I’m a publisher, I’m a content creator. I run several Facebook Pages for different businesses. Facebook has become increasingly hostile for business with algorithm changes upsetting people the most. The reality is that Facebook is always changing the algorithm to find the right balance.
The biggest complaint I hear from people who are running a Facebook Page for their business these days is that they post something and it doesn’t get shown to all the people who have liked their page. Organic reach is not as good on Facebook as it once was and now Facebook has revealed another algorithm change which has businesses freaking out.
Facebook Doesn’t Exist For Your Business
Let’s get this straight out of the way. Attention all business owners! Facebook doesn’t exist to help your business. Facebook doesn’t care about your business, they don’t care about your sales and they don’t care about your website traffic.
Facebook cares about the user. The average joe who is logging on to connect with other people. Social media was not built for businesses, it was business that came along and figured out how they could use this tool to drive companies higher, improve customer relations, branding and ultimately sales.
Somewhere along the way we got lost and companies forgot one very key element of ‘social media’ – the “social” element.
Facebook Wants To Bring Back Personal Content
Facebook is desperate, and take note of that word – desperate – to bring back personal sharing. In case you haven’t read the reports or noticed on your News Feed, personal sharing is down. People don’t go on now to share personal content, we don’t talk about what we did at the weekend or what we are doing right now.
Facebook has become an outbound link website. We post links to content which directs to an external site or service. They don’t want that, Mark Zuckerberg wants you to spend as much as your online time on Facebook as possible.
Instead, personal sharing has gone to platforms like Twitter and Snapchat. In order to combat this, Facebook is essentially pleading with people to post personal content. I’m a Red Sox fan, now when the Sox are playing I get a live score pinned to the top of my feed and I am encouraged to share something about the game.
Of course naturally I end up sharing something on Twitter instead…sorry Facebook but when it comes to talking about sports you really are not the best platform. Twitter allows a more open ended conversation.
They also launched a new slideshow feature for photos which will group photos together and encourage you to share them with one of their preset themes. Facebook has no interest in being a link exchange, its not good for their business.
The Dreaded Algorithm Change
With all this in mind, we now know that the algorithm will be changing again. The change in a nutshell is that content from friends and family will now rank higher than content from your page.
Organic reach (or what is left of it) will take a hit and traffic to your website will also more than likely take a hit. That will end up being huge, Facebook has become a primary source of traffic for many websites these days and seeing your primary source of traffic take a hit is never a good feeling.
So what are the options? Simply really, either pay Facebook money to continue enjoying the reach you have had up to now or find another platform to market on.
Paying Facebook money to run ads will of course continue to help you with page likes and website traffic. While they want to look out for their users, at the same time money talks. That means the ads you have been running on Facebook so far will of course continue to show high on the algorithm and will continue to generate traffic so no change there. It is organic that will be hit the hardest, so those posts you put up and don’t pay for? Chances are they will be seen a lot less.
Luckily, Facebook’s ad model is still grossly underpriced by the market so you can get Facebook ads nice and cheap.
Finding another platform to market on is the next option. It’s daunting but it you don’t want to pay Facebook to run ads every month, there are other social platforms out there. Of course as I have mentioned before, social media marketing is no free ride so you can expect to pay for ads at some point, however there is great reach on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat at the moment.
It may be a case that you need to start looking at building your marketing efforts on one or all three of those platforms.
So Why Is This Necessary Then?
As mentioned, I am a publisher. I publish content online so this change directly affects me. Surely then I would be giving out and complaining about an algorithm change. Is this not going to have a dramatic effect on my traffic? Why would I feel it is necessary then?
Firstly I think that certain businesses are over reacting. Yes you will see changes in the data and the reach but its not the end of the world. You are all big boys and girls, as am I. Facebook is not a cornerstone of your business, either take one of the top options above and stop crying about the way it should be instead of reacting to the way it actually is.
I personally don’t care what Facebook plans on doing. I will continue to share through Facebook but I will know its a platform I can spend less of my focus on and shift that focus elsewhere. I am deploying my marketing on several platforms – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat to name a few and I am watching about several others closely. So if Facebook decides to change something so drastically then it doesn’t bother me, I just shift that focus elsewhere and continue to deploy on another platform.
True social media “experts or gurus” will be practitioners on several platforms and not just focus on the one platform because you never know when changes are going to occur which dramatically change the usage on that platform and potentially damage or limit your marketing approach.