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I was a bit late to the party in terms of joining Facebook, a bit intimidated, at first, because I thought it would be full of college students and probably not all that interesting.
However, since many of my friends and colleagues were signing up, I decided to give it a try- and at first, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a lot more fun than I expected, and gave me a chance to connect with old friends, and to make new ones.
After a time, I began to think about also harnessing this site for business reasons, and began building my fan page audience. I also invested in Facebook advertising, both for myself and my clients.
Although I would say I’ve been good to Facebook, it’s turning out that Facebook is no longer that good for me. While I continue to enjoy connecting with people on a personal level, I’m finding Facebook increasingly arcane on the business side of things.
With this recent article on Facebook slashing organic page reach even more, I finally realize why I need to reduce my investment in Facebook, at least for business.
First, as noted in the article, I have seen a reduction in organic reach of my page posts, with my posts being seen by fewer and fewer people over time. Although my engagement has increased, which suggests that my page content is being shown most often or more often to those who have recently interacted with my page. Though this seems a bit like chicken-and-egg, because how can I get more interaction from those who have liked my page if they never get to see the content from my page in their feed?
It’s like writing off a long-time good friend because they didn’t call you back one time. If someone has liked your page, presumably they want to see content from you. But now, if they see the content and don’t interact with it, the content seems to stop reaching them. Does that mean you only ever get one chance to make a good impression?
It does feel frustrating, actually, to have spent time and energy in building up my page likes when, now, out of about 1000 fans, the organic reach of most of my posts is about 10-15. This goes up if someone comments or shares, or if I share a post to my own personal profile, but, for the most part, my organic reach is about what is defined in the article, and there are now suggestions that Facebook will be reducing this even further.
While I’m not going to make any sweeping changes in my overall marketing strategy just yet, I am staying aware of the possibility that my time on Facebook for my business isn’t really going to be viable for much longer. I will retain my Facebook page and personal activity, I just think I will start investing more in other platforms that seem to be offering more transparency and results that sustain. Google+, Twitter, Pinterest seem like strong contenders at this point.
It also reminds me, again, that the health of our businesses should not rely on any one platform or network, because this leaves too much of our business to random decision-making by those who control the platforms or networks.
Here are my suggestions:
- Continue to diversify your marketing channels
- Focus on building your email list early and often,
- Reduce your reliance on social networks which make it more and more difficult for you to reach those who want to hear from you.
Invest your resources where you understand the rules and the game makes sense.