Thursday, March 27, 2014

About that fan page on Facebook....

Use a Facebook page to reach your customers?  Facebook is changing... for the worse... your page's reach.  Valleywag reported on Gawker:

A source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, tells Valleywag that the social network is "in the process of" slashing "organic page reach" down to 1 or 2 percent. This would affect "all brands"—meaning an advertising giant like Nike, which has spent a great deal of internet effort collecting over 16 million Facebook likes, would only be able to affect of around a 160,000 of them when it pushes out a post. Companies like Gawker, too, rely on gratis Facebook propagation for a huge amount of their audience. Companies on Facebook will have to pay or be pointless.

That 160,000 still sounds like a lot of people, sure. But how about my favorite restaurant here in New York, Pies 'n' Thighs, which has only 3,281 likes—most likely locals who actually care about updates from a nearby restaurant? They would reach only a few dozen customers. A smaller business might only reach one. This also assumes the people "reached" bother to even look at the post.

The alternative is of course to pay for more attention. If you want an audience beyond a measly one or two percent, you'll have to pay money—perhaps a lot of money, if you're a big business.

The change was described to me by a source as a cataclysm for businesses, something Facebook is calling the extreme throttling a "strategy pivot" they're slowly telling brands one by one so as not to start a panic. It might be too late. Reports of "crashing" engagement numbers have been floating around for a little while, but this is the first time we've heard it drift out of Facebook proper. Rest of article

Anonymous sources. Some blogger on Gawker. This isn't a legitimate news story. CNET confirmed the story with Facebook:

Facebook has been alerting marketers that they will likely see the organic reach of their Page posts decline over time, CNET has confirmed with the company.

The social network has been known, especially of late, to fudge with the formula that picks and chooses the content to push to members in News Feed. The company did not cite any specific changes to the News Feed algorithm that would be harmful to Pages, the equivalent of profiles for brands, but it is telling clients that their regular status updates will reach fewer people.

"Over the past few months, we have been having conversations with clients about declining organic distribution in News Feed. This is largely due to more competition driven by more sharing," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET.

The statement addresses a Wednesday report from Valleywag, which cited an anonymous source who claimed that Facebook was cutting organic reach to 1 percent or 2 percent.

"We have not given a specific reach number that Pages should expect to see because organic reach will vary by Page and by post. Like many mediums, if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising," the spokesperson said. Article

 Karl Denninger chimed in with his own brand of acid on the Market Ticker:

Here's the problem with that -- people come to Facebook to see the "clever" things that others say and do. They don't come to the site to watch advertising.

Nobody goes somewhere or does something purely to watch advertising. Ever. It's an intrusion that has to be carefully balanced against what the person intends, or the impact is lost as they turn it off. There's a reason that television has so many minutes of ads (typically about 12) per hour of content -- that's all they can get away with.

Facebook has obscured the fact that it is in fact grossly decreasing the actual interaction of users in favor of advertising for a long time. But they have been doing it, and if you're on the site you've seen it. Posts that are "old" keep showing up as "new" in your timeline, things your friends post don't show up, and if you actually do follow companies and such much of their actual content doesn't show up either unless they buy access to your "eyes."

But that's backward, you see, because you don't go to Facebook to look at ads today -- and you never will.

You go on Facebook because you want to know what your friends are doing (your real ones, not your 10,000 virtual "friends" you've never actually met) or find out about some event. That you get exposed to marketing (that is, advertising) is an annoying side effect that is tolerated only so long as the annoyance level remains reasonable. Rest of post
Naturally Facebook can fix these timeline problems..... for a fee.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am shocked, shocked, that Facebook is not providing companies with free advertising.

Anonymous said...

Facebook is merely the latest Myspace.

Miss Anthrope said...

It's easy enough to get rid of the annoying ads. Just click on the top right thingie by the ad, and select "Don't show me anything from this company". You'll get a tiresome little response asking why you don't want to see the junk, and there are several choices. Unfortunately, one of them is not "Because 'a salesman is an it that stinks Excuse' " but you can click on "This is not relevant to me" and presto---you'll never see anything from that advertiser again. You have to go through the same song-and-dance for each company, though. That I know of, there's no way to nuke the whole ad column all at once. But well, well worth the effort.

As for the article's strange assertion that people post "interesting" things on Facebook---oh, if only! Lots of cats, dogs, grandchildren,and plates of their partially-eaten dinner. And stupid memes with trite, shopworn sentiments.

Facebook, schmacebook.

Anonymous said...

FaceBook is evil. okay, maybe not evil. but close.

Anonymous said...

Denniger's rant was published two weeks. His actual point was that advertiders were getting charged for phantom likes posted by "click farms" around the world, and the huge majority of their "likes" were from non-existent people. When they realized this, and that Facebook was charging them to reach people who were not there, the SHTF and this release seems to be the result. Based on his numbers I wouldn't be surprised if 97 - 98% of "likes" were fraudulent.

I suspected this a year or two ago when I started getting weird notes that one relative or another "liked" a product or store, since I couldn't imagine any of them being bothered to click on such a subject. My suspicion was confirmed when I got a note, allegedly from my wife, "liking" a brand of detergent I know she hates. Facebook is full of fraud like this, and the advertisers are finally finding proof. Search Denningwer's archives from the week of spring break in MS to see the long srticle.

Anonymous said...

If Facebook goes away, pretty sure the planet will keep on spinning.

bill said...

Facebook is a toy. It's fun to find old friends, post goofy pictures, exchange recipes with dozens of your friends at once, and torment people with your political posts. People who want something for nothing are in the wrong place. My wife and I have a horse rescue group that has a nice little following, and it's much easier for us to communicate with our supporters via FB than e-mail, but maybe they'll have different rates for charities. It also will be interesting to see if some political groups get treated differently than others. However, businesses should have to pay for advertising whether it's on Facebook or in the local newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Based on his numbers I wouldn't be surprised if 97 - 98% of "likes" were fraudulent.

Heck, millions of Facebook accounts are technically anonymous. (Though in DonnerKay's alternate reality everyone on Facebook is a real person with a real name.)

But the biggest joke of all is on the investment community.

Anonymous said...

"Facebook Schmacebook" says a guy/gal who has the whole thing figured out since he/she spends 80% of his/her work day there.

It's unimportant but that poster has memorized all the gimmicks needed to control feed and such. har.

Mr/Ms Anthrope said...

I'm the guy/gal to whom you refer, 5:24, and loath though I am to disappoint you, I am not even ON Facebook. My S.O. is, however, and so I occasionally get called over to the 'puter to see something of possible interest. Figuring out how to zap the crap (ads) hardly took 5 minutes...not a huge chunk out of the sacred 24 hours. And, if I may paraphrase the Dowager Countess: "What *is* a 'work day'?" ;);)

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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