Facebook is a success.
Facebook is a failure.
When we all got involved with Facebook we used the “social media” site to stay in touch with friends and family. Today, Facebook is all about ads and marketing to you and your friends. Your newsfeed today looks nothing like it did five years ago. Today, you get a mix of 1% – 3% of posts about your friends. The rest of the content Facebook is shoving down your feed is paid advertising. Even the companies and pages you’ve followed are no longer being shared to your newsfeed. For Facebook your newsfeed is an advertising channel. Period. Any concept of privacy is bullshit. Facebook doesn’t care about your privacy. In fact, Facebook is negotiating with your bank to get your financial information. What? They want to be able to share more “relevant” ads in your news feed. I mean, why would you show a Tesla ad to a school teacher making $44,000 a year?
Last year’s #LeaveFacebook campaign did little to slow the marketing giant. Yes, Zuckerberg showed up before Congress and schooled the older gentlemen asking questions about “social media.” And they updated their privacy and security policies. But, nothing has changed. If anything, Facebook is getting more invasive every day. What Zuckerberg and Company can get away with they will. When they are caught with their pants down, or found to be accepting a clutch of Russian adverting dollars spent to influence our presidential election, well, again they will apologize, make a few media appearances, and poof, the “issue” goes away.
Let’s look at some of Facebook’s current processes in action.
Today I have a Page with over 1,600 followers. These are people who have said they would like my content in their newsfeed. Guess what my reach is to this audience? Let me show you a few of my latest posts.
The first number is how many times my post was shown on my follower’s newsfeeds. The numbers on the right are how many times they clicked or interacted with my post. Not good, right?
So, what Facebook asks is that we pay to show our content to our own followers. But even in this ruse, they are dishonest. Here are two different teasers from Facebook about sharing my content with a “boost.” The first ad comes from my page with 1,600+ posts and a history of “boosting” posts. ($1 gets me 420 views)
This is for the same post from a different page. This page has 400+ followers. ($1 gets me 54 views)
And while they’re at it, let’s look at the one for this post, on my business page with less than 300 followers. ($1 gets me 21 views)
See how Facebook is gaming the numbers? They are just making things up. There is no truth to these advertisements for Facebook marketing. Facebook does not have to deliver the reach even if I pay for it. Yes, we all know it’s an estimate, but Facebook will only deliver my post is no other advertiser has paid more to show up on your “friends” or “people who follow your page and their friends” pages.
Here are the detailed results of a fairly successful (Facebook successful) boost from the page with 1,600+ followers.
That’s a lot of money to reach half of my followers.
And for content creators like me, it’s not sustainable. I can’t pay for reach. I do, but only occasionally when I have a hit post on the blog. But there’s no other game in town. Where can I spend my “social media” dollars to increase readership and engagement?
Facebook’s 25% annual growth may be a long way from slowing down. Until we severely limit Facebook’s usurious practices, or we leave for a better social media platform, we’ve got to do better. You can ask Facebook to do the right thing. Reinstate our friends on our newsfeeds.
But guess what? Facebook doesn’t care about your feelings or your friends. Facebook is a social media monopoly. And it’s not a social media sharing network. Facebook is an advertising network designed to serve up you and your friends to the highest bidder. But you knew all this anyway, right?
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