Survey: Would You Pay for Facebook Page Business Suite Upgrade Package?

About a week ago, Hugh Briss of Social Identities was contacted about a user receiving a survey from Facebook about a premium suite of services for businesses with a suggested price tag of $50 per month. Later that day, Hugh posted a retraction, indicating that a source from within Facebook said the survey was unofficial.

Such a survey — and an official one — wouldn’t have surprised me. I reported for on a very similar survey back in February for a “Boosted Page Posts” feature. Interesting, eh?

But a fake wouldn’t have been shocking either. Then I started hearing more rumblings of this survey. And then, personal proof.

Yesterday, I spotted this message in between my Admin Panel and cover photo of my Facebook Page:

Facebook Survey 25 Dollars

This is an official survey. I don’t know how anyone within Facebook could deny it. I guess you could imply malware or adware, but I’m not a malware-susceptible type dude.

The survey I received is identical to everything Hugh reported on, with one exception: A price point of $25 instead of $50. This is again classic Facebook. Multiple waves of surveys getting a feel for what people would be willing to pay.

The first couple of pages of the survey were harmless enough. Questions were:

Which of the following best describes your role in making decisions regarding marketing and advertising for your company?

Which of the following best describes your role in making decisions regarding the Facebook Page for your company?

How satisfied are you with your business’ Facebook Page?

What do you like about your business’ Facebook Page? Please be as detailed as possible.

What do you dislike about your business’ Facebook Page? Please be as detailed as possible.

But then it got juicy…

Facebook is considering offering a suite of new Facebook Pages features designed specifically for businesses.

You don’t say? Here, take a look:

Facebook Survey Business Suite

The proposed list of “business suite” features includes the following:

  • Yearly discussion with business people who are experts with Facebook Pages
  • Prominent listing in Facebook Search and local directory
  • A leaderboard that shows Pages similar to yours (ex: by type of business or geography)
  • Ability to respond to people who comment or post on your Page using private messages
  • Ability to change the name of your Page and protect against others creating a Page about your business
  • Access to email and chat support for help with your Page any time
  • Set up groups on your Page to help manage the conversations you have with your customers

Facebook Survey Suite of Business Services

On the next page, Facebook wanted to know how interested I’d be in learning more about these features.

Facebook Survey Business Suite Interest Level

Then I was asked to rate how valuable I’d find each feature before ranking them with a drag and drop interface to show which I find most and least “important.”

So, how much are they thinking about charging for this business suite? Well, Facebook wanted to know if I thought $25 per month was fair…

Facebook Survey 25 Dollars Business Suite

The rest of the survey had questions asking…

  1. How such a package would compare to business offerings on other sites
  2. If there were any other features I wanted added
  3. Whether I used Foursquare, Google Places, Twitter, a company blog, Google+, Yelp or a company website
  4. My role in my company (CEO, yo!)
  5. Industry
  6. How long I’ve been in business
  7. Number of employees
  8. Total annual revenue

And that was that…

Facebook Survey Thank You

It’s All New Functionality

I know that what I’m about to say won’t slow the mob, but this is all new functionality. Facebook isn’t looking to charge you for something you’re already using. As such, it seems fair and even necessary.

All of this functionality seems worthwhile. A few thoughts…

Yearly Discussion with Facebook Experts: Are these Facebook employees? Is it an exclusive Facebook conference of some kind? No idea.

Prominent Listing in Search and Local Directory: What does this mean? Regarding search, are they referring to a Sponsored Result ad? Or something different? Or a completely new search? And what is this directory? Will it help get visibility? And why is it a “local” directory? I don’t know what any of this is, but it definitely has my attention.

Leaderboard: Once again, no idea what this is or what it would look like. But apparently it could compare my Page to other Facebook marketing Pages or local Pages. Would this suggest a new method of Facebook Page discovery? It’s apparently not a Klout-like feature since you can get prominent position simply by paying for this service. Still… interesting.

Additional Private Messaging: Currently, a Page can only private message when the Fan initiates the conversation. This would allow brands to private message once that Fan has commented or posted on your Page. Would users like this? I have my suspicions. Could open things up for spam, but I assume Facebook would crack down on it quickly (likely including taking away this service).

Change the Name of your Page: You can technically change your Page name now, but there are hoops you have to jump through. It’s obviously not something Facebook wants to encourage. This would apparently give you more naming control as well as help protect you from others creating negative Pages about your brand (apparently). I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook moved entirely to charging for name changes.

Email and Chat Support: Email support exists now, but Facebook is notorious for slow and poor service. Chat support? Heck yes.

Groups within Pages: This could be interesting. I have a closed Group now, but it’s of course outside of my Page. Could there now be a tab for a Group specific to my Page? This could presumably encourage discussion outside of my Page posts. Many have complained that the new Timeline discourages this discussion since Fan posts aren’t prominently displayed.

Your Thoughts?

Would you be interested in paying $25 per month for this service? How about $50? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Nicola

    Personally I’d be happy to pay for these kinds of extras, but the problem I’d have (and I suspect other Digital Marketeers working for small-mid size companies) is getting the budget to do so. I’d have to present a water-tight case to my bosses to be able to get funding and even then I think the attitude would be ‘why do we need to pay for it? what’s the benefit?’ etc.

    • Scott Linklater

      Does your boss spend money on other forms of advertising? Same thing isn’t it?

