This past Friday, I noticed that my Facebook updates were getting about 20% of the reach that they usually get.
Then I stumbled on an article from AdAge where Facebook openly states that fan page owners should expect their organic reach to continue to decline over time… and the best way to get your stuff seen is to pay for reach.
I’m not going to tell Facebook how to run their business because it’s their business…
…but here’s what YOU need to do as someone who relies on your Facebook page.
The Big Problem About Paying Facebook For Reach
If you’re like me, you often share a lot of great content that doesn’t cost anything.
And your fans like your page because they want this content.
However, Facebook wants us to pay to reach our fans. That’s 100% okay when you’re selling something, but when you’re just giving away valuable content, it does not make financial sense.
And since it doesn’t make financial sense to promote content you give away, this means your fans won’t receive the content they want (as demonstrated by them liking your page).
They’ll only see what you pay to promote and you’ll only pay to promote sales pitches.
This is bad for you and your fans.
But here’s the thing:
Your Facebook Fans Don’t Know This…
When people like your page, they don’t realize what goes on behind the scenes. They might like your page because they want recipes, fitness tips, or whatever it is that you do.
They don’t realize that Facebook wants you to pay Facebook to give them the content they want.
So, what can you do?
TELL YOUR FANS.
Don’t complain about Facebook and their changes. It’s Facebook and they’re allowed to do what they want, when they want.
But you should let your fans know what’s happening, and then invite those fans to sign up for your email list.
Because if they don’t hop on your email list, the only time you’ll pay to reach them is when you’re selling something.
And they’ll only see sales pitches… not content.
What should you say?
You can say something like this:
According to AdAge, Facebook said, “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time…” And a Facebook spokesperson said, “the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”
This means you may not receive my content anymore via the Facebook page because it doesn’t make sense for me to pay Facebook to send you [insert what you do here].
So, if you’d like to BE SURE you don’t miss out on all the great content we offer, you should hop on our email list.
And then you should link to an optin page.
Do you want to grow your blog?
Use simple tactics found in this free ebook to attract your first 5,000 subscribersYes, send me the free ebook
Now you know I’ve said this forever…
If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot.
I know that’s harsh, but when companies can destroy your entire business in one fell swoop, you should rely on things you can control.
And you can control your email database.
If you’re wondering how to get started building your email list, I’ve got a FREE ebook. In it, I walk you through “How to Get Your First 5,000 Subscribers.”
You can download the free ebook right here.
No strings attached. Just enter your name and email, and you’re set. More than 25,000 people have seen this ebook and they’ve LOVED it.
I really SHOULD start selling this thing, but for now, it’s absolutely free. So grab it while it’s still up.
(If you want to know who I recommend for email marketing, I recommend AWeber. It’s who I use. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they have a $1 trial. Yes, that’s an affiliate link meaning I get thirty cents when you sign up for the trial. Coffee is on you today, heh :-D).
So make sure you let your Facebook fans know what’s going on so they don’t miss your content.
What do you think of these Facebook changes?
Leave a comment.
Some of you may think “Well Facebook will still show your post if your fans engage with it.”
But I’m worried that isn’t true.
Look at this screenshot:
Facebook tells me my post is more engaging than other posts I’ve submitted. And they recommend I pay to promote this page. And they’re only showing it to 3,000 people (of 38,000).
That’s why I’m concerned.
And that’s why I push my email newsletter FIRST and foremost here on SocialTriggers.com.
No wonder I’m telling you to build your list, too, right? 🙂
At least I practice what I preach.
So tell your fans about your email newsletter right now.
Then download my free ebook on to get your first 5,000 subscribers.
Do you want to grow your blog?
Use simple tactics found in this free ebook to attract your first 5,000 subscribersYes, send me the free ebook
Also – if you know anyone who runs a Facebook page, share this link with them. So they can update their fans as well.
Remember, this isn’t about complaining about Facebook. Its their website and they can do what they want. It’s about educating our fans so they can make the decision that’s right for them.
I feel like all your ideas are incredible! good article helped me a lot
Tried Facebook ads for business for about Three (3) and after gaining 9000 followers mainly from Turkisthan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and some other countries I can’t remember how to spell, countries which I have no clue existed and could have optimised my campaign to reach those territories. Facebook for Ads algorithm raked havoc on my campaign and sent me the traffic it believed should work best for me which the traffic didn’t.
Am lucky if I post an update to my Fan page and of the 9000 followers I would ever be so lucky to attract any engagement whatsoever from 20 of that fanbase.
