21 Aug

Is Facebook $#^@ing up?

Published in: Blog
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Facebook is a lot of things to a lot of different people. It’s a way to connect to old friends. It’s a way to connect to new friends. For business, it’s a great way to connect to your customers. But is the effectiveness for business fading? Prior to the EdgeRank algorithm, Facebook was a great way to interact with your fans. Now you are lucky to reach 5-10% of them.

Early adopters in social media marketing flourished early on and Facebook grew in popularity primarily because of its ease of use and by catering to what the end user wants. The problem they (Facebook) are struggling with right now is they are afraid to cater to the people paying the bills, a.k.a. you and me, a.k.a.2 small businesses. They are afraid that too much spam will chase away users.  Maybe rightfully so.

The Facebook user doesn’t want to be bogged down with spam. So Facebook countered spam with their EdgeRank algorithm. EdgeRank was designed to put only information that is relevant on the user’s wall.

What are the underlying EdgeRank factors that define whether or not someone sees a post in the news feed?

  1. Facebook looks at whether or not you’ve previously interacted with an author’s posts or whether or not your friends are engaging around those posts.
  2. If content is or isn’t engaged by your social graph and the network at large affects what you see and what you don’t see.
  3. EdgeRank also examines whether or not you have interacted with similar types of posts in the past, i.e. photos, videos, polls, etc.
  4. If content or page hosts have received complaints by other users, chances are that you will not see it.

So, in other words, if a person “likes” your page, they may/may not continue to see your posts.

Gathering “likes” on Facebook has become more difficult today as well, though this is no fault of Facebook.   People have grown tired of being asked to like pages that they just ignore those requests.

Facebook’s solution to this is to buy Facebook ads, which I have to admit seems like a complete scam by Facebook. Why would you pay to grow a user base that you can only market to a percentage of?  

Buying likes through Facebook advertising has its own share of concerns. Who’s liking the page? How do you know Facebook employees aren’t clicking the ad? Does this person have sincere interest in your products? I have noticed that after buying advertising the amount of likes go up, but shortly after the campaign stops, you slowly start to lose some of those fans. I also noticed that Facebook doesn’t allow you to see your fan list anymore. How can I verify the quality of the fans I receive from this campaign?

Facebook then released a “way to pay” which would allow your message to be seen by more of your audience (called boosting or promoting your post). OK, so I pay to get more likes, then pay again to reach more of my own audience? Seems like double dipping at its finest. Facebook is more a communication tool than an advertising tool for businesses. Businesses aren’t going to shell out that kind of money to reach an audience they already own.

It gets worse, the larger your audience, the more you have to pay! Mark Cuban made claims that he was being charged 3K per day to reach his audience.

facebook-scam2.jpg

I understand why Facebook came up with the Edgerank algorithm. The value in Facebook from an everyday user point of view is that you aren’t being spammed all the time. It really is a better user experience because of it.   However, their business model is wrapped around the revenue received from businesses looking to tap into their user base. Are they $#^@ing up by biting the hand that feeds them?

I’m not sure what Facebook’s next step is going to be. I know as the owner of 2 small businesses, I spend more of my time and effort at Twitter and Google, because 1.) they are cheaper and 2.) they are more effective. I tried paying for ads and boosting posts, but I gotta say, the value isn’t there. Instead, I’ll spend my advertising dollars on Google Adwords where I am guaranteed website visits.

I understand that Facebook needs to make money somewhere, however this isn’t the way to do it, in my opinion. Why not charge $10-$20 per page across the board. For that you get minimal advertising and an increased push to your fan base. With more than 42 million pages with 10 or more Likes as of March 31, 2012, a 20% opt in at $20/month would equate to $168 million in sales per month, or $2.18 Billion per year. To me, the math works out and I know what you are thinking; that's genius! ;) Consider this my application for Facebook’s CEO position.

All kidding aside, how do you feel about Facebook as a marketing tool? Have a great week and comment below. (on Facebook, suckers!)

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:28
Chad VanCalster

Chad VanCalster is a businesss development specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas. A Computer Science graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chad started his career consulting for large corporations in the northern Wisconsin region, including Wisconsin Tissue, Georgia Pacific and Schneider National, among others.

Through experiences with marketing within his own company, Chad became a student of Internet Marketing, with a focus on Social Media.  That eventually branched into helping clients with THEIR Social Media Marketing.  Chad is an expert at using social media to expand your credibility and impact in your chosen markets.

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