What if Facebook is actually looking at how businesses are posting and seeing something they don’t like?
I have been noticing for some time that plenty of business page DO show in my feed on a regular basis and none of them are paying to play. News sites, radio stations, the local Humane Society. They’re all getting a significant number of likes, comments and shares on all of their posts. While many may just go to those pages, I have to believe they’re actually being seen other people’s feeds as well. But why when FB is telling us they’re stifling page reach to less than 3% and most page’s posts rarely get seen?
My theory? They’re being rewarded…or more to the point, the rest of us are being punished.
But for what? Maybe Facebook has become disenchanted with that fact that most businesses no longer operate in the true spirit of social media. I have always detested the use of Hootsuite and similar third party programs. While great for scheduling posts allowing page owners to reach fans at any time or time a post for a big event announcement, they take the page manager outside the platform, removing any actual social interaction. FB even addressed this in the past by negatively treating 3rd party postings in it’s Edgerank. The addition of an internal scheduling option, in hindsight, also sought to address this by no longer requiring an external means. Ironically I think this may have made things worse.
Face it. Most page mangers now write and schedule posts, sometimes days and even weeks out. We can jump into Facebook, write our content for the week and logout. Simple, fast and effective. It even became
the greatest gift to social media managers. They could now take on more clients, write 100s of scheduled posts, get paid and call it a day. The end result was plenty of posting, even great content, but no spontaneity, no involvement, no engagement – in short – no social interaction. The entire process has become so automated that now social media is well, just ‘media’. No different than a radio spot, a newspaper ad, a direct mail postcard.
I see Facebook’s move as actually punishing those that simply post and run. That unless you’re active, involved, engaged and social, your posts aren’t going to be seen, or you’ll have to pay to be seen. It makes sense. Facebook’s ad revenue model requires we be active. The less we are on the site, actually using the site as intended, the less the ads are seen and clicked and the less revenue they generate. Losing that revenue means requiring a new source. That source just happened to be the page owners who’s lack of social interaction is the very cause of the lost ad revenue. If you’re not going to be engaged you’ll need to pay.
It certainly explains why many of my pages still see good, consistent reach, see growth in their fan base and generate revenue. I do not rely on scheduling (yes, some posts ARE scheduled), I post at various times and multiple times per day, post on current, trending topics, share current content from others, interact with those liking, commenting and sharing my content, interact with other pages and their fans on THEIR content……..I’m actively engaged and social and my posts are seen.
What does this mean for you? First, it will take time, but that time is part of your sales and marketing effort just like writing newsletters, blogs, follow up calls and emails. Second, if you cannot do it right – hire someone that can. It’s better to spend the money than to not do it at all or o it wrong. The caveat here – who you hire requires some research. Who you hire should cater to their clients and will post, engage, interact in real time (and can do it as passionately as you). Don’t hire someone that will simply ‘automate’ your social media campaign.