Gini Dietrich

Facebook Promoted Posts Remove the Level Playing Field

By: Gini Dietrich | November 5, 2012 | 
127

The awesome thing about the web and social media, in particular, is it levels the playing field. No longer do you need millions of dollars to spend on PR firms and ad agencies in order to build your brand and reputation among the masses.

Today all you need is a good writer, a self-hosted website and/or blog, and organically grown social networks. With those three things, you suddenly are competing with the big boys for reputation and credibility. You’re seen as a thought leader in your industry. You’re creating kinship among your prospects. And you’re selling in a way that has never before been possible.

All of the tools are free so it’s a really low barrier to entry. And it works.

The big social networks continue to run their platforms free to us because they consider us the product, not the user.

We’re the Product

Take Google for example. They have been successful because they keep introducing free features – analytics, blogging, RSS feeds, Google+, Docs, Hangouts, and more. Their thinking is of course, if they offer really good free features, we’ll continue using them, which boosts their pageviews and drives advertising.

Advertisers are their users. We are the product. And it works really well for them. They do, after all, have a market cap of $25o billion.

So why is it Facebook is trying to squeeze more money out of its users? Why not look at us as Google does…as the product?

Sure, I understand they’re now a public company and they have to find new ways to make money, but there are several business models before it lighting the path.

And yet.

If your business has a Facebook page, you’ve likely seen a decrease in “likes” and interaction. We have one client who went from 10,300 interactions per day to less than 3,000. Overnight.

Promoted Posts

Why? They aren’t using Promoted Posts to increase their visibility. In other words, they’re not paying Facebook to show their updates to the more than 63,000 people who have voluntarily liked their page and opted in to have them in their stream.

Only 30 percent of those people are seeing their updates. The other 70 percent? They have to set aside a budget to pay to promote their posts to those people.

Yes, those people who’ve already said, “Hey Facebook! We want updates from this company.”

If they were to pay for it, they’d need a budget of $228,800 to reach the people they were reaching for free before the social network’s IPO earlier this spring.

Small Business Implication

I run a small business in Chicago. We update our Facebook page 20-25 times per week. We have just a tad more than 3,500 fans so we wouldn’t be charged as much per post as our client. But we’d still have to spend in the $25,000-$30,000 range to reach the people who have voluntarily liked our page.

So I would have to decide if it’s more important to reach all 3,500 of our fans or pay for half a person to help service clients. I think you know which way I’d lean.

Suddenly the playing field is no longer level. We’re both the product and the user at Facebook.

Seems like a pretty big conflict of interest.

A version of this first appeared in my Crain’s Chicago Business weekly column.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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127 Comments on "Facebook Promoted Posts Remove the Level Playing Field"

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KEXINO
3 years 7 months ago

Nice one, Gini.
 
I’ve yet to test this, but apparently Facebook’s made a (albeit extremely slight) concession recently – see http://www.insidefacebook.com/2012/10/31/facebook-rolls-out-option-for-fans-to-receive-notifications-about-page-posts/
 
Seems that if you can get your fans to jump through the hoops, you can get them back again. Unfortunately I’m guessing that the majority of a brand’s fans aren’t going to do this.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@KEXINO I saw over the weekend that one brand asked its fans to like comments or even just post a “yes” so it would increase their chances of being seen in the stream without having to pay for it. It feels really icky to have to do that, but it may be the only way.

KenMueller
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @KEXINO I’ve scolded clients for doing this, for just that reason. But on the other side, we’re still seeing success without promoted posts. I hate spending money. On the other side, I’ve only seen a few promoted posts, and they got very spammy, so I ended up unfollowing the business. One particular A-lister promoted posts about his new book and I couldn’t log on to Facebook without seeing it. Goodbye!  That’s the upside of this: it will force businesses to think carefully about how they post and promote. If they get to spammy, people can turn them off.

brittanybotti
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @KEXINO I hate that…there’s a lot of brands I like to follow on Facebook, but I don’t want to be the tool that likes and comments on everything they post so I can keep seeing it.

ryanleecox
ryanleecox
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich @spinsucks I really loved this post Gini. Your apples to apples comparison explained it perfectly.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@ryanleecox Why thank you!

ryanleecox
ryanleecox
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich @spinsucks oh and PS: #missyou PSS: Good Morning

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

Maybe you know this or you don’t but how does Facebook decide which people get your stuff and which don’t? It’s the wrong way either way but just curious.
 