It’s ridiculous, mind you am of the belief that their algorithm was at it’s infancy at the time and would have been prone to numerous bugs that needed fixing but would Facebook admit it? They haven’t up to now even after I send their support line a vigorously worded letter of my discontent with their service so I no longer promote with Facebook Ads anymore as it sucks. You’ll get non engaging traffic to your Fan page from low tiered countries at a cheap cost per click or low CPM but highly priced ads being serviced from the top tier countries which cause your $5000 to go quickly with the same non engaging results from annoyed users who are already ad blinded and too numerous ads running inside their timeline and there are the users who will click on your ad out of spite know quite well you are paying for the click.
Hundreds of Millions of Facebook users worldwide look at ad serving in their timeline with morbid resentment as it interrupts their “flow” when their in that moment getting ready to comment on some silly pet video or react to some fake news trending around a celebrity.
It’s useless to be using Facebook from a meaningful business perspective as Facebook is not for business, it’s now the go to source for grandma to showcase her knitting and to post animated GIF images of her dentures snapping in a glass of cool cucumber water – anyone interested in buying some bulk cucumber juice?
This was a great article with a real-life example, which I love. Thanks for this post.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK FAN PAGE, READ THIS:
Facebook need money ! Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money !
If you have money then is ok you can have a fb page, as you have to pay otherwise if you don’t have money then forget it, nobody see the posts of your fb page, even if you have million likes.
Thank you for the information. The discrepancy in reach and likes was driving me crazy.
Facebook should at least reward advertisers with increased organic reach.
Very great article
While I understand you feelings, I find it hilarious. No fears, it is an age thing. Your generations always thinks they can find a way to get something for nothing. In my day it was cable TV and Net flex. It my parents day is was overload commercials. You have to realize that nothing is free! You gotta pay the piper! Every generation has a different piper.
This is exactly why things like SEO trump everything.
If people really want what you have they are almost always sure to Google it or use another search engine. While you can’t always be assured you’ll be on page one, it’ll at least do you a lot better to be out there on something other than Facebook or another social media site.
This article is a real eye opener! I only started to blog and thought I was doing something wrong when people who liked my FB page started disappearing from the list of likes that I could see. I invite friends to like my page, they like it, and then the next day I cannot see them anymore, and they don’t see what I post unless they actually come to my page.
I’ll have to start thinking about subscriptions.
I’ve never understood how email lists can be successful. All mailing lists that I’m on end up in my “Promotions” folder (Gmail) or spam, which is exactly where I want them, so I can ignore them effectively. I get bombarded with swarms of emails from mailing lists that I’ve mostly been forced to sign up to over the years, the last thing I want is to sign up for more emails that I’m not going to read.
It’s all about the content and your effectiveness at marketing yourself. If you’re putting stuff in the promotions folder you’re likely not that interested in it, anyway. The same psychology is likely going on with others who do that, too.
That may be the case with a lot of emails, and my inbox was that way for a while too. But the idea is that you want to make your emails WORTH receiving and opening. I like when Derek sends out his emails because they have good, relevant stuff for me.
I just went to download the free ebook and the links didn’t work?
On my fanpage I can’t target my peferred languages for free anymore, do you know of any changes??
I never use to use Facebook for good reasons, but have seen that a lot of the fan base still chooses to engage with these criminals, therefore I have attempted to use them but lol omg. Over 3000 people have liked my fan page but Facebook keeps taking them off. I know because I have liked my posts from another Facebook and they also get removed. As far as people seeing my posts haha! Not happening.
Recently I went through another marketing corporation who promises that at least 64 of 2000 people who clicked on my ads actually engaged with my Facebook. lol. And Facebook still knocks them off. It’s ridiculous. They should just charge a monthly fee and stop messing with everyone. I am a business but after reading how they treat non business owners, cripes! These people are crooks and everyone should know about what they are doing. Thanks for writing this.
Don’t let Facebook make you believe that your product or talents suck. when in reality they are keeping people from viewing your page. It’s communism.
dude i was with you until you said tell my fans not to complain about facebook, because its face book and they can do what they want when they want. that’s malarkey, and it made me started looking at you through one eye. i’m beginning to wonder if you either in on it or have something up your own sleeve, because as an experience musician and person, i know nobody gives anything for free. there’s always a catch even if it’s down the road. our fans should complain about face book, if they are manipulating us and everybody else you said it yourself. the information you giving away is not only old news but it’s also our given rights. a business that don’t have their own site or email list is an idiot (bottom line) and for anybody else who’s reading this there are plenty of email marketing buisinesses out there just google them up, and see which one is right for you. you don;t have to pick his. dude if you are real hit me up at my website email and we can talk from there. tiredn of one damn scammer after another one
So that’s why everyone prefers Twitter to FB!
