facebook’s new changes and how to stay connected to the things you love
I’ve never been one to complain about Facebook’s updates and changes. I embraced Timeline and only hid out on Google+ for a few days during the “Facebook within a Facebook” fiasco. But recently the Facebook team has implemented a change that I’m not too happy about – it’s something that directly affects my business, and something that could be the beginning of a dangerous road for Facebook. The worst part of it all is that an attempt to inform users about this change hasn’t been made, which is why I’ve decided to clear things up for you and help you stay connected with the businesses and people that you love.
Before these changes were put into affect, business pages (Facebook calls them “Pages,” so I will too) worked very simply. If you liked a Page, you would see their updates. Towards the beginning of June, Page owners began to notice that their posts were getting a significantly fewer amount of likes, comments, and shares. That’s because Facebook decided that posts would only go out to a certain percentage of a Page’s fans, usually around 10-20%. And the only solution was to pay. It’s a little hard to describe how this works, so here’s a screenshot of what it might look like when a Page owner is creating a new post:
Photo courtesy of Stop the Promoted Posts Charging on Facebook.
As you can see, Page owners can basically choose how many of their fans see their posts by choosing how much they’re willing to pay. It may not seem like a huge amount of cash, but when Page owners post even once or twice daily, the rates for reaching all of your fans every time gets pretty high. (And, just a side note, my business Page doesn’t even have this capability since I don’t have the required 400 fans. So even if I wanted to pay to have my fans see my content, I couldn’t.)
When I first heard about this update, I was a little bummed, but I wasn’t going to let it affect me or my business. I really appreciate what Facebook has done for my business at no cost to me, and they have every right to charge what they want for their services. From a business owner’s standpoint, I was ready to change my marketing plan a bit and find new ways to reach my fans.
Then I got to thinking. Pay attention here, because this is where it really affects YOU. Before these changes, you were in control. You could choose what content you saw in your Newsfeed by liking certain Pages and by choosing how much of your friends’ updates you wanted to see. Although perhaps not in a huge way, Facebook is now in control, and I’m sure they’ll continue down this path. Facebook now chooses what shows up in your Newsfeed, and they decide who gets a spot there by how much money they’re willing to spend. I can picture my Newsfeed a year down the road, basically a list of commercials showcasing who was willing to pay the most.
This is obviously the start of a dangerous trend for Facebook, and I hope this realization inspires you to take action. Thankfully, there are a few things you can to do make sure that you get to see what you want on the internet and not what a corporation wants you to see.
TAKE ACTION – ON FACEBOOK
The first way to improve your chances of seeing content from Pages you like is this: go to the Pages you like, hover over the “liked” button, and choose “Show in Newsfeed.” This won’t guarantee 100% that you’ll see every post, but it will increase your chances. Here’s a screenshot for a better explanation of how this is done:
The second thing you can do is tell Facebook how you feel. While their track record isn’t spectacular, the Facebook team does take user suggestions into consideration. If enough people express their negative opinions on this new change, they might do something about it.
The last way to make sure you don’t miss any content is to visit the actual Page you’re a fan of every once in a while. Even if a post didn’t make it to your Newsfeed, it will always appear on the physical Page. This might be tedious, but some content, like limited-time offers, coupons, etc, can’t be missed – and hopefully we won’t need to resort to this for long!
TAKE ACTION – ELSEWHERE
A great way to make sure you aren’t missing any content is to find ways to connect with your favorite businesses and people outside of Facebook. Visit the websites linked to the Pages you love and see where else you can find them on the web. If they have a blog that they update often, one of your best bets is to subscribe to that. (I wrote a blog post about how to do this – it’s WAY easier than it may seem!)
Aside from their blogs, check to see if they are on any other social networking sites like Twitter, Instagram, etc. (I’ve recently created a Twitter account and I’m finding it to be much more intuitive and fun than I originally thought!) Take a look around these social networking sites and decide which ones you might want to join.
Branching out from Facebook may seem difficult or overwhelming, but I’m sure taking the time to be sure that you’ll see all the content you want to see will be worth it!
TAKE ACTION – TELL YOUR FRIENDS
The best way we can join together and cause some change of our own is to make sure that everyone knows what direction Facebook is headed in. If you choose to do nothing else after reading this, please choose to do this – share this information. Post this link to your Facebook wall, create a status about what is happening, write a blog post of your own so your fans know about this, too. I usually don’t ask my readers to share any of my content, but this time I really need your help. It’s impossible for me to reach all of my fans with this important information.
Thank you so much for your time in reading this and spreading the word. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!