I listened to an interview between Chris brogan and Srini Rao where Chris was suggesting that Google+ is an interesting alternative for the express reason that it belongs to google and ranks higher than shages on Facebook ever will.  Now, that’s a gross generalization and paraphrased but the idea makes sense. now that FB is treating businesses in this manner maybe more will take the GM approach and opt out.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dK7UaZAXn_Y

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

Shages? Well, of course! Geez, Ralph. Clearly I meant shares.

KenMueller
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping The problem with Google + is that the general public still isn’t there, for the most part. And the latest numbers I saw is that time spent on G+ is dropping drastically.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@KenMueller Maybe we need to change that. Facebook doesn’t care about you any more than Google does. I don’t own my own business so I can’t say how a small businesses success rates on either platform but the fact that you have to pay to play is setting a dangerous precedent.

KenMueller
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping How do you change it? I’m no there but rarely use it. It offers me nothing as a user. Plus, I have great success with Facebook for my clients because I’m not approaching it as purely a marketing tool.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@KenMueller  @rdopping I was going to say what Ken said. I like Google+ for SEO purposes, but it’s not a social network. No one is there. The geeky social media circles use it, but rarely is there a conversation like on Facebook. It’s just not as enticing.

lauraclick
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @rdopping Totally agree. It’s a better platform in theory – the interface is better and it’s tied in with search, but since the general public isn’t there, it’s not great for engagement.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@lauraclick @ginidietrich @KenMueller Sure. Gang up on the casual user with a big yapper. Ok, so if y’all don’t see a way out of FB charging you to share your business with your fans then you will have to do it the old fashioned way. Use your name only and share there just to be social.
Interesting the opposition to G+

jasonkonopinski
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping  @lauraclick  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller It depends. Srinivas Rao of @blogcastfm sees WAY more engagement from the Google + page compared to Facebook. 
 
I see a lot of value from Google + from the SEO side of things, but not so such as a social platform. Like all things, what works for some doesn’t necessarily work for all.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping Have you ever noticed how, when someone comments on a post that is a few days old, it gets a new life? That’s the idea here. The more people who comment on your post, the more likely it is to show up in the stream. But if no one comments or likes? You may as well be talking to a wall.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich Understood but how does FB help when you have to pay for the stream? I am still trying to figure out how to talk to people. I guess it depends on how you use FB then. What are you going to do to get all your 1,300 fans to get your great content? I agree that going to a platform where no one is doesn’t help but letting FB pave the way for paid social seems scary too.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping  If you pay for it, instead of it showing up in 16 percent of your fan’s streams, it’ll show up in 30 percent. Or 40 percent or 50 percent, depending on how much you pay. Or you can write super compelling content that generates likes and comments (asking people how much milk they drink in a week works really well, I hear) and then more of your fans will see it without your having to pay for it.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich I like milking it as much as I can. So, we have to be ok with 15% saturation. Well, damn, i hope I am in the 15% that gets the content because the ONLY platform worth their weight is Facebook.

atlanticwebworx
atlanticwebworx
3 years 7 months ago

Great post, Gini. It does, indeed, pull the rug out from under small businesses. It does something else, too – encourages those same businesses to focus more effort on communicating with their stakeholders on other networks where they can still leverage their efforts  (Google+, anyone?).

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@atlanticwebworx The problem with Google+ is the mass audience isn’t there. When clients ask us about it, they do so begrudgingly. They’d rather stay on Facebook where their friends and family are already hanging out. They don’t have to do any work to connect with people there like they do on G+. But I do love G+ for SEO…Google wants you using their products so they reward you in search results for doing so.

