Business people who use Facebook pages to help promote their websites will soon start to notice a very unpleasant interaction with Facebook, although I’m sure you’ve already seen signs of it with the option under each post to promote it to your fans and their friends.
Facebook are trying a bunch of different ways to attract revenue, probably because the company seems to be horribly overvalued, leading to some people saying Facebook will be the next poster child for the dotcom bubble that might burst in 2013.
So what is actually happening for business pages is that to get revenue Facebook are artificially throttling the number of fans who see your posts, by some estimates only 15% of your fans will see Facebook posts compared to 80% a few months ago.
What this means is that if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a Facebook page for your company, it’s value has just been decimated. I notice it in the number of referrals I get from Facebook, and the amount of interaction my posts get now. Both are down considerably.
To overcome this, we’re going to have to either play by Facebook’s new rules and pay for advertising or sponsoring a post in our fans’ streams. Or we’re going to have to start looking for other ways to get our posts seen.
Personally I’m restarting some of the blogs I previously used to post frequently on, they still exist but I allowed them to stagnate, and I think we are going to have to put more energy into other social networks, like Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Google+ and Twitter are particularly interesting because they both allow hashtags, meaning you don’t have to rely on gaining fans, and between them they both have as many members as Facebook, so a thoughtful and intelligently structured campaign could use hashtags to attract customers, instead of marketing psychology to existing fans.
The other alternative is to recognise that if Facebook are throttling visibility of your posts, perhaps you need 5 or 6 profiles that work independently of each other to still reach the same number of fans that your previous page did. But that seems like way too much work for me, and I already don’t have enough time.
In my next post I’m going to look at other ways to promote a product or service, or your personal reputation.