Facebook is changing. Facebook thinks their changes are good while most users are either not happy or ignorant of the impact these changes have or may have for them.
Many folks who run pages on Facebook are starting to notice the decrease in exposure of their pages. What’s been happening is that Facebook made some algorithm changes so that if you don’t interact with a FB page you like, that page will stop showing up in your feed.
I know, you follow/liked it for a reason, but Facebook says you need to interact with it to continue to see it. In other words, it doesn’t seem they care about what you “like” if you aren’t helping Facebook’s business model evolve.
For many, that means that they either have to pay Facebook ad money to get their pages back out into the stream of consciousness.
Or as I’ve seen, many are starting to think Facebook is no longer a valid platform to try and reach people. A waste of time if that’s the case.
One online peer of mine noted his page is only reaching 5% of his huge fan base. His is a huge website and that’s ridiculous.
And yet in a marketing interview the powers that be behind Facebook say that they’ve seen a 38% drop in exposure to some pages. Some… my own page seems to always have a negative trend in reach, but that’s me and my little corner of the social world.
FB also seems to think that even though the exposure drops, this helps a brand because they’re now having the more “engaged” users interact or share the content.
Or, to quote a note:
“It is not a surprise that paid media is an inevitable evolution for brands on an evolving platform like Facebook.”
A Super Quick Devil’s Advocate
In the classic rock and mortar business infrastructure, it is mostly true that 80% of one’s business comes from 20% of the customer base. I’ve seen one business model where, when 100 people are “reached,” 10 show interest. Of those 10, 1 becomes a client/customer.
So this mindset of FB’s seems to have a basis in structure.
Facebook also suggests that this change supports your need (page owners) to create a stronger integration with your customers. Or, as one person I asked put it, try to monopolize your time away from the other social networks.
Someone else I know suggested this is just the evolution of the web and as the big guns have the money to toss at sponsored marketing, the little guys will be going by the wayside.
What I’m finding odd is that though the decreased exposure leads to the more active users “sharing” content, I’m not sure how that helps, being as how must shared content might drum up a new follower, but if they don’t interact, then they too will fall by the wayside.
In many ways Facebook is starting to make Google+ look better every day.
But before one goes off the ledge and pursues other venues, one has to keep in mind that this is happening everywhere on the web with all the “free” services available to a website. These business entities need to make a profit to stay in business, or they won’t. Period.
My hope was that with all the ads and hype around the central frames of Facebook, that business drummed up there would be sufficient. But apparently, maybe not.
What can I say? Not much. Google made changes to the search algorithm a few months back that hurt the little guy, though that wasn’t the true intent of it. Twitter is getting in bed with sponsored tweets. And Facebook is saying if you don’t “engage” with my content on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/
This all comes back to the wonderful world of the RSS feed. The best, most basic way to follow a site and not get too distracted by any other noise.
I once said the RSS feed was the best way to follow a website because it’s not gunked up with the personality you sometimes find in Twitter or Facebook feeds.
Here comes that other shameless plug -> [http://feeds.feedburner.com/
For some, I’m surprised how much profanity oozes out of their social feeds, with no thoughts of others. Or the crazy political fervor that took place had me drop several feeds and “friends” in various location. But RSS feeds are the purest way to go. That and the basic newsletters that websites propagate out from their articles.
So be it… it’s evolution. Like the quote goes… life is change, growth is optional.
Some will keep up, some will not, some will get tired of the constant uphill battle with the various services and lurking competitors and some will hit their stride.
Whether it’s with Facebook or some other venue, is something yet to be seen.