AmyEtheridge
AmyEtheridge
3 years 7 months ago

Facebook Promoted Posts Remove the Level Playing Field via @SpinSucks http://t.co/VdGnLPt9

brittanybotti
3 years 7 months ago

Not only is it bad for small businesses, it’s bad for us as users. I like the pages that I like because I want to see their information in my NewsFeed. What gives Facebook the right to decide what updates I should and shouldn’t see? It’s this type of eroding user experience that will cause people to jump ship.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@brittanybotti And, like Ken said, it bogs down your stream with spammy updates when someone sponsors a post. I don’t like it.

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@brittanybotti Totally agree.

katskrieger
3 years 7 months ago

Completely agree here @ginidietrich . I’ve felt forced to start promoting posts to gain any traction, but as you said, I would have to spend a ridiculous sum to get any solid reach. Even though the whole thing is insulting, I promote posts with big news or a particular podcast we have done with the idea of getting a bit more reach. And it is working, but of course, I shouldn’t have to pay anything to get additional reach. I do have to admit loving that I now have the ability to target posts though.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@katskrieger The thing that bothers me most about this is we’ve already gained permission to show up in our fan’s news streams. Why should we have to target posts or pay for updates or ask our fans to go to our page and like updates so we show up? I get Facebook needs to make money. Make it from the people who buy advertising, not by those of us using the product so they have a billion users and can charge crazy prices.

katskrieger
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich Very true.

KenMueller
3 years 7 months ago

@katskrieger  @ginidietrich I have a solution to this whole problem, but you’re gonna have to like my page and share it if you want to find out…

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@katskrieger I would be interested to know what the difference in conversion rate is between those people who promote posts versus those who just appear organically in someone’s news stream.

trackback

[…] It’s pretty clear why Facebook has gone this route – with their recent IPO they are looking for ways to drive revenue. Although we can certainly talk about whether this was a bait and switch for brands or whether this move has demolished the level playing field for small businesses. […]

lauraclick
3 years 7 months ago
This has definitely been the hot topic of conversation the past few weeks. I’ve been having an ongoing email discussion with a couple of colleagues about this for the past week or so.    The whole thing sucks. While I don’t necessarily agree with Facebook’s approach, it’s Facebook’s right to do it. However, it does feel like a bait and switch or a very underhanded way to go about driving revenue. From the user’s perspective though, it makes me wonder if the general population likes it because they’re seeing fewer brand updates.    I think the question becomes what do… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@lauraclick I’m not sure what we do about it either. It’s pretty interesting to watch the EdgeRank of our client’s pages drop overnight. I think we now have to figure out if people liked our pages because they really want information from us or if they were just being nice. If it’s the latter, we have to create more compelling content. The more compelling, the more comments and likes. The more comments and likes, the more people see it. It’s just another game.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @lauraclick And to me, this is THE thing- I believe most “likes” on fb are just people being nice.  Most people do not come there to learn or engage with brands, regardless of how much content I try and force upon them! Most come to see cute ecards and whine about their kids/husband/job. I know, I am not really saying anything @HowieG hasn’t said before… Perhaps this will actual reveal just how ineffective FB is at promoting businesses?

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG That is why I go to Facebook. Sometimes I want to see pictures of cats performing random acts of “awe, so cute”

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG For me, it is glorified email. As I am of a certain age, we did not have email leaving high school, so this is how I keep in touch with those peeps. And message my Mum. And try and make G Bang laugh.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd  @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG I can only imagine who G Bang is. Glorified email. Now there’s taking a stand. I knew I liked you for a reason.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping  @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG That’s this week’s nickname for Gini. Join me!

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd  @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG Waddup G Bang?