Thank you for sharing this. When I started a page for my animal rescue I put a lot of my own money into advertising to bring people to my page. I now have lots of people who have Liked my page because of my investment. Here’s the catch. Despite this with over 242,000 Likes my posts are only allowed to be seen by less than 1% of these people. So, money wasted. I paid for advertising to boost my reach and now Facebook wants me to pay again to allow these same people to see my posts. Seems like extortion. It has gotten worse since they went public. Before I could reach maybe 25% of my fans now it has decreased so that without a huge financial investment for each post they are hardly viewed by anyone, because of Facebook and their policies. It is so disappointing. We are a very small non profit so can not afford this ever. So I get no new Likes and no contact with the audience I have already invested in creating. So, Facebook no longer gets even the pittance I had been willing to pay. Does not seem like smart business to me, but it is their choice. Wish I had found out about this email idea sooner. Maybe it will help. Thank you for your ideas.
Hi, I am wondering if there is a way for me to tell how much in total I have spent on FB ads in a certain period? Thanks.
I run a celebrity news blog site, and for the past maybe two weeks, I have noticed that my posts have been getting seen by at least 400-600 people, then last night one of my posts got over 900 and a couple shares, then immediately after my posts dropped to 50 reach. What the hell?! But what’s weird is it’s at 50 reach, but 45 clicks? So I don’t understand that
I personally don’t think it’s fair for someone who isn’t selling something, that I have to pay to promote my content to get enough people to read my post. That is why I post on other social networks, so I get readers to know about my blog. I also think it’s important to post my website through search engines as well, so it would be easily indexed and able to find.
Perfect tips, thanks a lot. I used facebook to distribute free content and sales through facebook, but now my strategy will have to change obviously.
when was this article written? Can not see a timeline
I see that Facebook fan page is an effective way to build the social reputation of every marketer and getting high amount of highly targeted traffic to the site and Facebook groups as well help to share ideas about internet marketing industry
True John. But only if you pay around 30 dollars a month for the service.
The original suggestion to create a subscriber list is a smart work around. I can’t argue much with Facebook’s decision, however, because they were providing a valuable resource– access to their subscribers– at no cost. Providing a valuable service without compensation is a bad long-term business strategy, as I hope every social media consultant would agree. From a personal standpoint, I was beginning to feel that some people in my network were beginning to blur the line between sharing personal and professional content. Asking brands to pay to boost exposures, and making it clear the timeline post is sponsored, sharpens the line and reduces the potential for creating customer resentment. For me anyway.
Most of my sales are done through Groups on Facebook, vs a business page or an event, which has gone down this same path. Going to try the no URL links route to see what happens.
Change is tough. It’s organically uncomfortable. So is growth. Remember puberty (at least from your parents’ perspective)? The numbers tell the truth: you can effortlessly Like a Page but you would blow your brains out trying to keep up with all the posts you’ve ‘invited’ into your feed. FB had to do something. It’s our choice to change.
As a business, I now have to be smarter, clearer, more entertaining and more engaging. I have to grow up.
Yes, again, but if I don’t want to live I will die. And that’s not an option myself or my business is willing to consider.
I had built up my page to about 340,000 likes but now I think less than 1% or so see our content. Its unfortunate but its just a great reminder for anyone not to rely solely on one source (except building an email list) but to diversify.
Thanks for posting about this!
I manage the marketing for a small yoga studioin Canada, and I too noticed a HUGE drop-off in the # of people we were reaching on a daily basis with our content via facebook.
Whenever someone new comes to our studio, we ask them “how did you hear about us?” 60% of the time its from facebook via one of our posts their friend liked, or content of ours their friend shared. The rest of the time is thru word of mouth. We’ve decided to spend some money with facebook advertising because, quite frankly, that’s where people are finding out about us! We spent close to 1K in newspaper ads, and only had 3 people come through the door saying that’s how they heard about us.
While it’s a little frustrating to spend money on an advertising source which was once upon a time free to use, I’m okay with forking over a small amount of dough to continue reaching our audience. Gotta fish where the fish are biting!
Yes its really so sad…
I have a Community Page which have more than 2000 likes but my goods posts reach only to 200 to 300 people after a day… Its really so sad… If i knew it earlier i will never create any page… 🙁 🙁
I agree, Facebook can do whatever they want. They are their own company. But what’s also clear is that we as marketers are swimming upstream against Facebook’s current vision of themselves, and we continue to try to play catch up to their most recent business re-imagining.
