I’m constantly reading articles about the Facebook algorithm and how these big bad mean Facebookers are getting greedy and turning the platform into a “pay-to-play” system that is punishing small businesses all over the country. [insert crying face here]
As you are reading this, your Facebook post reach is probably plummeting to non-existence and you are hoping I will point you to that ever-so-elusive Facebook hotline phone number so you can call someone and give them a piece of your mind! Sorry. I’ve got nothing for you but a big ol’ mirror and a “blame yourself”.
Let’s back up for a second and talk about Facebook’s mission: to bring the world closer together. Understanding this will help you understand the point of the platform. Facebook isn’t in the game of punishing people or businesses, they are in the business of connecting the people of the world. That’s it. Everything else will fall into place if they are doing this.
So if I’m Facebook, what would I want to see? I would want to build a community where people would hang out, have conversations, enjoy the presence of each other, and continually be entertained. If I can create a community like this, I don’t see why people would ever leave. If people never leave, then advertisers will always be banging on the door to get in.
However, in a community like the one I fabricated above, you will always find someone taking advantage of the platform. So Facebook developed an algorithm you protect you, the user. They know that if you start to have a bad experience, you are likely to leave. So this algorithm takes many things into account on your behalf. Mainly: what are you interested in? What are other people like you interested in? and what are you NOT interested in?
Think about it like this: I’m scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and see a photo of my best friend’s new dog. I click “like” – Facebook says “wow! Andrew must like this type of content and this person, next time we should show him more of this person’s content and more content like this!”
Then I scroll down further and see a Michigan Football post. YUCK! (full disclosure, I’m a huge Notre Dame fan). So I click the “hide” button on this post. Facebook says “Yikes! Looks like Andrew really doesn’t like this post. We should definitely not show him more of this type of content!”
I continue scrolling and I see a post from an old high school friend and I skip right by. Facebook says “Okay, maybe he cares, but he didn’t stop to interact. Let’s tread lightly with this person’s posts for a little bit”.
And so on and so forth….
Now let’s look at it from a business page’s perspective. I post from my business page and the post goes out to some people. They all click “like” – Facebook says “wow, people are really interested in this page and this particular post. Let’s show this to more people!”
Now I post and it’s shown to a few people, but no one does anything. Facebook says “wow, no one cares about this post or page right now. Let’s stop showing it to people.”
Look at your page and your posts. Someone asked me the other day why Facebook was punishing them for their post reach. I asked how they knew they were being punished and they said “well my posts used to reach 500 people each time I posted, but now they only reach 250 people!” I then asked how many likes, comments, shares their posts generally received (and I double checked by looking at their page). “they usually only get like 1 like because Facebook is punishing businesses!!!”
OK, let me get this straight… you made a post. 250 people saw it. Only one of those 250 cared enough to engage with the post, and you think Facebook is punishing you?!
So let’s go back to the beginning of this article when I said “all I have for you is a giant mirror” – look at yourself and point the finger.
Here’s the bottom line, you are punishing yourself.
Has Facebook adjusted algorithms? ABSOLUTELY!
Has Facebook said your content won’t ever be shown again unless you pay? NOPE!
Facebook said they want to see people and pages both sharing more content that sparks meaningful conversations.
You are absolutely being punished because your content sucks. That’s the moral of the story.
If you’re upset with that statement and you don’t believe me, here’s a good test. Find your most loved employee, bake them a giant cake, put a birthday hat on them and take a photo saying “Suzie celebrated her birthday today! Help us celebrate with her!”
If Facebook is truly punishing you and your brand, and you generally only get 5 likes per post, this post should also only get 5 likes. Right?
I bet you this post does insanely well!
So what does this prove? It proves that content with meaning actually has value. Stop spamming your followers. Start conversations. Provide value. Entertain. Get involved. Be real. STOP MAKING EXCUSES! This is NOT a sales platform.
You can still be extremely successful on these platforms. In fact, because of the algorithm changes, you now have the upper hand if you create meaningful content. As all the other brands watch their reach and engagement fall, you can own their lost social real estate.
Stop creating content, start being real. Document. Have fun. Entertain.
Be remarkable, or be ignored.
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