Can Your Marriage with Facebook Be Saved?

facebook divorceI wish I could quit you, Facebook.

Copyblogger quit Facebook a month ago. The simple reason is despite having 30,000 fans, CB got no bang for its Facebook buck. It’s a good article and I recommend reading it. The part that hit home for me:

Forced Shares: My personal brand audience on Facebook loves Copyblogger. So I did some forced shares (read: I shared Copyblogger posts I love directly to my brand page). These were eaten alive, devoured, and reshared. While a smashing result, a brand’s Facebook strategy can’t thrive on someone like me sharing every blog post (ed: emphasis mine). The posts I didn’t force share just sat there with an average of six to seven “Likes.” Ew.

And on Friday, Facebook said it’s cracking down on brand posts it deems to be too promotional. Can a brand catch a break, already?

Trapped in a Loveless Marriage with Facebook Zero

ICYMI: Everyone’s mad at Facebook because organic reach for pages is at an all-time low. Facebook announced in December of 2013 it was tweaking its newsfeed algorithm “to show members more relevant articles.”

But Ogilvy in March of this year published results from a study demonstrating organic reach for brand pages has been in decline since October of 2013:

By February 2014, according to a Social@Ogilvy analysis of more than 100 brand pages, organic reach hovered at 6 percent, a decline of 49 percent from peak levels in October. For large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent in February. And Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future.

Finally in June Facebook’s Brian Boland finally addressed the rumblings about the significant decline in organic reach. Boland claimed the decline is a result of too much content on the dance floor, not because Facebook is trying to force people to pay for reach.

But later in the article:

Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals (ed: emphasis mine). Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space. Similarly, paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content.

Nobody likes having something taken from them, and marketers are no exception. What they once enjoyed for free, businesses now have to pay for.

It’s Not Facebook. It’s YOU

After Copyblogger announced its breakup with Facebook, many rushed in to defend its utility. Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council, as shared in this Hubspot post, reiterated the basic reasons for having a Facebook page. I read them as mostly saying: but everybody’s doing it, Mom!

And, social media consultants have the opportunity to hock their wares. Facebook isn’t terrible, it’s that your marketing strategy is terrible! Really terrible. You just need to do whatever it takes.

Sorry, social media consultants. I’m just bitter and cynical. You’re probably half right with your suggestion.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Jon wrote about this issue in his post, “Is a Facebook Page Worth the Effort in 2014?” The big takeaway was: make your business website the focus of your digital marketing efforts, not Facebook or anywhere else.

You won’t see Gooi quit Facebook any time soon. Right now, it still makes sense for our brand to be there.

And that’s what’s most important: don’t do something because everybody’s doing it. Only invest in what adds marketing value.


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