Well, hardly anyone…except for Jon Loomer. But we will talk about him in a minute and then I will have steered you in the right direction.
If you are a business that depends on Facebook marketing for communication with your clients/customers/fans then you may have heard about recent changes in the Facebook News Feed algorithm. The News Feed is the area that shows posts from people and brands you follow when you log in to Facebook on your computer or through the app. In a Dec. 2nd post on Facebook, the social media giant announced that they were making a change to the algorithm based on their recognition that “people want to see more relevant news and what their friends have to say about it.” They promise in this post in their newsroom that they would be “doing a better job of distinguishing between a high-quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook…”
This appears to be coded language which, when translated into English, means that “from now on if you want your business’s posts to be seen, you MUST pay to advertise them. If you don’t pay up, nobody will see your posts.”
Great. What Now?
Well, where does that leave all of the non-media, non-news organizations out there who have built a presence for themselves on Facebook, and have a following who expects (and wants) to see content from them? Chances are that Facebook does not see your company’s blog, website, or press releases as highly relevant or high quality. The problem here is that no one knows what Facebook is using to judge relevance or quality.
The Sky is Falling
After this announcement, the Internet was all abuzz, and it still is. People were in a complete state of panic, and many people took to their blogs crying foul and predicting the fall of Facebook. I don’t know if I would go that far. But I do think that Facebook made a poor decision that is impacting a large contingent of their Facebook Page owners (not individuals who just have Facebook Profiles).
Point Being…It’s Not Fair
The problem I see as most glaring is that many if not most of these Page owners have put a lot of time creating content and money running ads to build an audience of fans on their pages, just to have Facebook make changes that result in a decrease of reach of their posts to those Fans. Doesn’t it seem like a really bad business move to basically force your customers (you are a customer of Facebook if you have a Page) to HAVE to advertise to reach the Fans that they already paid once to attain so they could market to them with posts in the first place?
The Experts Weigh In. Or Do They?
Some of the biggest names in Facebook marketing have been chiming in on this since early December, and the point I want to make here is that I haven’t heard much at all that is helpful. Most of the articles I see are Chicken Little style rants, or they just talk about the fact that it happened and give no advice on how to move ahead with post-apocalyptic News Feed change. I recently listened to a podcast on Social Media Examiner’s site with Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, and Jay Baer. I was really disappointed after 45 minutes of nothing, no takeaways, no real data, nothing. The most laughable moment for me was when Jay Baer said “Don’t build your house on rented land.” Well, what is any type of advertisement? Our Facebook Pages are essential advertising vehicles. We don’t truly own the page, but we build there because that is where the audience is. If we build our own website we may own the “property” such as the domain, the website content, the developed pages. But we have to now pay to drive traffic to that location. When we build a Facebook Page we go there to find the users that we know are there and will be interested in our content. The only helpful content I found in the podcast was when Mari Smith told people to look to their FB Insights to get an idea of what their results have been since the algorithm changed.
Finally, Someone is Giving Us Some Advice!
Now, there is ONE Facebook marketing expert who I have heard (in his weekly webinars and podcasts) really address what has happened from the algorithm change, and that is Jon Loomer. In the following webinar, you will be introduced to Jon who is one of the only marketers that I have seen who is willing to tell us his opinion and make the case for each of those opinions with examples and data. Some of this content is from early after the algorithm changed, but here are some examples of his straight-shooting style and honest opinions plus some other informative links. Thanks, Jon!
- EdgeRank Checker Study of Reach Since December 2nd
- News Feed Algorithm Change: No More Memes or Asking for Likes
- An Experiment: Testing Facebook’s News Feed Filtering Algorithm
- How to Maximize Organic Reach in the Facebook News Feed
- Why Our Obsession with Facebook Page Post Reach is All Wrong
- AgoraPulse Barometer for Benchmarking Stats