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping  @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG BOOM.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@rdopping  @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @HowieG …I’m sure Rusty is gonna send G Bang another sassiness report on me…

ErinKinzel
ErinKinzel
3 years 7 months ago

@lauraclick

ErinKinzel
ErinKinzel
3 years 7 months ago
@lauraclick Great post and discussion here. Regarding whether or not users prefer this model because they will see fewer brand updates, I think users will end up being annoyed by it. I have become highly annoyed because there are a few pages (some political, some for sweepstakes-type pages, and some for consumer products) whose promoted posts end up in my news feed and there is no way for me to hide them. Just because my friends happen to like that page doesn’t mean that I want to see continual promoted posts from them and as a user, I hate that they… Read more »
ErinKinzel
ErinKinzel
3 years 7 months ago

P.S. I just did some investigating and realized that I can hide promoted posts just like I can hide any other post in my feed. (Yay!) I also realize that I can add pages I’ve liked to interests lists (or somehow indicate that I want them to show up in my feed) but I’m still annoyed that I have to take ten extra steps to see info from a page I’ve already liked.

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
3 years 7 months ago

Timely post, Gini. I think since Facebook starting highlighting promoted posts…I wondered is it worth it? Plus, I also wonder if people will genuinely like/engage in your product if it promoted within this medium? Does it take the shine off of the purity of the content?

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@ElissaFreeman I think it does. I had something really interesting happen to me last week. I took a picture of the Starbucks holiday cups and uploaded it to lindsaymallen Facebook page. It asked me to promote it in order for her to see it! Um, what? I just want to upload it to HER page. I don’t care if anyone else sees it.

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @ElissaFreeman  lindsaymallen That is crazy. I am fine with FB crashing and burning. Great post, Gini.
 
How many words do you have?

LisaMarieMary
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  OMG! Whoa! Wth???

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@ElissaFreeman I think the choice of the word ‘purity’ says it all!

Mark_Harai
3 years 7 months ago
Hi Gini, great heads up post here…   I don’t think most people see the conflict you pointed out here… or maybe I’m just slow 😮   Monetizing your assets can be a dirty game. FB is under pressure everyday from some serious ass greedy people who influence how they do business and produce profits.   We already know Zuck doesn’t have much respect for his users when it comes to ‘properly informing’ and ‘choice’ –  he just basically takes full advantage of their ignorance and laziness to make decisions for them.   They murmur at worst… and then move… Read more »
HowieG
3 years 7 months ago
@Mark_Harai being the number 1 resident Facebook hater here Mark you bring out a lot of great points. I have been saying for 2 years that facebook will be supplanted by something else eventually. Primarily because they don’t care about the users. Most people say they are too big to fail. So was AOL, Blockbuster, Yahoo Search, Yahoo, Netscape, etc etc etc   Yesterday I tweeted that I was very bored with social media. Facebook yawns me to no end. I love twitter but use it a bit less. The other stuff out there I use some but sparingly. In… Read more »
jasonkonopinski
3 years 7 months ago

@HowieG  @Mark_Harai It’s interesting to see the predictability of adoption curves played out in near real-time.

Mark_Harai
3 years 7 months ago

@jasonkonopinski  @HowieG You know Jason, up til recently I’ve never paid attention to much of anything, other than the conversations I was having with some really cool friends in the blogosphere.
 
I’ve actually been diving into some analytic’s and tools to measure stuff on my blogs lately and t’s mind-boggling to see the real time information you can gather.
 
Doing research market research is a trip; with the right tools and couple of clicks of the mouse, you can see adoption curves living and breathing – LOL! 
 
Cheers, sir!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@HowieG  @Mark_Harai You want something new for social, Howie? I am with you- I withdrew from FB for months and returned reluctantly. My version of “new social” is this- I spend much more time with LiveFyre now than with pretty much anything else. Let me know if you find anything new and fun.