Facebook has spent the last couple years revering themselves as a (free) marketing platform with beefed up insights so you could measure your effectiveness. Marketers hopped on board – a free marketing platform?? Why wouldn’t we be on board, especially considering what Facebook was telling us about their own company and how useful they could be to us?
Now, instead of quickly pulling the rug out from under us, they are slowly tugging at it, so we barely notice how the ground beneath our feet is changing.
Facebook is openly admitting they are putting up a wall and you can no longer accurately analyze your digital marketing efforts, yet they are anything but transparent when it comes to their blocking methods, what reach you’re actually getting, or what they’re reporting to us vs. what is actually happening.
If Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms keep this up and don’t allow for true and accurate data/marketing effort measurement, and continue to stick their hand into the mix, they are quickly going to become obsolete as a tool and likely drive businesses off social media. Additionally if all fans are seeing is paid content, it eliminates the real feel of connection to that business, and you lose all humanization. Smaller businesses will go first, then fans will be left in a Big Brand world and those brands will be stuck in a paid advertising arms race.
So is this move good for Facebook in the short run? Sure, they’ll make money now. But in the long run? Definitely not.
Thanks for the great share buddy, I wondered why my reach had dropped.
If you do decide to sell your book, the best way is through Kindle, hit me up if you need any help.
Have a great week
Kevin (aka The Kindle King)
My fan page pretty much got destroyed when some jack ass sent me over 10,000 new fans from South America. The guy thought he was helping me out by increasing my fan count, but sadly all he did was funnel me a ton of people who could care less about anything I have to say and therefore destroyed my engagement.
I pretty much gave up on the fan page after that. 🙁
I am seeing a lot of businesses depending entirely on Facebook alone as on online presence. They don’t have even a simple website. They post like crazy on Facebook. Is it correct to say that unless they are paying for reach, only a small percentage of their “contacts” are seeing their efforts? And that they have built up this following in the real world, people that they’ve gotten to go on Facebook and like them, but those very same people even after liking are not seeing all the content? And that those people to have liked your business expecting to see news from your business, are not getting the feed that the thought they were signing up for? That sounds like I said the same thing twice, but what I’m trying to say is both parties are disillusioned because they have not reached each other. Do I understand it right?
Kelly I second your thoughts. I am a nonprofit and my target demographic was getting most of their info on our public fan page. We have over 25 closed groups on FB, but those are broken down by regions and specific parts of our program. My students diligently built up our following into the low thousands and if we now reach 30 teens a post we are lucky.
They are abandoning this part of FB in droves, although not the groups. High school students don’t read email anymore. Sad as it is there isn’t anything that comes close to the universality of FB. We can’t even migrate to google + because that is blocked in some of the countries we work in.
Basically, hating FB a lot and I have yet to see good work around for small NONprofits who are not SELLING anything.
As most of my facebook posts I give away as I share inspirational quotes and messages my reach is now down to 1%. I won’t be paying but I am moving over to google+ now and concentrating my time there and on twitter where I get more feedback and connections. Facebook is moving away its real fans away now and facebook will be rife with spammy sales in my opinion as they don’t see to discriminate between quality content and crap.
Kelly, I’m sorry to call you out but your inspirational quotes are crap without any promotion. I’m not talking about paid promotion on Facebook either. I’m talking about taking your content from your page and sharing it to where your ideal customers are hanging out on Facebook. Just like Derek says…content isn’t king.
I say finding the right ways to work facebook like a boss for free is king.
I was hoping this article was going to answer my questions but there is literally no date indicating whether or not it’s even relevant since FB’s most recent changes, so I figured the only time I’ll waste here is by letting you know how bad I wish you had a publish date somewhere on here… even the comment thread is entirely absent of publish dates. :-/
HOWEVER, I do think you’re the man. Saw you on Creative Live a few months ago and even bought a course. Well worth the money.
Direct mail llists is also a good idea to offering a promos and discounts to get some attention.
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I have to say the same thing as other people on here what is the double standard. If people like my page they should get updates from my page. Why should we even pay for sponsored likes if you have to pay again for those likes to see updates.
