Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about how bad Facebook is for brand advertising. I’d always heard grumbling, but this was something different. The grumbling has now turned into action: my social media manager (“SMM”) friends have been leaving Facebook to spend time elsewhere. Some of them have told their clients not to waste their money.
Behind the Scenes with SMMs
Then, a couple of days ago in one of the SMM groups I’m in, someone posted Eat24’s goodbye letter to Facebook. It was hilarious (and by the way, @Eat24 rocks on Twitter, so go follow them there!). It also made me think. Yes, we all know that Facebook is a business. Yes, we all realize that at some point we’d probably have to pay to play. But is it worth the cost? And what about for personal use? If we can’t see our friends’ posts because of an algorithm change, should we just ditch Facebook and head over to Google Plus or Twitter or Instagram?
In response to Eat24’s goodbye letter, Facebook rep Brandon McCormick posted a defense (not really a defense in my opinion but that’s another post), and the story was picked up by Huffington Post.
I don’t have all the answers to what’s happening with Facebook, but I can tell you that my reach has dramatically decreased. I have 959 fans on my page, and of those, very few see my posts any more. There has been a big change since January of 2014. Of my SMM friends who are bailing, they’re not all managers for tiny brands–some of them are rewriting strategy for huge brands, too, and drastically cutting back on their Facebook use.
Reactions to the Change in Reach
Some of my SMM friends have decided to post more, some have quit Facebook, and some have decided to spend money on promoted posts. Personally, I’ve posted a bit less now–just once daily, and hardly ever twice a day. But I’m not taking all my eggs out of the Facebook basket just yet. I don’t think this story is over, since just about everyone is on Facebook–including my friends, your friends, and your customers if you’re managing Facebook pages.
What’s the Bottom Line?
If you’re willing to spend a few dollars on Facebook to ensure that people see your posts, it’s still a good value. Consider a small fee, like a dollar a day. If your business has no budget, then spend your time somewhere else. But Facebook is still a behemoth with a massive audience, and there’s nothing else like it. Agree? Disagree? Please leave me a comment!