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd  I struggle to see how you have the same social experience through Livefyre as you do on Facebook. I may have missed something.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago
@joshchandler I don’t believe that I said it was the same, I believe I said LiveFyre is much preferred. Facebook is glorified email to me- keeps me in touch with those people from my past in the pre-ee emm days (yeah, I’m that old). Basically, FB is sharing of trivial personal info to me. I find that LiveFyre and my blog communities are the spaces I seek out- I can’t wait to read Gini’s posts, read Howie’s snappy replies, some of Brian’s artful prose, etc. Much like the variable reinficement schedule of FB notifications, I immediately jump to attention when I… Read more »
Mark_Harai
3 years 7 months ago
@HowieG @jasonkonopinski @RebeccaTodd Hey ladies and gentlemen, it’s good to hear from you all…   Howie,   As you know, we’re plugged into a community of first movers or people who are in a business that need to stay completely relevant technology wise, so I’m kinda the wrong guy to be asking.   I’m just trying to keep up – – or catch up, rather 😮   The most interesting changes I’ve seen on an existing platform are on Linkedin. It seems to me the latest changes are mostly based on encouraging quantity over quality actions.    It was a bit more creditable… Read more »
RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@Mark_Harai  @HowieG  @jasonkonopinski Great reply! I was going to mention the recent linkedIn silliness, but you summed it up much better than I could have.

rjfrasca
rjfrasca
3 years 7 months ago

@JulieBIrving I couldn’t agree more, but I think Facebook will be the biggest loser in the end for the decision

HowieG
3 years 7 months ago
I find this interesting. The investors have cashed out. They did so at $100bil. There is no reason to to have a push for faster growth or profits. But there is a different problem now. a tech company attracts talent with stock options. They don’t have the ability to pay in salary what more mature companies do. And if their stock is in the dumps they will have a big time attracting talent.   Fan pages were by accident. They never were developed for business. Facebook and Businesses saw an opportunity and this idea was born. The fact is fan… Read more »
jeffbalke
jeffbalke
3 years 7 months ago

@currentlysavvy Thanks. Slightly flawed logic in the story but a good read.

JanMinihane
JanMinihane
3 years 7 months ago

Great post Gini, it ties nicely to my growing disdain of the the ‘like this post if’, ‘share if’, ‘comment if’ posts on FB, even from respected brands with very good digital agencies behind them, all desperate to boost their Edgerank. It just means I’m unfollowing/hiding a lot more pages now. I understand why they are doing it but linking to a few other comments here, it’s just cheap and rather depressing.
 
Something has to give or the business model may well implode for FB.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@JanMinihane I just saw a small business post “just comment yes” if you like this post so we show up in your stream. It was an interesting case study on how people react. Is it OK if it’s the local Mexican restaurant but not OK if it’s Nike? Where do we draw the line?

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @JanMinihane I was just going to comment on this! “click like if you like cats!” is one I just saw.

JanMinihane
JanMinihane
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich  ha, I’ve also witnessed ‘click like if you have children/have grandparents/like coffee/eat cake’ – the (depressing) list goes on. I understand why but it’s depressing to see!

JanMinihane
JanMinihane
3 years 7 months ago
@ginidietrich I think that’s the hard thing, distinguishing when it’s ‘acceptable’  – I’ve seen many a begging post from small businesses asking people to click on the ‘get notifications’ option so they get notified on their posts (I’ll stop their or start ranting about that new option too!).   We tend to feel more ‘sorry’/more willing to tolerate from smaller businesses as they ‘struggle’ more but that makes it an unfair playing field, no? Or does it even out as the bigger brands have the bigger budget to play with….   I can’t help feeling that a lot more users will… Read more »
barrettrossie
3 years 7 months ago

Gino, a quick review of the comments finds no one disputing your excellent point. When a large company has so few defenders, you have to wonder how long until they crash and burn.
Hey, you ever thought about applying for a job ad CEO of struggling social media giant? Bet you’d get a few letters of recommendation…

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago
@barrettrossie I don’t think Zuckerberg is a bad CEO. He knows what he knows and he brings in experts for the stuff he doesn’t know. That’s a smart leader. But I also think he’s crumbling to Wall Street pressure and going away from what it is he set out to do. The Crimson just posted their article online about thefacebook.com when it launched. It was pretty interesting to see he said he would never charge users to use the site. I think he’d like to stay that altruistic. Google has figured out how to make us the product; I don’t understand… Read more »
Josh/ http://joshuawilner.com/
3 years 7 months ago

Use Empire Ave and send people on missions to like your page and see if that helps balance it out. That is only partially tongue-in-cheek.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Josh/ http://joshuawilner.com/ Not a bad idea!