You are wrong, Derek, about the statement: “Its their website and they can do what they want.” Facebook is a social media website. It is true that a corporation runs the site, but it does not OWN the site. The site is owned by the people who use it. Unfortunately, the corruption of our government legislatures being lined with the money from corporations such as the one that run Facebook is the reason why the people are losing their right to control how the website is run. What needs to be done is the people need to revolt, file lawsuits against the corporations that run them and put them back in the hands of the people. The same is true with Google and Yahoo!, like Facebook they were once benign corporations accepting the mantle of running websites that were useful to the owning public, but that is no longer the case. Laws need be enacted that will imprison these corporate leaders who have stolen the freedoms of the people, so that freedom and liberty will once again reign.
That can also be named “corporate prostitution”, which – would still be fine, since the people would still get something out of it, too. But now, it’s plain and simple “fraud”.
Seriously, if these guys would need to face “laws” as the general, small public, then Mark Zuckerwatte would sit in a dark, cold and ugly cell.
Fortuatley, one more crook had joined the big “legal” mafia table, the government.
That’t how it works in this world. No guys, get some things straight, really. See black as what it is, “black”, simple as.
Great article! I have been watching the views of my posts get smaller and smaller. It is very discouraging. I have almost 1,500 likes and yesterday I posted three times and had an average of 70-90 views of each post. I’m transitioning my efforts to pinterest and instagram. I’m also having trouble getting people sign up for email… any more tips? I have hosted a couple free giveaways but that only got me about 5 additional email followers each time. Thanks so much!
No, that’s not a nice article, Derek.
How dare you to speak the truth.
But, thank you for confirming me, indeed.
Sure – FB, Google, Microsoft and Apple. while we make em all rich, they will just F*** us, like nothing, if we stop paying them
Call it freedom of whatever, I call it the dirtiest practices on earth. And everybody ON – specifically that facecrook thing, everybody need to consider, not to keep themselves so dependent on this candy man.
Weren’t candy men considered dangerous people, years back, when these men still walked the streets?
Well, nowadays they are much more dangerous, because they come from above, out of the clouds, and just hit you over the head and you wouldn’t even guess, when it happens ….
WATC OUT >>> there he comes …
Thanks Derek, for being open spoken and telling the facts as they are.
I get it on the importance of a list and opt-ins BUT can anyone give their opinions on this please: previously the concensus seemed to be to comment once a day or a few times a week max on FB…that was plenty…or it would be overkill posting.
Now that the majority of our customers aren’t seeing our posts, would it hurt to post several times a day to reach more fans?
Forget facebook, twitter, pintrest, etc. I only use them to store my swipe file. If I see cool articles, pictures, etc. I throw them up on facebook. If they get SOME engagement then they might be good for later blog posts or marketing pieces I do.
If the marketing piece is a website, I make it social friendly so people can easily share it, but I DO NOT make sharing via facebook or comments my primary goal though… I don’t even ask that people share, like, tweet, etc. I make reading another article, staying on my site or with my marketing longer, OR direct action to buy or contact me my primary goal. FYI. I’m a realtor so I don’t do automated email systems… I speak DIRECTLY with all my leads to qualify them, and plug them into my lead management database directly. I don’t want to entrust a $100 / yr auto email system on somebody else’s server with leads easily worth upwards of $5k each.
I have never been a fan of building up somebody else’s list for free…. and that’s EXACTLY what you are doing by promoting Youtube subscribers, Facebook fans, and twitter followers. In the end you DO NOT own the list, the other person does and they can do with it what they like.
I have friends with businesses doing tens of millions / yr in gross sales. (one a quarter billion). They don’t even have facebook pages, youtube, etc. Most don’t even have a auto email system.
I completely agree with Derek, build your own list. It doesn’t have to be an email auto responder. The more info you can get the better. Eg addresses, phone numbers, etc. And the fortune is in relationship building and FOLLOW up.
That’s my two cents.
If you have a large following on your Facebook fan page, all you have to do is tell them to look at their page feed. That’s for all the posts for your liked fan pages go.
How about FB groups? Are they still getting reach? Would it be BETTER to have a group page than a fan page?
Thank you so much for posting this, very frustrated with FB right now.
Facebook made a lot of changes on the 18th March 2014, They revamped Ads Manager Edit Interface.
You’ll notice the timeline design has changed too.
The posts are affected, you’ll notice the reach is low. The sponsored story Ad option will no longer be available(and I found this option very effective). Promoted posts were automatically updated, that saved me a lot of time in terms of managing multiple pages and their campaigns. now I have to manually update my posts for advertising.
Its a good idea o maybe start the newsletter, i have collected emails from the competitions we had in the past and from the inquiries we get from our inbox. its a start so i’ll see how that goes.
