Well Facebook’s testing is complete and the verdict is in:
You can buy your friends.
Perhaps Facebook should consider a name change. Since becoming an IPO, they seem to be scrambling up ways to recover from their seemingly financial fall. Now Facebook has completely changed how their Pages work–such as ChurchMag, organizations and your church.
Here’s what they’ve done:
It’s no conspiracy. Facebook acknowledged it as recently as last week: messages now reach, on average, just 15 percent of an account’s fans. In a wonderful coincidence, Facebook has rolled out a solution for this problem: Pay them for better access.
As their advertising head, Gokul Rajaram, explained, if you want to speak to the other 80 to 85 percent of people who signed up to hear from you, “sponsoring posts is important.”
In other words, through “Sponsored Stories,” brands, agencies and artists are now charged to reach their own fans—the whole reason for having a page—because those pages have suddenly stopped working.
This is a clear conflict of interest. The worse the platform performs, the more advertisers need to use Sponsored Stories. In a way, it means that Facebook is broken, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users. In the case of Sponsored Stories, it has meant raking in nearly $1M a day.
If you’ve noticed a dip in your Facebook Fan Page reach, here’s why:
You haven’t forked over the cash.
No matter your reason for using a Facebook Fan Page, this completely pollutes and taints the basic functionality of how Facebook works. If you’re a casual Facebook user and you think this won’t effect you, you’re wrong. As you troll through your own news feed, don’t expect to see the updates from your favorite brands and bands, as they may not have given their credit card info to Facebook, yet.
So, then, what are churches, non-profits and anyone else who doesn’t “Like” this latest move?
Although Facebook has really hurt themselves with this tactic, that doesn’t mean you have to jump ship, yet. I recommend you don’t delete your page. At best, just ignore it and see if Facebook has a change of heart. There is one thing, however, Facebook hasn’t tainted:
Likes and Shares.
If individual users of Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ your message–whether it be on your website or found on Facebook–your message will reach into peoples news feeds. Not all is lost, you’ll just have work harder at it.
Let this be a reminder not to keep all your eggs in one basket and be sure you to diversify your social media reach.