Ch-ch-ch-changes for Facebook

When I first heard rumors Facebook was changing how and when subscribers saw their ‘Like’d users and pages I thought it was a prank or a hoax. However, it doesn’t appear to be.

Right in time for Halloween, check it out:

Facebook is using a new algorithm to ‘improve the user experience’. What it means is that not every post you make will go out to every subscriber you have. The algorithm rewards:

  • Interesting posts (lots of likes and comments)
  • Posts with media (photos, videos)
  • Posts that are more than ‘just advertisements’
  • Users who add your Facebook page to their ‘Interests to Follow’ list will see more of your posts.

Oh… and they reward MONEY.

That’s right. If you want to reach more than whatever the default of your post with this new mysterious algorithm, you have to pay.

Worse, you can pay to post not only on subscriber’s lists but also to subscriber’s FRIENDS list.  This may sound like a bonus, until you realize this is ‘interruption marketing’.  Those friends didn’t sign up or subscribe to you.

Good marketing on Facebook should have it hwere you’re posting such interesting, relevant and useful information that your subscribers “Share” that information on their own newsfeed and their friends who care sign up.  That’s referral marketing in the social media world.  This ‘pay to reach their friends’ ‘feature’ is just annoying.

You can read more about the Facebook changes with this HubSpot article.

So we run into a two-fold reason why Facebook is starting to crumple:

  1. Their new algorithm makes it harder for small businesses without a large marketing budget to reach their hard-won audience.
  2. Their new algorithm makes it easier for a user’s newsfeed to get cluttered with ‘paid ads’ as people sponsor posts and send it to subscribers’ friends.

All that said, I don’t recommend full-out panic just yet.

I do recommend you start considering other social media sites like Google+, start developing your content and a following on those sites. That way, as things progress in a downward spiral with Facebook you won’t be at their mercy. You will already have a backup social media haven.

Do it now, while things are in their early stages. Advertise your new social media on your current Facebook page, website, etc. Build up your backup plan.

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