Recently I’ve started to wonder why some businesses (including ours) even post to Facebook anymore. No matter how many fans or likes you have, it seems as if Facebook is continually making it harder for pages to get into their fans’ News Feeds. But why should Facebook wage war against businesses and brands?
1. Facebook Only Cares About Profit
It’s simple: for Facebook, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is Wall Street. Every decision at the company is made with an eye on the bottom line. Since non-business users typically don’t pay for advertising or self-promotion, Facebook is looking to squeeze every last nickel out of businesses. Ever since Facebook introduced its paid advertising platform, page engagement has fallen fast. Just ask Facebook superstar George Takei who has publicly complained about being able to reach only 16% of his hard-earned fanbase organically. Even Mark Cuban is looking for greener pastures; he asks why businesses who are strapped for cash shouldn’t focus less their Facebook presence and instead take advantage of more reliable social networks. “I am recommending that we de-emphasize pushing consumers or partners to Like us on Facebook and focus on building up our followings across all existing social media platforms and to evaluate those that we feel can grow a material following,” he said. “In the past we put Facebook first, Twitter second. Facebook has been moved to the bottom of a longer list. So why would brands that can’t afford the algorithmic presentation risk or the financial cost want to continue to drive their user interaction by investing in Facebook if there are alternatives?” I couldn’t agree more.
2. Your EdgeRank Sucks and It’s Unfair
Recent changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm have significantly decreased the frequency of brands appearing in users’ News Feeds or eliminating them from News Feeds completely. Now, stripped of some of their most vocal advocates, pages receive only a fraction of the fan engagement they used to. Here’s something to chew on: the average News Feed acceptance rate is less than 0.2% according to the latest available data. This means it’s almost 30 times easier to get into Harvard than to be published in the News Feed.
3. Article Links Have Zero Visibility
Sure, Facebook will distribute the funny picture you post of a cat riding a dog wearing a propeller hat, and you’ll get a few likes. But what about when you post a real article or, for that matter, any other link back to your site? The sad fact is your post is not going to receive many likes. This is not necessarily because your fans don’t care but rather because they aren’t seeing your post in the first place. It’s common knowledge that images dominate the News Feed, seeing at least 4 times the amount of engagement as links. And if you think that’s bad just take a look at our page where silly images tend to outdo our articles in terms of engagement by nearly 1000%.
4. App Activity is Hidden
Facebook has made a huge push for apps to integrate into their open graph, yet most app activity is invisible on users’ timelines. Have you recently shared a YouTube video but were unable to find it on your timeline? It’s a little-known fact that to display app activity users have to enter their timeline settings and enable apps to display activity. Nice move, Facebook, but can you really expect users to remember to do that for all apps? What’s even more frustrating is that I’ve enabled activities posts from sites like SoundCloud and StumbleUpon and yet they still fail to appear in my activities stream.
5. Promoting Posts is Way Too Expensive
This has really gotten out of hand: Facebook is looking to charge you as much as possible to reach your own fanbase. For about $75 per post, you can expect to reach close to all of your followers. This may fly for larger brands, but for small businesses and regular folks this is a complete joke. Most blogs don’t even make $50 a day, and many don’t make that in a month. Small companies will likely never make back what they spend on promoted Facebook posts.
6. Facebook’s Mission Statement is a Lie
Facebook claims to want to “make the world a more open and connected” place. But you know better! Hell, Facebook doesn’t even want you to connect with your own fans anymore, let alone its own. If your company provides services similar to Facebook’s, Facebook will block your company’s app from accessing its data, period.
7. Page Activity No Longer Appears in the News Ticker
This is perhaps the greatest slight of all: though I’ve heard no official announcement yet, I’ve noticed that pages DO NOT appear in the streaming News Ticker to the right of the News Feed anymore. I haven’t seen a business update in days, even from pages I’ve subscribed to and with whom I interact heavily. Other Facebook users have reported the same findings: brands are now simply invisible in the news Ticker. Though I’ve posed this question/issue to Facebook I’m still waiting for a response.
This is a huge fail on the part of Facebook for businesses and we can only hope that this is some sort of bug. Yes, business page updates still appear in the News Feed, but from my experience that streaming ticker provided DashBurst huge amounts of engagement as I’ve witnessed a 66% reduction in engagement since this change. Is Facebook trying to force pages to make apps that interact with the timeline? Or, even more sinister, perhaps they’re looking to cut down even more on business page views in an attempt to get more businesses to dish out cash for promotions. Either way, I wouldn’t give Facebook another dime and will surely be looking to cancel any promotions we do have running. What’s the point of buying new likes and fans when they’re not going to see your freaking posts anyway?