Facebook has a problem and it’s a big one. It has to make money, and loads of it, and this requires an ever more aggressive monetizing strategy. But if you ask me, it’s this very strategy that is setting them up to fail.
This video below does a great job of explaining Facebook’s problem. It all boils down to this: in order to make money, Facebook is pushing back on organic traffic more and more and is increasingly relying on paid traffic. In stark comparison to YouTube where creators are getting paid to create based on views, creators have to pay on Facebook to get people to see their posts.
I used to love Facebook. Since I moved to another country and then even further away from my home country of The Netherlands, Facebook has been a great way to stay in touch with my friends and family. It’s the primary reason why I’m on Facebook, to be able to stay up to date with what’s happening in the lives of those I care about.
The problem is that with all the changes Facebook made to its algorithm, I don’t get to see all the updates I want to see. Facebook decides for me what matters to me (and does a bad job to be honest) and instead of updates from friends, I’m seeing more and more paid posts and ads in my feed (often called ‘suggested posts’ – very deceptive). These are irritating, which is made worse by the fact that Facebook doesn’t seem to realize that I’ve moved from Germany to the US, so they’re all still in German…
I see some posts from pages I’ve liked pop up, but not that many. Also, the same posts stay in my update for days sometimes (paid posts perhaps?), which truly baffles me. Undoubtedly, your experience is the same.
The only way to make sure I see all updates I want to see, is to go to the profiles or pages I want to receive every update from and choose ‘add notifications’ from the drop down menu under the ‘Friends’ button, so I’ll see when they’ve posted something. This is also what you should advise people who like your page by the way, especially if it’s a church or youth ministry page. Otherwise they will see less and less updates, unless they engage often with that page’s posts. Another option is to make someone a ‘close friend’ (not an option with a page).
Facebook’s strategy is to make people and brands and pages pay for their updates, so people will get to see them. My prediction is that this strategy will fail. If Facebook continues on this path, people will leave and search for an alternative that will allow them to see what they want to see. Even in a world where being commercial is fully accepted, there’s such a thing as pushing it too far. Facebook should look behind them to see where and when they crossed that line, because they sure did.
Teens are already leaving the number one social network in staggering numbers and others will follow. I’ve long given up on an effective strategy for a Facebook page and I’m seeing less and less click throughs to links I’m sharing from my personal profile. I have no intention however of paying people to read my updates and that will be the case for most of us. If this continues, I will be shopping for an alternative and I won’t be the only one. It may be obvious that Facebook is a very unreliable promotional source for brands and organizations as well.
The question is where to go. The most logical alternative may be Google+. I’ve never quite warmed up to that medium, and believe me, I’ve tried. But Google+ may rust reap the benefits of Facebook’s failing strategy, the future will be the judge on that. One thing is certain: Facebook’s strategy is bound to fail. I wonder why Facebook itself doesn’t seem to realize that?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, where do you think Facebook is heading? Can they turn their destiny around?
[HT to Michael Hyatt for sharing this video]