      And if you can’t answer the question “why do we need to pay for it? what’s the benefit” then you probably shouldn’t be spending any money on social anyway so it wouldn’t matter?

      Companies spend huge amounts of money on different advertising concepts, why is social media any different?

      Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t….you budget a certain amount to spend on it over a reasonable amount of time to ensure you are being fair to the marketplace and at the end of that if you have a positive R.O.I. you go again and if you don’t then you drop it!

      There is nothing different here at play than any other type of marketing. The problem is too many people are walking around with the wrong mentality (the free one) when it comes to social media.

      It’s a mentality that will cost a lot of businesses dearly down the track.

      • Nicola Slavin

        Very delayed response, but just to say I totally agree with you… this is all stuff I used to plead my case and happily we are resolving it.

        I do think though that this has to be a feature of many small-mid brand businesses: small teams who think of social media marketing as free and have to be persuaded that to do it properly you need to spend a bit of money. When I started in my current role it hardly mattered how much money we were talking about – everything had to be justified. Recruiting someone to manage it was an expense factored in, but they hadn’t considered anything further as necessary at that point.

        It’s a frustration I know other social/digital marketing people in a similar position to me have also had – we know the value of it ourselves, but the job we have is to persuade the people who set our budgets (or don’t, as the case may be!)

    • Hugh Briss

      I can’t imagine having to justify $25 or $50 a month. Unless of course the boss didn’t understand the value of social in the first place.

  • Scott Linklater

    Most definitely I would pay $25 or $50 but my business is Facebook as yours is Jon. Still I think it is a good deal based on the little we know about these vague features.

    One question that would need to be answered though is would this be per account or per page? I have over 50 pages I am an admin for and I wouldn’t want to have to pay per page…although out of the 50 i probably have 6 or 7 I would pay for and be responsible for paying for (Main admin page creator).

    I like the sound of these things and hopefully we see them come about.

    I think people need to realise all marketing has a cost, even if it is just time….then funny thing is, most people don’t realise that your time is one of the most expensive marketing costs you’ll ever have to pay!

    The main point being, businesses on facebook need to lose the “it should be free” mentality coz you’ll never make it with that mind set.

    Why should it be free? Reminds me of Australians who think it is their birthright to watch Aussie Rules football on free to air TV and kick up a fuss as it rapidly moves to pay. Just because it has been free (in your eyes, all those ads paid for it, again not free) for 30 years (in the case of Aussie rules) or 5 years (facebook) doesn’t mean it is a god given right.

    Personally I prefer to pay to watch football as the coverage and replays and everything is far superior.

    And I have no issue paying for marketing either. I actually think it de-clutters the marketplace a little as the hobbiests, the incompetent, the outraged and the freeloaders clear out leaving more room for me to show my message to more people with less noise.

    Facebook are not dumb, they will find the “sweet spot” between their shareholders needs, their users needs and marketer needs…..might take a little while to work out to the point more are happy than not but we will get there!

    So bring on the paid model I say, just like the football, I’ll use it to enhance the experience!



    • Jon Loomer

      Very likely that it would be per Page, Scott. Would only make sense. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a sliding scale depending on size.

      I agree with you. The problem with services like Facebook and many others that start 100% free is that you build an audience expecting everything to be 100% free. As any good business person knows, that means a lot of unqualified business leads, and the source of a lot of anger. Maybe a mass exodus of those people would be a good thing so that the rest of us who don’t mind paying a few bucks (seriously, just a few, not a lot) can focus on doing business.

      Thanks for reading and providing your thoughts!

  • Hugh Briss

    It looks like the poor girl who brought this to my attention is vindicated and it is an official survey. A few amateur detectives decided to show how smart they were and prove it wasn’t official and claimed she must be using a plugin and got hacked by some phishing scheme. Personally I think Facebook just chose to use a third party survey system because it was easier than setting it up in house and because it also gave them plausible deniability. I’m sure they’d rather gather the data without admitting they were considering charging for Pages until they were sure it would be favorably accepted.

    • Jon Loomer

      Don’t quote me on this, Hugh, but I’m 99% sure that this is typical and Facebook uses third parties for their surveys. It was the case with my February survey that I reported on for There was actually a bunch of scrambling before that article was published trying to determine if it was legit. Based on what we’ve seen since that survey, it’s pretty clear it was legit.

      • Hugh Briss

        I’m still going to quote you. :)

  • Lenny

    Facebook ads is their most profitable channel and they are not treating it like such , instead you get poor support/service and I have seen this with all kinds of budget. I would like some commitment to something useful and to be proud of before they move to the next thing to squeeze a dime.

    • Jon Loomer

      I think that’s partly the whole point of this new service, Lenny. Offering premium support as an upsell is not something new. I think that having a chat option to always have someone available to talk things through would be enough value in itself.

  • Sharon L. Perry

    I haven’t seen this survey but would be interested in tiered services. Maybe I want 2 out of 5 services…and wish to spend $7.99/mo.

    • Jon Loomer

      I’ve gotta think that several factors will be involved for price. I can’t imagine there will be one blanket price for all Pages and services. Guess we’ll see! Thanks, Sharon!

  • Diane Bianchi

    Hi Jon. This looks like a very interesting concept. I like Sharon’s idea of tiered services. That way you could get just what you want.

    • Jon Loomer

      Potentially, Diane, although I think that $25 for the entire package sounds like a really good deal. Looking forward to finding out what happens! Thanks for your comment!

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