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Don’t Like Me on Facebook

I just wrote the headline for this post and decided to omit this parenthetical: (Okay, Do, but, in Theory, Don’t). In other words, I do want you to like me on Facebook. Well, not the real me, Sam Mallery the person. You should like the Sam Mallery Brand Page. Why should you do this? I’ll be honest. Your like will help make my blog more attractive to potential customers, such as someone considering advertising on this site.

The reason that you shouldn’t like me on Facebook (even though you should), is that there’s a good chance you will never see anything I post. If you want to keep up with me, the last place you should look is your Facebook feed. This is the important point I am trying to make: if you have a Facebook Page for a business or non-profit, you probably shouldn’t be wasting energy on trying to get people to follow it.

It seems like ancient history now, but in late 2013, Facebook famously changed the way in which the Facebook Pages for brands and businesses can reach their fans. At the time, Facebook claimed that this was done in order to filter out bad content, so the average Facebook user would see more relevant and interesting things in their feed. What they really did was sever Facebook Pages for brands and businesses (and little bloggers like me) from our audiences.

An analogy is required here, just so you completely understand how serious of a matter this is. Imagine you’re a folk singer, and you’re performing in a small club with 50 people in it. This may not seem like a large crowd, but every single one of those 50 people came to your show because they actively decided to be fans of your music and to support you. You know that with 50 fans in the room, you can get on stage and have an awesome show. But here’s the problem: if this music club is Facebook, 50 of your fans can show up, but Facebook will only let two of them in. Playing a show with only two people the club almost always sucks. Trust me, I know.

In case this isn’t getting through to you, let me spell it out. If you have 50 likes on your Facebook Page, only three or four of those fans will actually see something you post in their timeline. The reason they won’t see your post is that Facebook is intentionally blocking your fans from seeing it. If you want more people to see your post, you have to pay Facebook money.

Here’s an example. In December, I shared a link on my Facebook Page to a post in which I reviewed the Nexus 5 smartphone. Now, even though this post is somewhat popular, its success has nothing to do with the fact that I shared it on Facebook. I have 46 fans, and when I posted this in December, only four of them saw the post.

That’s the craziest thing about Facebook’s new algorithm change: it doesn’t matter if you have two fans or two million fans, they apply the same restrictive measures on you. No matter how small or large your audience is, they will almost completely block you from accessing them.

It gets worse. If you give in and pay Facebook to serve your posts to more of your fans (a service that starts at $20.00 and goes up to $1500.00), your post will get lots of likes, but they will primarily be from faceless “click farms.” For more info on this topic, I strongly recommend watching this video from Veritasium:

The reason that I’m writing about this terrible situation nine months after it began is that I constantly see people, brands and businesses asking me to like them on Facebook. Often times these entities seem to be banking their entire social media strategy on Facebook alone, without utilizing YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and other more worthy and budget-friendly ways to reach your true audience. I feel bad for these people. They’re wasting their time, and if they invest money in boosting their Facebook posts, they are essentially advertising to an ocean of non-humans, and reaching fewer of their actual fans.

It’s really absurd. How many ads do you see where its suggested that you follow the advertiser on Facebook? This has been going on for years, and for most, it’s become a terrible waste of resources. So, in closing, I’d like to restate: please follow me on Facebook. However, if you want to hear what I have to say, pay my site a visit, or connect with somewhere else on the social web. That, I will like.

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Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

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