I would pull on my cranky pants right now but I think I would be only wasting valuable energy.
And in a week when that energy has been in short supply, it’s best I don’t. For all concerned.
Why the cranky pants thoughts?
In a word: Facebook.
It’s just not what it used to be.
I’m not talking about the time back in 2007 when we all wrote our status updates with our name as the first part of the sentence. Like someone else was talking about us on our behalf.
Here’s one of my gem’s from back in the day: is at home
What will also possibly amuse you – or make you vomit – is that when I started on Facebook, I started as a couple. Yes, I registered with my name and my husband’s in the one profile. I KNOW.
In my (very weak) defence, this was back in the day of a one-computer house – a desktop PC – no smartphones, no tablets, no laptops, hell, no wireless internet. It saved us time if I did all the updating and sharing on our behalf.
But when I started this blog, I started a business Facebook page and realised that it wasn’t really all that professional to have a cutsie double-barrelled couple name as admin on the page. The final straw was when Mr SY became a fan of Mc Lovin. We had to split.
So from that moment on, I plugged away at my little Facebook page, building a community that has become an extension of the community that hangs out here on the blog.
Conversely, I hang out there because so many of my readers do too (Facebook sends the most people to my blog after Google).
But lately it’s been pretty quiet over on that page. I show up for the party every day and night but very few people are actually getting the invite.
Things got worse about four weeks ago. And in the last couple of weeks other page admins have started to notice it too.
The algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what goes into a person’s News Feed has changed.
Based on stats of the last few weeks, about 10% of the people who actually like my page are seeing my Facebook posts in their New Feed. That’s not so good, is it?
I’m not stupid though. I know we get Facebook for free, that it’s a publicly listed company and they need to make money to keep their shareholders happy … but it’s a little bit disappointing that as page owners we’re pretty much being corralled into paying to promote our posts … to the very people who have chosen to like our page.
Paying to promote your posts does work. To a point. Yes, you’ll get into the News Feeds of more people (you get to specify and pay for how many) but it can take three days for that to happen.
Now, I don’t know about you, but from where I see it, the reason why social media has taken off in the last five years is because of the immediacy of how people can share information.
Three-day old news is, well, OLD.
What about the stuff you WANT to see in your News Feed?
To counteract these changes, yes, I’ll have to get more savvy in other areas of my blog marketing (see below) but, as a Facebook user, what really gets up my social media goat is that if I’ve liked a page, it may surprise Facebook to know that I actually want to know what that page is sharing.
Umm … that’s why I hit the like button in the first place.
I WANT to be informed about a special offer from a favourite store. I WANT to watch a teaser from a favourite TV show. I WANT to contribute to the conversation around a current event of the day.
But I won’t necessarily get to do that because Facebook is telling me what I WANT by deciding what flows into my News Feed.
It’s a different story on my other social media networks.
If I jump on Twitter, or Pinterest or Instagram, the feed is current. What I see at that time is what I get. I can flick, stop, comment, retweet and repin to my social media heart’s content.
And that’s the way I like it.
How I’m dealing with Facebook News Feed changes
1. I’m experimenting with promoted posts. I’m avoiding time-specific posts and concentrating on ones related to a blog post from which I receive income (so I can offset advertising costs) or a post like my multi-draw competitions that help build my email subscriber database.
2. I’m only promoting posts to people who like my page. I’m doing this in the hope that my promoted posts are not seen as spammy. I figure just because someone is a friend of a liker, doesn’t mean they’ll like my page. I’ve grown my Facebook community organically and that’s the way I like to keep it.
3. I’ve created a series of Facebook “Interests” lists. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for some time. This week I went through all the pages that I’ve liked and grouped them into different “Interests”. For instance, I created a list called Blog Roll and put in it all the blog pages that I like on Facebook. (If you’re not on the list … leave a link to your FB page in the comments below and I’ll add you x)
You’ll find the Interests category in the left-hand side bar on your News Feed page. Simply click on Add Interests and it will prompt you through the rest. Then you can click on your Interest list and see a news feed for that Interest List. I’ve only been tracking it for a couple of days but it seems as if you see all the posts from those pages you’ve added to the list.
You can make the list public, friends-only or private. If public or friends-only, other people can subscribe to your lists.
4. I’m grateful that I have an email database. If you blog and you haven’t started one, please do. Truly, so many people do still want access to your blog via their inbox.
5. Get your head around SEO. Search engines are your blog’s friend. I’m still getting my head around this after more than four years. I don’t ever want to get bogged down in it but it’s worth doing a bit of research on how understanding SEO can help you. If you’re on WordPress, I’ve found the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin really good for holding your hand through the SEO process on each post.
6. Explore another social media network – or two. Pinterest is starting to send more and more visitors to my blog. And for some people it surpasses Facebook for blog referrals. Instagram is another where I like to hang out. It’s not as trackable (unless I include a direct link) as to whether people are coming to my blog via it but the community on my IG page is like the Facebook of old. I like it. Twitter still has its fun moments – particularly at night time when you can join in a conversation around something that’s on TV or something topical from the day. I’m not great with Google+ – have been on it from the start but not on it if you know what I mean? Zoey from Shake Media has written a post that is one of the best around in helping you understand G+ and whether you should jump on board.
The way I see it, we can get our knickers in a cranky knot over changes on other people’s social media platforms but when it comes down to it, it is their platform to do with what they like.
You have your own platform, your blog.
Keep building writing and producing great content on that platform and your readers will want to share.
What are you thoughts on the changes to the Facebook News Feed? As a page admin? As a Facebook user?
Share your blogging know-how
Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.
Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.
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