Josh/ http://joshuawilner.com/
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  It doesn’t provide the same targeting or reach as other methods, but it does drive traffic.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve got it! G you need to invent your own social network. Like Livefyre, but with pictures of puppies. I have nothing insightful to add- the comments here really say it all.

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd I would join that social network.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 7 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg Me too! I need to think more, but really, LiveFyre is my favourite thing about “social”. THIS is where I learn, connect, grow. Is this the future- more smaller networks based around actual commonalities? Rather than one monolith? Can I use some anthropological theory about societal collapse to support this notion? Where is my copy of A Short History Of Progress? Coffee?

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@RebeccaTodd You may be onto a winner there.. 🙂

Ginny Soskey
Ginny Soskey
3 years 7 months ago

Gini, awesome awesome post! I’ve been mulling this issue over for a while and I agree with you–Facebook is shifting toward pay-to-play rather than organic, which has huge implications for small businesses.
 
I’ve been interested to see how PR/marketing/communication folks are responding to this change–some are pointing out how frustrating this while others are urging people to work harder/be more creative to get around this barrier. We’ll see how people feel as Facebook’s model evolves, but for the moment this is still a pretty even debate. Thanks for this awesome post!

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Ginny Soskey I definitely think organizations need to be more creative and valuable in their use of social media AND I think Facebook needs to figure out if they’re content creators are users or the product. If they’re the user, then by all means, charge us for using the platform, but don’t also expect that we’re also going to create content for you.

kmskala
kmskala
3 years 7 months ago

Unfortunately, in business there is no level playing field. Never has been; never will be. It’s the same reason why Mom & Pop’s Hot Dog Stand doesn’t advertise during the Super Bowl.
 
Why should Facebook be any different? It’s a free platform. They have the right to make money & I don’t see it as a conflict of interest. It’s about the economics.
 
The issue I have is with brands putting so many of their assets on Facebook & other third-party assets. If your business is suffering because of a change Facebook made, that’s poor business. Nothing more; nothing less.

HeatherTweedy
3 years 7 months ago
@kmskala First off, I liked your post about this a few days ago on The Electric Waffle.   I don’t think that the Super Bowl analogy is entirely accurate.  In that situation, the network has created/purchased the content that brings in viewers that the advertisers pay for.  Here FB is essentially asking the content creator to pay.  That’s a bit like asking the producers of The Mentalist to pay CBS for the right to reach viewers that only tuned in to watch the show.  People are only on Facebook because of the wealth of content that is there and Facebook isn’t creating that content.… Read more »
LisaMarieMary
3 years 7 months ago

Would be super interesting to get some “affected stats” from George Takei! 
 
Also, I’m thinking more and more that G+ and their business pages are sounding better and better!

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 7 months ago

@LisaMarieMary I follow him, too. I love his posts.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg  @LisaMarieMary George Takei is awesome. I wish I were that funny.

TonyBennett
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich @ExtremelyAvg @LisaMarieMary Not knocking George or anything, but I’m pretty sure he gets his funny pictures from Pinterest. They’re just not as funny when I post them!

Sean McGinnis
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich  @ExtremelyAvg  @LisaMarieMary
 
I wish you were that funny too.

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Sean McGinnis  I constantly ask myself why we’re friends.

Sean McGinnis
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich When you ask, who answers and what do they say?

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Sean McGinnis I guess you can’t read.

