When setting up a new editorial property or content strategy, there’s usually a few boxes you have to check. URL? Check. CMS? Check. Editorial calendar? Check. Twitter? Check. Facebook page? Check.
However, publishers should stop and consider that last check mark. Since going public, the company has exposed its struggle to capitalize on its hundreds of millions of users. They’re relying on advertising, virtual goods, and revenue from digital games.
Over the past few months, the company is charging publishers for reaching their own audience. All those “likes” you have on your Facebook page? Your posts only reach a small percentage of those users. Want to reach everyone that has liked your page? Better pay up.
As Mark Cuban ranted last year:
By trying to be an incredibly efficient information delivery source, they confine our ability to organically reach most of our followers to using Sponsored Posts. They also significantly increase our costs because if we create a post that doesn’t engage our followers to the level the algorithm expects it to, it can impact our ability to be seen in the future. Talk about pressure. Put up a post, but be sure that EdgeRank doesn’t think it sucks.
Then of course there is the money. As many have written before me, sponsored posts can get expensive. If you post many times a day, that can get incredibly expensive
All of that hustle to get people to like your page? Gone with one tweak of EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm that choses what is displayed on its users’ news feed. Facebook is facing continuing pressure from investors to ratchet up tactics like these to help inflate its earnings. From the New York Times last month:
“Facebook said advertising on the mobile newsfeed accounted for 23 percent of its advertising revenue, up from 14 percent in the third quarter but slightly lower than some analysts had forecast.”
Facebook is increasingly incentivized to restrict the reach of publishers.
So don’t play that game. Instead, I implore you to stop asking users to like your Facebook page. Direct them to your own website, a platform you control completely and can directly refer users to content that leads to conversions.