So you have a business page on Facebook and you’ve been tracking your engagement for the last year or so to analyze which types of content work best for your page, when’s the best time to post on your page, and how to write the best copy for engagement and virality. But lately you’ve noticed that though the number of likes your page has is increasing, the amount of people who see each post and the amount of people who like, comment, and share your content has actually decreased significantly! Dangit, stupid Facebook! …now let’s roleplay a bit:
Oh, my aunt just commented on the adorable picture of my kids!
My sister-in-law just commented that she can’t stop looking at the pic.
Me neither, oh dang that is really cute.
Clicks home again, sees a sponsored story from Audible, hardly notices
Likes the picture his old friend posted of his wedding.
Who Is Facebook?
See where I’m going? And this has literally been my actions before when poking around on Facebook. I don’t even personally post on Facebook on a daily basis but I do check notifications and read comments and respond to my own content though; I have notifications set up on my phone, so I see right away when someone interacts with me, or at least see it next time I have a minute of free time to look at my phone.
That’s just what I do on Facebook. And guess what? That’s what Facebook was created for, to be social with friends and family. In fact, they have parameters set up so that you can mostly only connect with people that you know outside of Facebook.
Social + Places + Things = Marketing Opp!
But in being social, naturally pictures and stories will involve being places, doing things, using items. All of these places want to be visited more; these things want to be done more; these items want to be used more. So the business people that provide those services, products, and places want people to share information that features them!
It would be wonderful if every customer could share pictures on Facebook of their family or friends eating at Burgers Supreme but that just isn’t going to happen. So, why not share something with that customer after they’ve left the restaurant that they would then share with their friends on Facebook to get your exposure and get more people in your door?
But, not everyone wants to see a picture that the business people made, they want to see the family picture at the restaurant. So it turns out to be this vicious cycle:
We want to be social–>We share pictures of us doing things–>Those things involve businesses–>Marketers want more business involvement–>People want less business involvement.
There’s also another side of this argument, that businesses have built up a following on Facebook. Building this following required tons of man hours, money, and resources. So, to have Facebook pull the rug out from underneath us as marketers is kind of lame. But, in building up our following on Escape the Matrix, I don’t remember ever signing a contract with Facebook that said, “we Facebook promise that if you invest time, money, and resources into building a following that we will leave your following alone and make sure that they see every post you create. We will not ever try to make money off of your posts, nor will we ever change our formula to enable Facebook to be more social” So, the fact that they’re doing this is totally normal, it’s their site, we chose to be here and invest in it.
It’s like any other advertising. I buy a billboard with a contract for a year, but then 3 months into it another highway opens up that is faster, better and has a lot less billboards. Well, guess what that highway never guaranteed me that I’d have traffic passing and eyes on my advertisement, they never promised that another highway would open up and be better than them. Same thing would go for if you decided to advertise on “The Biggest Loser” and then another TV show came along that was better, funnier and had less ads, Biggest Loser might choose to charge more for your ads, they might choose to show your ads less in order to compete with the other show.
What Do I Do Now?!
Well, you have a choice, you’ve always had a choice. You can continue to promote your business on Facebook, or you can go somewhere else. The internet and social media is always evolving so to think that you would have always been able to stay on Facebook would be naive. What I’ve done is simply looked at all the platforms out there; Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Foursquare, SnapChat, etc. and decided which ones I like the most. For me personally, I chose to mostly focus on Google+ and Pinterest. I may also expand into Instagram, as I really love the visual aspect and the personal feel that this has as well.
Get out there, test them all out on a personal level and then think about them from a marketing point of view, do some R&D (rob and duplicate) to learn who’s out there and what they’re currently doing on the platform, can you do that too? Well then think about moving over to that platform!
Sum It Up
Facebook is simultaneously trying to earn money and make their site more social. Okey dokey, now we know, let’s move on and do like we do; innovate, adapt and change! (that’s the only constant, right?)