If you’re an admin of a Facebook page, you’ll more than likely be growing more and more pissed off with the way the site is developing. Advertising has gone from being an optional extra to being a front-and-centre, in-your-face necessity if you want to communicate with the community you’ve lovingly cultivated over the last few years. And yet when you use it from a personal perspective, you’re only too aware that the increasingly invasive nature of the ads in your own newsfeed is getting out of control and irritating. It’s impacting user experience, and that’s not good news for users or for those advertising.
So what do you do: advertise and hack people off, or ignore Facebook’s increasingly frantic attempts to get you to part with your cash and put up with a less impactful brand page?
Back in the late 70s, the fans of Millwall football club adopted a song in response to sustained criticism by the media for being hooligans. “No one likes us, we don’t care”, they chanted (and still do, see below). I’m starting to wonder whether Zuck & Co. sing it at strategy meetings.
Facebook purports to want to “make the world a more open and connected place”. Bollocks.
Facebook wants to “make money”. That’s all. Since its IPO it’s become very apparent. It has a billion users who pay nothing for the service (other than access to our data and, arguably, our eternal souls). And so in order to ‘make money’, Facebook has to extract every last pound and penny it can from commercial organisations using it through paid advertising. As I write this, I know that I can only reach 16% of the fans on any of the pages I manage through organic means alone. I’m painfully aware that I face a daily battle to get into my communities’ newsfeed, and that it’s nearly 30 times easier to get into Harvard than it is to achieve this!
I also know that Facebook’s increasing emphasis on images means that posting links is becoming fruitless. It’s no wonder our newsfeeds are stuffed full of pictures of cats and babies; it’s what Edgerank assumes is valuable social content. Give me a break… And I’ve also now heard strong (but so far unconfirmed) rumours that page activity no longer appears in the news ticker to the right of the main newsfeed AT ALL.
So where does all this leave us? Paying the extortionate rates to promote posts? (Or “boost” them, as Facebook now patronisingly terms it.) Play the game as Facebook begins to feel more and more like an advertising platform? Why do we bother with Facebook at all? Why don’t we go elsewhere? Why don’t we start building followings across other platforms and going where we can most impact them without being Fraped?
Because we’re not brave enough, that’s why. We put up with being rodgered on a daily basis because we’re scared of losing something. Something that, actually, we don’t really have. Well I for one will be taking a long, hard look at every single page I’m an administrator of with a view to evaluating whether it’s worth it any more. What about you?
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Posted by Paul Sutton