January 6, 2014

If You See This In Your Facebook News Feed, Hit Like!

Happy New Year Boys and Girls!

Sorry the blog has been on radio silence. I’ve been contemplating its future. I still haven’t come to a decision, so I guess things will continue on—as is—until I have some sort of blog epiphany. Those happen, right?

Today I want to talk about Facebook. There are many social networks out there and I’m active on several of them. Regardless of their seeming self-sabotage, I prefer Facebook to any others.

What do I mean by self-sabotage? I’m referring to their need to make constant changes that tend to alienate so many people. Though I sometimes find it tiring to log on and find buttons/tabs switched from the left to the right, rearranged columns, or a new font for the notifications…most of the changes simply take getting used to. But some of those changes are less obvious and harmful to those of us trying to create a presence on the site.

Most recently (beginning of December), Facebook changed the algorithm used to decide what shows up in your news feed. Though they insist they didn’t do it with the intention of pushing for more paid advertising, it significantly impacted the viewership of pages big and small. So after spending a lot of time building a following, Facebook can make a simple change that will leave your viewership in the dark—without the fan even noticing. Basically, some or all of your posts just stop showing up in their feed. Unless they come looking for you to see why you’ve gone quiet, they’ll never even realize you are still out there sharing links to interesting articles, pictures of stunning sunsets, or asking for input on decoupaging the pew in their entryway.

A common reply to any complaint against Facebook is, “Sorry that free site isn’t working for you.” The irony is, I used to occasionally pay to boost posts. It was a great way to attract new followers. WAS being the operative word. Now when I pay to boost posts, I might increase my view of that post, but I don’t see the numbers I used to, plus I simply don’t get the pay-off of an increased following like I used to. Where as I used to see dozens of new followers, now I might pick up 3 or 5. Obviously, I’ve reconsidered paying to boost my posts.

The recent change to the algorithm impacts your already cultivated veiwership – I haven’t even addressed the ripple effects to attracting new likes to your page, but needless to say, it will be measurably harder to do if the activity on your page dies away when you stop showing up in people’s feed.

I’d like to suggest to all Facebook users out there to please take the time to look for activity from your favorite pages, such as mine: Kai Strand, Author. Browse your pages feed regularly. You’ll be surprised how many pages are there that don’t show up in your news feed. As you browse - click like, hit share and/or comment on any and all activity you like. It is a simple, simple action for you, but priceless for that page’s chances of more people seeing it. Those actions are ten times more important now than they were before.

Facebook remains my favorite social media to use, because of the versatility of what information you can share, the visual of such information, as well as the ability to interact with multiple people in a conversation. I just hope I don’t end up talking to myself one day!

If you have any tips on using Facebook pages effectively, I’d love to hear them!

6 comments:

  1. I still have a hard time with both FB and Twitter. I think it's a time thing. I know I can schedule posts in both places, but I miss out on the interaction that comes when I do that. If only I could clone myself so I could be in all the places I need to be at once :-)

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    1. I think I'm going to concentrate on the content on my page this year. It auto feeds to Twitter, which auto feeds to my profile (ha ha), so content won't die off completely in those two places. I'll still hop onto those, but my concentration will be my page.

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  2. Another good place to check regularly is the "other" tab in your FB messages. I've had a few mss sitting in there for months before I saw them. Why all the mss aren't sent to the Inbox, I'll never know.

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    1. I don't understand it either, Katie. And I always forget to check that other inbox. Thanks for the reminder. (If any FB newbies are reading, the 'other' inbox she is talking about is in a FB profile - not a page :D )

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  3. Thanks for this post, Kai. My preference has changed from Facebook, to Twitter, back to Facebook. I've started goofing around with Google+, but I'm not too familiar with it yet.

    The idea I have (and this is by no means professional SM advice) is to dabble on as many sites as possible, without completely committing to one. This way, as trends change, I'm not focusing my efforts somewhere people aren't looking. My favorite way to market my book (and in my opinion, the most effective way) is face to face interactions. Unfortunately I don't have the time or money to travel the world talking to people, so I have to fall back on social media.

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    1. Very good point, Eric! I find it interesting that I have a different 'audience' on each social media site. Which is why I won't abandon any completely. However, the point of social media is to be social and I don't feel like I engage well when my attention is scattered across the medias. I'm hoping to develop good strong relationships by concentrating my efforts more in one area.

      I love in person stuff too! I would love to visit more classrooms and bookstores and conferences. Oh but to have unlimited funds and a pr person!

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