Sean McGinnis
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich And when you answer yourself, what do you say? 😉

Sean McGinnis
3 years 7 months ago

d @ginidietrich An is it an ”out loud talking to myself in the mirro” sort of moment, or is this all happening in your head. Does that voice in your head answer in a Gollum-like voice?

Sean McGinnis
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich And is it an ”out loud talking to myself in the mirror” sort of moment, or is this all happening in your head. Does that voice in your head answer in a Gollum-like voice?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@akeats xoxo

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@currentlysavvy Dislike is right!

TonyBennett
3 years 7 months ago

My page interactions have still been increasing, but just as Jordan had his rules, superheroes gave theirs. Although, to be fair, my “increases” still don’t match your clients reduced figures.
Overall, your post is rather astute. It’s a desperate moneygrab and will likely send many seeking respite w/ FB’s biggest competitor(s).

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@TonyBennett We’ve been testing different things on our page and some things work while others do not. I also test things on my personal page and it’s funny to see what gets its second wind four or five days later.

katskrieger
3 years 7 months ago

Just came across this – here are some alternatives outside of FB (perhaps not possible), but I like the thought behind it. http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13084.aspx

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@katskrieger I’ve gone to read that link four times now. I’ll get there eventually!

joshchandler
3 years 7 months ago

@katskrieger I think the second point on the list in the article you link to “Concentrate on making your website more advocacy- and engagement-oriented. ” is the most important alternate marketing method to Facebook!

Justjeffpls
Justjeffpls
3 years 7 months ago

@ginidietrich Between u n me, r u a democrat r a democrat?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Justjeffpls I don’t talk politics!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@sradick Great minds…

pwfitz5
pwfitz5
3 years 7 months ago
Gini, nice post, good insight. This has been on my mind lately because of the number of political “promoted posts”.  While it has helped my manage my “friends” list, some of the posts are driven from family members with differing views, so while those cannot be eliminated, they still really P*&^ me off.  With this FB is trying to monetize the “Reach” the platform offers; as the political posts show though Reach without targeting is like Gin without Topics, it has little value.  Because I like my conservative uncle, and he likes conservative politics and politicians, my timeline is littered… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@pwfitz5 You crack me up! The political rants – from both sides – are driving me crazy, too. I cannot wait until tomorrow is over!

Suzi_C
3 years 7 months ago

@pwfitz5 It’s not the thoughtful political posts that get me. (I’m guilty of those. I was an aspiring political campaign manager at one point in my life. I got better.) What gets me are the posts fraught with hyperbole and emotional blackmail and the FRIGGIN MEMES that make me want to scream. GOOD NEWS:  I see that Google created an extension that replaces political posts with pictures of kittens. Enjoy.  
 https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/unpoliticme/ecnbjncmlfdfdpnnbloliloehpcmjglg

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@sradick You know what they say about great minds

mlaffs
mlaffs
3 years 7 months ago

@elissapr @ginidietrich @spinsucks I saw @gordonwithers post something similar

T60Productions
3 years 7 months ago

Unlike.
 
–Tony Gnau

ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@T60Productions LOL!

ianmcleary
3 years 7 months ago
Hi Gini,  interesting post.  One issue is that most brands are sending updates to fans that are not interesting so filtering out some of this content is actually useful.   It’s hard to figure out the best solution but at the end of the day Facebook look at this as a big revenue opportunity and as share price goes down I think the percentage of fans that see the content without paying will also go down.   What about the future when they say that your Facebook page becomes a destination site like a website so no updates goes to… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@ianmcleary You know, it’ll be interesting to see how/if that happens. I know there are pages I already visit daily just to be sure I see what they’ve posted. I suppose you could eventually have RSS feeds set up for the stuff you really want.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Tehcobra Well, thanks! I guess our experience with it doesn’t count @markwschaefer

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@Tehcobra I agree it does encourage good posting strategies. But it also can be VERY expensive for small businesses.

