What’s your opinion of Facebook? I think this will vary greatly for many individual reasons.
If you’re a business owner like myself and have spent quite a bit of time and effort in building up a following, then I’d confidently say like me, you’re opinion of Facebook has changed in a very bad way.
Let me start by giving a very recent example, over the past 12 hours in fact. I think this not just sets the scene for this blog post, but more so is indicative of the massive imbalance within Facebook and how business pages are treated. I posted a photo to my photography page (as Facebook would encourage us as business owners to do). I posted the exact same photo at the exact same time to my personal timeline. Statistically I have well over twice as many people who ‘like’ my page as I have friends on my personal profile on Facebook. Yet the photo on my personal timeline attracted a vastly greater audience and interaction, gaining over (as of now) 65 likes and several comments. Contrast this with my business page where the same photo attracted a mere 9 likes, yet should have been open to over twice as many people to view.
Therein lies the problem. To give the brief version of the story, Facebook severely restrict the amount of people who can view anything posted on a business page, or fan page as they are called. Some statistics suggest that as little as 3% of people will ever get to even see the photo posted to a page.
To get this clear it only impacts on businesses who have a Facebook page, and remember Facebook protocol strictly forbids a business to operate from their personal profile (despite many photographers still using a personal profile to promote their photography). Many people of their own clear choice have found my photography page and decided they like it, and by clicking ‘like’ they have chosen to interact with the page in wanting to see future photos I post. If only this was the case and Facebook honoured what common sense would suggest. The reality is that Facebook shows any photo posted to my page to a tiny amount of people who have liked my page.
Facebook itself is a highly commercial venture who’s sole aim is to make money. That’s entirely understandable. Facebook want business owners like myself to pay to reach a larger audience with their posts. Again that’s entirely understandable, but if only that was the case and Facebook honoured what common sense would suggest. By me paying then everyone who liked my page would surely see that post or photo. Not so! Not even close to being the case!
I’m not going to go into detail here but it’s well documented on the Internet with a wealth of information available on the existence of Facebook Like Farms. Apparently these are middle eastern in origin and their sole purpose is to get likes on business pages for people who have paid Facebook to do so. Useless, meaningless likes. Not likes from the people who matter, namely the people who have chosen to like my page and actually want to see what I post.
Facebook belongs truly to a younger generation than me. For me Facebook has always been a necessary evil with my only reason for being on it to promote business. With Facebook now tightening the screw almost every week on business pages to force them to pay I think my Facebook days will be shortened all the more because of this approach.
It’s widely predicted that Facebook is on the decline with its popularity having peaked some time ago. Various marketing experts predict its demise by as soon as 2017. I for one would look forward to the day when Facebook is no more and its gone for good. Many other relative newer social media platforms are now massively gaining popularity such as Twitter, Instagram etc. Very interestingly a high volume of kids aged between 10 and early teens were surveyed and the general opinion was that Facebook was ‘something mummy uses’.
Roll on Facebook being yesterdays news like My Space and Bebo etc.