This is a MAJOR problem for us. We have 67,610 fans on FB. “KissMe.”
My ad I just posted reached 786 fans. FB wants $400 to reach most. PER POST.
I’ve noticed just this past month after usually receiving easy 100-400 likes per post, we’re seeing 20-100 unless I pay FB to promote.
We’re going to concentrate on opt-ins, opt-ins, and more opt-ins (thank you Marie Forleo) with contests/sweepstakes/Freebies/blog to encourage Shares. Also Power Editor to promote to our current mailing list on FB. Double whammy.
We are completely revamping everything. Including website to build our email list.
FB is good but we have to outsmart them…or try!
we have a name for that in the real world. In short, all I can suggest to “ANYONE”, don’t get overexcited about Facebook.
We all hear Mark’s company “philosophy”. let me tell you one thing. From all teh corporate crooks out there, Mark is heading them all, by faaaaaaaaaaaaar.
First he sucks you in, then he makes you pay BIG times, (of course, there shall only one succeed on this planet, and that is Markohsugarboy,, then, if you don’t pay, bingo … shut down!
Let me tell, that is more communist style than the entire “standing members” of the CMP., That is more discriminating than then the entire …
Ah, well. If you folk still believe you can’t live without this “super con”, well then, PAY him, heaps and more!
Thank you for this write up, Derek… and thank you for your Q&A time for BSchool today! I have been looking all over for someone who truly understands what is happening on Facebook right now.
My frustration is that I paid for Facebook ads to target my demographic and bring in followers SO they could see my content. That’s what I was putting my money into… and now it’s pretty much useless and I feel like your number of followers is simply a vanity number now and doesn’t show value to your brand because you can’t reach those people like you used to. It’s hard not to be upset about it.
Do you think Facebook is going to feel a backlash from this and see small businesses moving away from Facebook for promoting their businesses? I already feel like it’s a waste of my time to post anything on FB when out of my 15k followers, only 230 people are seeing my posts…
I am going to take your advice and focus more on email… but no body wants to be emailed simple content, images, inspirational quotes, etc. I guess that type of content marketing will have to be on my other social media sites… Oh Facebook, it was good while it lasted! :'(
I’m in B School too! How fun to see you here. What other social site are you thinking of heading towards? We have to be creative getting emails.
I don’t know if it’s true for sure but I heard in a webinar when you upload an e-book to Amazon, you can get every email address that clicked on it? Need to learn more. Time to put the pen to paper again!
I generally use Facebook to promote my website,but I didn’t know that all my work was futile. From this point on wards I will build an email list.
Thank you for the amazing post.
all this information is useful, thanks, is there any way to know when you published that? Things change, and sometimes I read a blog post that has no date on it only to realise that it was written over a year ago and things changed again.
Sometimes at least the comments show when they were posted, not here…
That is one great tip to help keep our prospects and fans engaged with our content, Facebook is trying to make $ out of each space on their site, however as you said we should not worry about their changes, as long as you have an email list to rely on.
I started a global ed program driven entirely by students. FB is where they engage online, and our engagement has dropped 90%. We have no funding, so I can’t BUY to promote, but I’m reaching fewer and fewer students. I am hating Facebook for trying to monetize something that has no monetary value. and email lists? Pfsht…so 20th century!!! Something my students would never use!!
I have followed a page and the owner is quite wise to tell us to follow all updates. I think all owners should do this. It will increase their reach without the need for paying Facebook.
My business has about 4000 ‘likes’ on FB and we’ve seen the engagement slip substantially due to these new policies. We’ve pushed for the email sign up but because of Google’s ‘promotions’ tab, have seen a significant drop there as well. You also pay to send emails in the same way you pay to promote Facebook posts. Frustrating all around.
It’s funny but since this new Facebook update I got more Likes and more shares on my FB page 🙂
I just have some crazy debunkin’ to do here…
I worked with some DJs & electronic music producers because they were really wanting to increase their FB page awareness & engagement levels because here in Singapore and Asia as promoters and club owners only look at social media (they could careless if they have their own website, just want to know that people that are totally into the DJ and would come out to their gigs….bling bling bottom line)
I was using them as my SPS case studies, and I will be pitching these awesome results to some top DJ websites. Anyways, I just want to share with you all the gist of it.
Myrne Music – Starting rate 3.2% engagement – as of yesterday 19.1%!! & 402 new likes, he’s expecting his first landed gig at a major club here in Singapore.
