Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's time to stop building fans on Facebook

In the last few years we have seen a mad rush by brands to build fans on Facebook as if acquiring the highest number of fans is akin to winning an Olympic Gold. FB has been capitalising on this rush by offering Brands many advertising options to acquire this base which has been promptly lapped up by all.

Many Digital professionals including me embraced Facebook as it gave us an opportunity to build a fan base and engage this base. However what is disconcerting now is that Facebook has started controlling what my Fan base will see. First they discontinued a tool that allowed us to send a message to all the fans. Second they tweaked the algorithm which gave more weightage to content with pictures and video. In recent times once they realized that brands are benefiting immensely they reduced the weightage of links, pictures and videos and only text posts are able to get substantial reach.

Now, FB has launched a new tool called Boost which is to promote my post to my own fan base.

After spending so much time, money and effort in building a base, I am now told that I can't talk to my fans. This should be the final nail in the coffin and I don't see how it is tenable for brands to continue spending time, money and effort on Facebook.

Here is an example of one of the pages that I manage. The quality of content also matters but this is the general reach trend of each type of post that I have observed.

  • A text post gets maximum reach thus ensuring that Brands do not gain too much benefit but can reach out through a simple message. 
  • Link posts get the least amount of reach ensuring that users don't leave FB.
  • Image posts are somewhere in between

I saw a lovely campaign by UNICEF and I believe this truly reflects the sentiments of people who create Fan pages on FB.

By Ramakrishnan Laxman
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