The Facebook Reach Problem
Once upon a time Facebook may have been the way to promote just about anything, but all that has changed with the average reach dropping down to 2 percent. If you have 1000 friends you engage with on Facebook, you will be lucky to have 20 of them see your posts. Yet, we are warned that in the future, your organic reach on Facebook may drop down to 0 percent.
Does this redefine social networking? Facebook promised us that they would always remain a free website, but they are backing away from that promise now. With more and more people saying they will find other social networks to advertise on.
Here is a diagram: Source Mashable
"I actually think brands will spend more," Manson says. "They want to drive engagement at scale and Facebook remains the best place to drive engagement with scale."
Bottom line is that Facebook was never built with any clear focus of how to become profitable. And now they are drastically trying to correct their mistake. Surely there are other ways they could become popular, but I think lessening their users potential reach is a sad mistake, which will put other social networks ahead of them eventually.
I'm curious, does anyone see the value in advertising with Facebook, to your own friends or would you rather become more active on, let's say, Google Plus? In this article on Mashable, in the comments section, many are saying that they will be shifting over to Google Plus.
Is Facebook making a good business decision or are they making a decision to do something that will potentially have very adverse effects on the largest social network in the world... for the time being?
Facebook started as Zuck's dorm room pet project - he def wasn't thinking of money at the beginning.
I would say this about any great innovation: everything that is good and great is always subverted by money in the end. I can see marketers flocking to Google Plus but then I see the the Facebook problem happening with all these networks.
The internet is no longer a revolution because it has become a mainstream advertising channel. A lot of bad marketers leap onto social media and start broadcasting instead of connecting with customers. That is what we would call "low quality" and that's where Edgerank comes in. When there's that much noise on a social network treating all these posts and status updates democratically just won't work. And there is FB's pretext for charging to Boost your messages.
Google have done the same thing. They invented a great platform, invented the spam problem and then offered the solution for a price. And that's Adwords. A typical business model is to corner the market, create a problem, offer the solution and raise prices.
I do advertise with Facebook though. I experiment with it and spend the money carefully. Even with all the stuff going on with Reach, it is still more effective than a newspaper ad. It depends on the market you have identified and the strategy you implement. There are some things I would advertise in a local printed business directory with a QR code and a link to a landing page but I might not share that same content on Facebook. My view of Facebook is that we should funnel the traffic and clicks on FB ads into a mailing list, or to at least funnel those people in to other social networks you run.
Well said, Darren. Money changes everything.
Back in the day when Promote Your Post was dirt cheap and before the Reach updates, I would advertise some key posts. But I wouldn't buy FB ads unless I was tracking ROI (return on investment). Like Darren said, it depends on the market and what your strategy is.
I keep reading about so many people throwing money into FB but aren't tracking their ROI and that's a sure way to lose a bunch of money fast.
I tend to get better engagement on G+ now than I do on FB but it's only a matter of time before Google does the same thing. If they ever get the active user base FB has, I believe they will monetize it and things will change.
I think it is time for Web 3.0
It's already monetised - Google Plus Local has that "Boost your ad" thing but I have not really looked at that. I'm aware of it, but honestly, all these social shenanigans tire me out. I'm going to bed!
Originally Posted by lisa
GoDaddy gave me $50 of Facebook Ad credits when I signed up for my hosting. I used them to try it out. $50 later and nothing to show for it. Glad it wasn't my own money. Seems like a giant waste of time and money. I certainly won't be giving Facebook a single cent.
There's a lot of potential in Google Plus Local but those ads demonstrate to me already that the Reach issue will start to creep in over there too.
This is what Seth Godin calls a "purple cow". I don't think that metaphor needs any explanation but for those who are confused it means that all great innovations eventually become the norm because of saturation, and it will be another bright spark that ignites the next wave of technology/culture to reset the whole process... but of course, these "purple cows" eventually spring up everywhere and that is another innovation that becomes part of mainstream society.
Internet marketing is without a doubt the most challenging thing I've done but I genuinely get a buzz out of it. I now understand why people jump out of planes for fun.
Last edited by Darren; 03-25-2014 at 07:30 PM.