DJ Crazy Love – Starting rate was already impressive with a 7.3% engagement and yesterday the dude was at 29.8%….what he is doing is simply what his fans love – posting visual content, gratitude & fan appreciation posts, linking to other artists.
DJ K.O. – Starting at a 2.0% and yesterday a WHOPPING 62% fan engagement level. At the beginning, he didn’t understand what we were trying to accomplish (due to language barriers) but he really pushed through and is taking every bit of info to work. It’s quite amazing!! Posting 87% visual content, 10% linking to other artists 3% self-promotional or other types of posts.
Now, this might be a different industry where marketing and promotional goals are towards building a larger presence on social media because that will impress the people who essentially pay them for their services.
However, it’s just awesome to see that these guys who took my advice on how to increase their engagement levels without paying.
For me, I could care less about my own engagement levels and likes on FB – I’ve been building my list steadily!
Glad I read this today I was thinking earlier that it was insane that I had just paid to boost a post that was going to reach less than half of my fans. I under Facebook has to satisfy those stake holders but it sure is hurting some folk. Been pondering where is the best place to get involved with top of my list is G+ and LinkedIn. I read today that Reddit is gaining popularity again. Any thoughts on that?
I’m new to this website and stumbled across this article. What is the date this article was posted? I also don’t see dates on the comments. I’m assuming Facebook is still doing this, but it would be helpful to have a date. Unless I’m just not seeing it? Someday this article may be obsolete, just like Facebook, lol.
It’s always a sad day to see Facebook going corporate. But I guess it inevitably happens to all companies as they reach a certain size?
Anyways, I’ excited about paid search because it’s going to open up new avenues for the small business owner to dominate marketers they would have previously stayed out of 😉
I’ve noticed our organic reach on FB is quite literally less than 5% of the people who “like” our page. It goes up when people interact but not by a whole heck of a lot. I’ve read that memes and anything with a link that takes you off FB will be cut drastically as well, so it’s definitely time to focus on that List. The problem I’ve encountered (and would love any feedback on) is that our blog is a parenting blog. Our product is our content. I write with two other moms and we’ve been working on writing content that fits our niche and our readers very specifically (as you suggested in another post) and we’re getting more comments, but not a lot more List subscribers.
Good stuff, Derek. Thanks for the advice. And for the record, yes, I am signing up for email updates.
It’s a very important post for me. I am in facebook and definitely I will tell my friend to do so whatever you told in your blog. Thank a lot for helping me.
Derek, I’m sorry if this was covered above and I missed it, but…
How do I ‘invite those fans to sign up for [my] email list’? I don’t really have any way of contacting them directly unless I want to pay to send them a private message.
I started thinking something was fishy recently when every time I open my biz page nearly every post in my feed is from 2 or 3 other pages, not the dozens that I’ve actually followed and enjoy interacting with.
I don’t have a huge # of FB likes and I use it as a social network to keep in touch with current and past clients for the most part. I do make offers, but that mainly happens on my e-mail list.
If they’re not really seeing my stuff, then I might focus on using FB ads to get people to opt-ins for my list, but not so much for all my KIT stuff.
I’ve thought, read an wrote about this from a business/marketing page owner perspective, but in the last 48hrs or so I’ve noticed that my personal facebook newsfeed is increasingly a mess. I know facebook wants to be more of a news source. But quite frankly I’d rather see personal posts of my friends and updates from the local small businesses I follow as opposed to the same upworthy, buzzfeed and mashable articles over and over. Not sure if I’m alone here or not.
Timely advice – thanks Derek!
Within minutes of receiving this, I forwarded it to my business partner. She posted a custom version of what you suggested, then ran a FB add to promote page shutdown.
And…within minutes of that…dozens of new email subscribers! More than had trickled in many months prior, even *with* FB ads. Paying to notify readers of page shutdown was the one add that actually paid off!
Happy now, and refocused that part of business on Pinterest which drives 10x the FB traffic, for a nice price point of $0.
This is So sad, I am a Owner of a Page on Facebook. Which helps me a Lot to drive traffic on my Blog from Facebook. But from some days this is Reducing day to Day.
How to Fix it ?
Looks like you struck a nerve with this one Derek!
The way FB handle pages has been screwed for a while – I had this thought when they first started doing this that it would be funny if Mark Z woke up one morning and said ‘where did everybody go’ because we all decided one day to just leave facebook.
Quite shocking really in terms of looking after your customers – people have ‘Liked’ something to say they want to ‘join’ that page and see updates – the FB decides to hide the updates from a significant portion of the people who did so.
