Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time building up a following for my business on Facebook. I followed all the expert advice – I used images, I asked relevant questions, and I offered discount codes and promotions. I posted frequently, but not so often that I spammed my fans’ feeds. I maintained my personality and offered help with WordPress issues and did everything “right” from a marketing standpoint.
Then Facebook decided none of that was good enough.
Today, if you want your Facebook fans to see what you’re talking about, you have to pay to “boost” your post. At first I thought this was another name for running ads on Facebook – you pay, and new people will see your stuff. So imagine how surprised I was to learn that I would actually be paying for people who already “liked” my page to see my posts. What, what?
This time last year, if I posted something to the Nuts and Bolts Facebook page, roughly half my fans would see it. Now? Out of my last five posts, only one made it to a decent number of people. The others were viewed by less than 1/10 of my audience.
The trick now is engagement – if a lot of people engage with one of your Facebook posts, more fans will see your posts in the future. But once you post at a low-traffic time or post something that isn’t very popular, it’s too late. Fewer and fewer people will see your stuff from now on. Facebook has created an environment where you either succeed ALL. THE. TIME. or you fail for all eternity. Or, of course, you start paying.
All Right, Facebook. I Give Up.
It’s HARD to get fans on Facebook when you run a business like mine. Totally different from a clothing store or other product-based brand. And despite all the work I’ve put into my Facebook page, I’m unable to get even the small bit of traction I was getting before.
And the automatic posts to my Facebook page when I publish a new article? Forget about it. When Facebook detects a post made through a third party service like Dlvr.it or CoSchedule, it purposely limits the reach to a handful of my fans. Even if they want to see those posts.
I’m not getting rid of the Facebook page yet, but I’m simply spending less time and effort there. Instead, I’m hanging out on Twitter (my favorite) and Google+, where I know my followers will see my posts. And many of the small business owners I know are doing the same. Facebook simply does not provide enough incentive to make me keep trying. Me leaving doesn’t hurt Facebook whatsoever, but it sure does make me feel better about life.
How’s your Facebook fan page doing? Are you seeing the same decrease I am? Where are you hanging out these days?