As I’ve had the past week off work (oh, I’m lucky, I know), I’ve been spending a lot of time in twitter chats getting to know some new bloggers. A few topics keep cropping up and one that particularly caught my attention was regarding Facebook and Page engagement.
A lot of bloggers were speaking out about how they get hardly any or very little user engagement on their Facebook pages, despite have a descent number of ‘Likes’, their Facebook reach is low. They seem concerned that not only is there a dramatic decline in the amount of traffic to their blogs from Facebook, but also the ‘reach’ of their Facebook posts are dwindling. This massive decline has even led to some bloggers toying with the idea of deleting their Facebook page all together and concentrating on social networks where they get more engagement, such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+
|My Facebook likes|
I can vouch for this. I currently have 2700 Likes on the my Facebook page. I post a picture and/or a link every time I update my blog. I get an average of 1 like per post and my organic page reach sits at around 20-50 per post I share.
After a bit of detective work, I’ve managed to discover a few reasons why this has happened. This may seem complicated so I’m going to try and keep it as simple as possible!
The reason why your Facebook is going down:
Basically, Facebook recently (December 2013, I believe) changed it’s algorithm. OMFGWTF is an algorithm you ask? Well, in Laymen’s terms (I’ve ALWAYS wanted to say that!), it is the way Facebook selects what content appears in your News Feeds. According to Facebook, it’s changed this so that you get higher quality content about things you are interested in, rather than having your page cluttered with memes and other annoying pictures. This is based on a survey by Facebook in which it found that it’s users preferred links to the current affairs to pictures of a cat with a pancake on it’s head.
|Example of Facebook advertising windows|
Unfortunately, this meant that most page owners saw a drop in their reach. Currently, my Facebook content is only shown to only 1-2% of my fans and the click through rate is even worse. In order to get your content out to your fanbase, you have to pay to ‘boost’ your post. With the choice of sending it out to your fans and their friends, or to a targeted audience. This has many a blogger frustrated because if you have paid to boost your page previously and gained some ‘Likes’ that way, you now have to pay again if you want get these people actually see your content. Seems like extortion, right? There has been talk of this change being made for the purpose of ‘forcing’ Page owners to pay for advertising.
|URL embedded status update|
On 21st January 2014, Facebook announced changes to it’s algorithm AGAIN. This time Facebook explained how a text status update from a friend is much better received than a text status update from a Page. They are learning that content posted by a friend gets a different reaction and interaction than news stories from a Page. So you should expect your text status updates to have reduced reach, but other story types my increase. They suggest using ‘link shares’ rather than embedding links in posts as this tends prompt more clicks, links and shares.
There’s always a flip side to the story, though. Some people could thank Facebook for keeping their news feeds free from spam and marketing, and believe it is perfectly reasonable for Facebook to only show a selection of posts in News Feeds – would you really want every piece of content from every page you Like to show up in your Feed? Probably not.
I think for businesses that are selling something, it is a great idea and I would be willing to pay for Facebook advertising. But as a blogger, I earn very little money through my blog and do not offer any products for my followers to buy, so it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth.
I’m going to do a bit more research and do a post about the best ways of using Facebook in light of these changes.
Have you seen a decrease in Facebook views? Do you agree with what Facebook has done?
Oh, and don’t forget to Like my Facebook page 😉