A few years ago everyone predicted that Facebook would be the best thing ever for small businesses and that due to it having approximately ten gazillion users which was growing all the time (some predicted that by the year 2020 there would be more users than people on the planet, obviously sheep would make up the numbers), this could only get better.
We’d all be millionaires simply by posting our new e-book on-line on Friday and picking up the royalties on Monday. I’ll go order my yacht.
Didn’t happen though…
But why didn’t it happen? Well for two main reasons (and lots of other smaller ones), business just doesn’t cut it on Facebook.
Firstly, there’s the usage of Facebook and the fact that in the most part, people really aren’t using it for business. You don’t use it to find out where to buy the cheapest groceries, it’s just not cut out for that. It’s not as all-encompassing as Google when it comes to finding ‘stuff’ and even though it promises social engagement, I don’t really have a need to converse with the manager of my local Spar.
Even so, some businesses have embraced it and now have regular trips into cyberspace to discuss their new range of frilly knickers with their customers, only to regret it minutes later.
If you have a strong (I mean really strong) brand then Facebook is brilliant, but I’m talking Red Bull strong. If you can afford to throw a man out of a balloon so he reaches super-sonic speeds then Facebook is an amazing tool for crowing about it.
But this is just a layer that wealthy companies can add to their already amazing marketing and it’s probably run by a marketing department and anyway, it’s interesting to a lot of people. How many people want to read about your new widget that cleans bikes?
Seriously, nobody cares and so you won’t be making your fortune on Facebook because we’re all telling people about what we had for breakfast, posting pictures of cute dogs and having arguments across the globe with people about religion, the presidential election and who’s on “I’m a Celebrity” this year.
So, the first reason you won’t sell much is because, nobody cares. Glad we cleared that up, now for the next and most important reason.
Facebook want to make money
Let’s say you find people who do care. They love your products and they think “Hey, I’m going to ‘Like’ this page of this company with the product I like so I can keep up to date with everything they’re saying about it and maybe find out some interesting stuff, or get a free voucher or something, who knows?”
Indeed, who knows?
You happily wait for updates to appear on your timeline and the company, flushed with it’s new list of fans starts updating it’s timeline a lot. But for some reason they’re not being read. It’s just all gone quiet and nobody seems to care any more. I mean, we knew that generally people don’t care but when we found people that did care we thought those would read our stuff?
Well it’s not your fault because Facebook has gone and done something that many would have missed. They’ve stopped updates from pages and people automatically appearing in your timeline. Wondered why it had gone quiet all of a sudden? Well that’s the reason – they now use their ‘edgerank’ system as a method to decide whether or not you should see someone else’s updates.
Good of ’em isn’t it?
Welcome to the dark side
Owners of pages have reported having their visitor counts drop drastically, I mean, through the floor because of this update and smaller businesses, having built up a large following over months and years are seeing their fans drop away because they don’t think they’re updating their pages – but they are and Facebook doesn’t think it worthy to tell people.
I suppose it could be argued that this is good, Facebook is full of stuff and it soon becomes overwhelming to watch all that stuff float down your screen but really, should we be told what we do and do not like?
Of course there’s a solution. You could ask all your followers to make a simple change to their settings by simply visiting your page and as well as ‘liking’ it, add it to an interest list:
But Facebook aren’t really into that – nope, they want page owners to pay. Depending on how many active fans you have, you can pay to have your post appear in everyone’s timeline.
It can cost from a few pounds up to hundreds and if you’re the sort of organisation who sends out lots of updates each day, this can get expensive.
So, our little appeal is here too. If you’d like to keep reading our ramblings then please, nip to our page here: https://www.facebook.com/seo.webdesign and add us to an Interest list. “Show in news feed” needs to be ticked too, but it’s the Interest list that matters.