With recent changes to Facebook I’ve really lost much of my FB mojo. Those Facebook changes mean that only a fraction of a page’s actual fans ever see the posts, unless of course they pay to promote them. I’m seeing less than 10%. HOG currently has 1,423 fans on Facebook. When I make a post there, only around 100 people see it. If the post is more popular, a few hundred see it. Those are the same numbers as back in early 2011 when the page only had 200-300 fans.
Links Have Less Views
Posts which get the least amount of views are ones which have external links in them. Straight text posts with no links reach more fans. I think FB knows you are posting external links to promote a website. And automated posts, like from RSS feeds? They get almost nothing or nothing. No views.
Example: A FB page I run had two posts yesterday. One had a link to an external website and the other did not. The text-only post currently has been viewed by 1,700 fans. The post with a link? 381 views. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Pay To Reach Your Own Fans
If I wanted one of my posts on Facebook to reach all of the fans who have already expressed interest in my page by clicking like, I’d have to pay $20. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that I’ve already worked to get those fans and in the case of 100’s of them, already paid Facebook advertising fees to attract the fans. If I only promoted one post per day, and I post several, I’d be at a bill of $140/week or $560 per month. As popular as this blog is, I can’t afford to do that.
A business associate of mine has a company FB page with 20K+ fans. They’ve paid FB $1000’s in advertising to attract them. For them to reach all 20K, they have to fork out $200 PER POST. That’s $1000/week for one post per day. I don’t think they have a $500,000/year advertising budget for social networking.
Sure it is about money. FB went public and has shareholders to answer to. They need to start bringing in dough. I understand that.
If I hadn’t already PAID MONEY to gain fans via advertising to golfers on FB, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with paying to promote a post. But if someone clicked like they already expressed that they are interested. Having to pay to reach fans you already paid to get is like double FB taxation.
Consider that many sites like mine, actually promote Facebook by advertising and asking their patrons to like them. Each of my posts has a like button and the right sidebar of the site has a like button. I’m promoting them for free.
The Drawback To Relying On Social Networks
This is the drawback to relying on a third party website for for anything. The last few years I’ve had friends abandoning their blogs/websites and going to FB because it was free. I warned them that if FB decided to change a policy, a layout, a format, they’d be SOL. Well, here you go.
I’m Not The Only One
A recent article on readwrite.com quoted Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, “Facebook is driving away brands, starting with mine.”
The New York Observer web site posted this article, “Broken on purpose: shy getting it wrong pays more than getting it right.” The article describes in detail the role of sponsored stories. The article also speaks of other broken parts of social networks, like the fact that they don’t delete fake accounts so that they appear to have more members. Interesting read.
Dangerousminds.net has a great post addressing this issue as well called, “Facebook: I want my friends back. The biggest ‘bait n’ switch in history?”
“So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new ‘likes’ has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!”
Time will tell what this does to Facebook and to the entities who use it for fun or for business. I think it is ironic that the articles mentioned above have thousands of likes and that some pay to promote them. It is like FB eating itself to death. I even paid to promote the Dangerous Minds article on my personal FB page, 7 bucks, just to see what would happen. I already know that some companies are making plans to reduce their FB activity. Some plan on using promote to reach their customers one last time to tell them their new social network choice.
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