There’s been a whole lot of chatter lately over Facebook’s new algorithm changes, and most of it is of the angry variety.
You may have seen the infamous Facebook “breakup letter” that’s gone viral over the last few days. I just read it (ironically…on Facebook), and I’ve got to say…while I was able to chuckle a little at the humor of it…I thought it was one of the sillier things I’ve read in a while.
I have a feeling that this post might tick some folks off, but I want to offer you a different point of view on all this Facebook stuff.
I got my first taste of these major changes when I posted an update to my business page back in February, and it received only 20 likes.
I definitely thought to myself, “What the…?”
I have nearly 23,000 followers. And only about a thousand of them even saw it? I normally get at least a couple of hundred likes on a post.
I was pretty shocked, yes.
But angry? No, and I’ll tell you why.
Reason #1. Facebook is about making money. And that’s okay.
I’ll just get this part out of the way first, because it seems to be the thing most people are all up in arms about.
Facebook is a business.
A HUGE business.
They’re in it for the moolah. I’m not mad at them for that. If I was able to make bazillions by charging people to advertise on my website…that would be pretty cool.
One of the ways to keep raking in all that loot is to remain the #1 site that everybody visits, repeatedly. You know that friend you have, who treats their Facebook page like it’s a real person in their life? (We all have that friend.) The friend who tells everything to Facebook, all throughout their day, all day long? That person is good for Facebook. Facebook wants people to keep telling their entire lives to Facebook.
But since they’ve been allowing businesses to have business pages for free, for all this time… to advertise, promote, and pretty much do what they want…there are TONS of pages now. Tons and tons of them. Good pages, bad pages, annoying pages, funny pages, and every kind of page in between.
If every follower was shown every post by every business page they’ve ever liked…what would the news feed begin to look like?
You’d have to sift through hundreds of posts if you ever wanted to see Aunt Millie or your high school BFF, ever again.
If the Facebook experience becomes more business, and less fun, people would eventually begin getting a little less excited about the idea of telling everything to Facebook.
Being a business, this is not in Facebook’s best interest. And you know what? It’s not in the best interest of its users, either. As a personal user, I’d rather see a few “sponsored” ads here and there, than be totally drowned in the posts of every page I’ve ever liked from 2007 until now.
Reason #2. Things change, and that’s okay, too.
My business looks nothing like it did when it first began.
I didn’t have a blog (or even know what one was). My pictures were not so great (horrible, actually). My shop was on eBay, not Etsy. I charged much less for my things.
In fact, my prices have changed very significantly. The first person to ever buy one of my ornaments got it for a mere $6. Now, I rarely charge below $30, and that’s on the low end. Things have changed. My costs are different, my business is different, and the supply and demand for my ornaments is different.
We all change and evolve, and we shouldn’t get angry that Facebook is, too. They used to give us free advertising. They don’t anymore. Now we have to pay for it.
Should Facebook just try to stay exactly the same (and free) so that no one gets mad at them?
Well…should I still be charging $6 an ornament? Should you never raise your prices?
Reason #3. Facebook advertising is amazing.
Have you ever explored what you can do with Facebook advertising?
You can target specific people practically down to the color of their underwear (okay, maybe it’s not THAT precise, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised).
It’s almost scary how specific you can be – so, as someone trying to market your products, why not take advantage of that?
Back in the beginning days of my business, I spent more for advertising than I do now, and I got a lot less for it. Now, if I am given the ability to cheaply target the exact person who would probably love what I am selling, based on their interests, the other pages they’ve “liked,” the magazines they read, the people they follow, anything I choose to target…I am certainly going to take advantage of that ability for as long as I possibly can, and you’d better believe I’ll be happy about it.
Because this could all change one day, too, couldn’t it?
And the last reason why I’m not mad at Facebook is…
Reason #4. I never relied on Facebook to begin with.
I’ve used Facebook, and have actively worked to get more followers.
But I had a different goal in mind than just getting those followers.
My goal has always been to bring those followers back to my own website.
Here is how I use Facebook:
I spend $5 a day to very specifically target people I know would like my stuff.
With that money, I mostly promote pages on my blog, which serves to bring those new people directly to my blog – which is where I then get their email address. Once I’ve collected that email address, it doesn’t matter as much if that person sees my latest Facebook post. That person will see my email. It doesn’t matter anymore what Facebook does.
If a person does happen to visit my Facebook timeline, I have a post pinned to the top of my page, which offers new visitors a free pattern…and also gets their email address.
And finally, my timeline photo, when clicked, leads to…you guessed it: An invitation to sign up for my email list.
Because, in the end, as Facebook is proving right now, the only thing that we will ever have full control over is our own site.
And so, while I will for sure miss the free advertising that Facebook has allowed for so long, my heart isn’t broken over it. I’m not upset enough to “break up” with Facebook. I will continue to take advantage of what Facebook does offer me, which is social proof, and an opportunity to spend my advertising budget wisely and efficiently.
Let me know what you think. Do you agree with any of these points? Do you disagree? Let’s have a discussion.