 130 friends (based on THIS) and that each one of our fans comments on a single post made by us, that comment should appear in the feeds of their friends.  Meaning that a single post from Dryad Tea has an average possibility of reaching 162,500 people.

That is quite the impact, right?

Not so much.  Our posts, on average REACH about 200-300 people.  That is LESS THAN 1% of how many people that potentially COULD see our posts.  And considering that Facebook has over a BILLION active accounts - well, we are pretty well just a drop in the teacup.

As a small business, with none of us working at this full time, we really don't have the availability to pay for advertising.  To put it into perspective, Dryad Tea posts every single day of the week, on average about twice per day.  In the last year we have only paid for advertising a handful of times, right around the major shopping times, or as we were working on our Kickstarter campaigns.  The amount of traffic that we saw during those times was, overall, not all that more significant than our organic traffic - posts that we hadn't paid for.  But now, we are going to be pushed into paying for ANY traffic at all?  That is a low blow.  We just can't afford to do it.  

The people that work for us, those crazy folks you see at shows trying to get you to buy our tea, do this for free.  Heck, even the boss doesn't bring home money from this.  The business pays for itself, but not much more.  Every so often we get Chinese food for lunch, but otherwise, we help so that we can EVENTUALLY start to do this full time.

And now Facebook wants to push us back down, because we don't line their pockets.  Our ability to REALLY connect with our fans, our customers, and the people who are true FRIENDS of our business - that ability is going to be limited, and all but cut off, because we just can't afford to push that visibility up.

With that in mind - We will still be using Facebook, of course, but we want you to REALLY have access to our company.  We want to interact with our fans and friends.

You can find us here, of course.
And if you head over to the DRYAD TEA WEBSITE you can access all of our shops over there too!

Thank you, to everyone for helping us with this dream.  As we continue to grow - and believe me, this year has been one of exponential growth for us - we will try to funnel some money into keeping our page visible on Facebook, but until we get a little bigger and start generating some more sales, it might seem quiet over there.

The best way that you can help us?  Tell your friends about Dryad Tea, give it as a gift, horde it like a dragon, share this post, share ANY post.  Most importantly, though - Believe in Small Businesses, because without that belief and support, we wouldn't have gotten this far.

~The Dryad Team