By now I am sure you have seen the following facebook post at least once and perhaps you have posted it yourself on Facebook.
**New FB Procedures are starting today** All page owners are asked to tell fans: If you are not an active fan of mine (liking or commenting on posts) as of October 31, 2011, you will no longer see updates from me in your news feed! PLEASE LIKE THIS STATUS if you want to keep seeing my posts & photos.
I am not sure who started this but through all my reasearch on the web and on Facebook I cannot find anything stating Facebook requires this. I am pretty sure a page owner started this to try to defeat the new changes on Facebook that have our fans seeing less and less of our posts. I decided to investigate further for answers or explainations on this topic. I went to the Facebook help page first and put in a few phrases relating to fans viewing posts and my posts showing up on fans news feeds-nothing. I then googled it. Not much else out there that was helpful. So I have created my own analysis on this issue using the facts I could find and a little reasonable deduction. Let’s start with a timeline:
August-page owners no longer allowed to host giveaways on their fan page (required to move them to outside blogs). Plus page owners could only require fanning a page in order to enter and could not require page shares, page comments, ect.
Sept 2011-fan page owners can no longer direct message fans.
October 2011-news feeds change so fans are no longer seeing posts unless they are regularly interacting with your page or set up a special feed to see your posts.
October 2011-Facebook starts marketing campaign to page owners for “marketing boot camp” basically a workshop to learn how to use paid advertising featured on Facebook.
Today: the realization that Facebook is now moving into the next phase of capitalizing on their genius.
If you all saw The Social Network you will remember the argument the guys had about not charging or adding advertising until they could see how “this thing” was really going to work and what it could become. Generously they have allowed us to use their invention for years for free. And if you were paying attention to the timeline as it happened you will realize that each was a step to stifle page owners ability to gain new fans. So we can’t be surprised, and really we can’t be mad. We were given a gift and then warned before it was taken away.
So now you look at your page analytics (if you aren’t you should) and you are at a loss. Your posts are seeing much less action and you are feeling a bit disconnected from a previously active fan base. What will you ever do. Well you can do the fb marketing bootcamp. I have not yet so I have no opinion at this time beside a bit of skepticism. Or you can step back and look at your business marketing plan from an angle outside of Facebook. Perhaps you should do both but I am starting with the later.
Stay tuned for the next post on marketing your brand this holiday season without the help of Facebook.
(I’m not saying leave facebook, just saying it should not be the only way to reach your customers.)