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[…] asked if Facebook’s paid promotions were a good idea for business, while Gini noted that promoted posts might remove the level playing field of social […]

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 7 months ago

@DebWeinstein xoxo

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[…] penned a post about how Facebook seems to be unfairly squeezing money from us by forcing us to use paid promoted posts to reach people who are already following us. It’s a good point of course, but I fell off […]

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[…] its News Feed algorithm so posts no longer reach the majority of fans. Recently, a blog post from Spin Sucks mentioned of the more than 63,000 people who have voluntarily liked their page and opted in to have […]

nickwuthrich
nickwuthrich
3 years 7 months ago

Same here!
 
This new model is KILLING our small web publication.
 
http://layopinion.com/?p=3108

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[…] message undesirable. With the requirement that they now pay to reach all of their own followers, Facebook pulled the rug out from under all of […]

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[…] We’ve even talked about it here on Spin Sucks. […]

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[…] Your posts do not get seen by everyone. People are already inundated with posts from brands; why would they want to see yours? And recent changes have made organic in-network growth almost impossible. […]

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[…] asked if Facebook’s paid promotions were a good idea for business, while Gini noted that promoted posts might remove the level playing field of social […]

ltcassociates
ltcassociates
3 years 5 months ago
Hi Gini,   You’ll get no argument from me over the “promoted post”, but I might quibble over a couple other items from your otherwise excellent article.   First, I don’t think it’s accurate to say, “Google’s been successful because they keep introducing free features.” Why not? Let’s do a quick thought experiment: if Google charged users directly (say $0.99/month) while Bing and Yahoo remained free (ie ad-supported), how long do you think folks would stick around? Fact is, it’s competition that keeps Google free (ie ad-supported), they have no other choice. (If you want to know why they’ve become… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 5 months ago
@ltcassociates Hey Stephen! Thanks for the thoughtful response.    I don’t entirely agree with your assessment of Google. If they started charging us and Bing and Yahoo remained free, I don’t think everyone would move simply because they’ve become more than search for us. They’ve become email and documents and storage and calendar and analytics and payment processing and more. And it’s all free. They know, in order to keep charging advertisers out the wazoo, they need to keep offering us (the product) more things for free so we’re so entwined in how we use them, we’ll never leave. Of course,… Read more »
ltcassociates
ltcassociates
3 years 5 months ago
@ginidietrich  Hi Gini,   You’d already won me over with your Facebook math– it just doesn’t add up.   Back to Google: you make a sound case that by this point, the entirety of what they offer amounts to a “suite” with which we’ve become quite fond of, reliant upon, or plain used-to.  Other competitors may offer *better* products, but we’d have to acquire them scattershot, a la carte. That’s a competitive advantage right there.   However, allow me to throw one more thought-experiment your way, just for kicks. Pandora and Spotify have both faced uphill battles in the “freemium”… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 5 months ago
@ltcassociates OK…on Google. No, I probably wouldn’t pay for an ad-free model because the ads don’t interrupt my experience. I know not to click on the links in the light orange box at the top of search results or the ones in the right-hand sidebar. I barely see those anymore.    The reason I pay for Spotify is the ads interrupted my experience. I’d be listening to my music and then I’d have to listen to an ad. That drove me nuts. So yeah, totally willing to pay for it to get rid of that interruption.   Same thing on Twitter… Read more »
ltcassociates
ltcassociates
3 years 5 months ago
@ginidietrich Hi Gini,   All right, let’s think about a Twitter or a Facebook for a moment… I feel like you’re getting my mind charged up, and I like it : ) If I think of your comment as a Customer Feedback Form, here’s what I’ve just learned:   1) My reticence to bombard you with ads and instead to keep them unobtrusive may backfire as a strategy. Why? Because the easier they are for you to tune out, the less likely you are to ever pay (Twitter or Facebook or whomever) to make them disappear.   2) My customer… Read more »
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[…] Your posts do not get seen by everyone. People are already inundated with posts from brands; why would they want to see yours? And recent changes have made organic in-network growth almost impossible. […]

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