This already happened some time ago but looks like it just got even worse.
Perhaps they’ve actually done us a favor by reminding us what we have control over and what we don’t…
I’ve done this, great advice. I also ran a test yesterday and boosted a post (with a small amount of $$) and then ran another virtually the same post alongside at another high traffic time. There was a minimal difference between the reach (within 10). The content was emotive and connected with my message and offered value to mu fans.
My deduction from this is that if you have fans that are actually connected to your story and you have value to present to them and not a shitty sales pitch coming from a me me me place, then you should be able to get organic reach based on that good relationship.
facebook will make a squillion dollars off this because most sales people don’t know how to present value like a left, right, hook! And you’re right, good on them for doing what they do.
Love your stuff. Keep changing lives. 🙂
I have a custom cake and cookie shop. I do not sell online. I’ve tried getting new business through Facebook but it seems like I get the great majority of my likes from fellow bakers (we like to look at each others work for inspiration.) So, would an email opt in be of benefit to me? So far, the bulk of my business comes from word of mouth. I feel like I may be wasting my time and energy with Facebook.
I agree with virtually everyone’s comments that clearly FB is limiting organic sharing via the FB business page.
I just heard a presentation by Jim Tobin from Ignite SM so I can’t claim credit for this question but I thought I’d bring it up. How much of the impact to the FB pages could be an update to the algorithm INTENDED to improve the newsfeed but INADVERTENTLY impacting to organic sharing? In other words, could FB correct this issue by updating the algorithm in short order once they realize the full impact of their actions?
Just a thought.
This is really a bad news for businesses. But as what you’ve said,we cannot control whatever they want to do in their site. Thanks for sharing this article Derek. Know I know what I have to do regarding this problem.
Thank you so much for sharing this and bringing attention to Facebook’s changes and how it impacts Page owners. Had no idea. Actually makes me think twice about launching a Page associated with my blog. Do you think it’s even worth it to have a Facebook page now? Considering the % of reach?
No. Unless you’re rolling in money and happy to spend! Spend! Spend! Then again if you were a Zillionaire you wouldn’t give a fig about FB pages.
Please don’t do what we did and invest money in something that has no value anymore. It was amazing! My cartoon went viral with 200 new LIKES a day for 9 months straight until last Tuesday when FB pages changed and my LIKES came to a screeching halt. Mind you, the dislikes are still working a treat so at least that’s one thing that doesn’t need fixing!
YEP. Someone may have said this already, but here’s what I noticed: I started boosting just the posts we popped up each week that were linked to our company’s menu page (which changes weekly, so I’d boost a post every few weeks when the new menu was open for orders). Over time, I noticed a sharp decline in *any* posts that I hadn’t boosted that were also linked to our menu page. LAME! (But kinda smart on Facebook’s part, in a smarmy business sorta way.)
So, currently I include the link in the comments section. While this ensures those post get LOTS more views, it also means I can’t control the photo that goes up with the link, the text that goes up with the link, etc.
Has anyone done this yet? Did you see sign ups? Then of course the question is…. if you did post this request, how many people saw it due to this issue. Do you recommend reposting this kind of request on a regular basis?
Thanks for your comments.
I agree that it’s not about complaining but educating, Facebook can do what they please. However, I think it’s important to point out that this issue is just as detrimental to small businesses selling something as it is to a content-based page like your own. If you sell something and you do social media properly, then it’s identical to your own problem – 90% of the time we’re just trying to share good content with our audience that engages them and creates community. We can’t pay to promote those ‘non-selling’ posts just like you said, but even for the posts where we’re actually marketing something it’s tough to justify Facebook’s costs just to reach the people who have already opted-in.
Until Facebook changes something, education is the only way. My post is designed to show people the best way to ‘force’ Facebook to show them the content they want – building the email database is great and gives you much more control, but there will always be thousands of people who still want to get their information on Facebook and not in their Inbox and hopefully my post helps them make it possible.
Let me know what you think!
Seems to me the viewers will get annoyed at some point, if they are expecting to see the content they really want to see. Twitter has third-party services like TweetDeck. Google+ has circles. Brands and viewers might need to become more discerning (respectively, produce meaningful posts/content and edit the like list) if FB doesn’t accommodate an ability to filter more.
Ever since I took that Creative Live course from you and Lewis last December, you made this case over and over and over. I’m glad that I listened to you when it came to getting people on my email list. Although I haven’t pushed as hard as I should be doing to build my list, I still am gathering them and communicating with them every week! The idea of the FB page is great–if my posts are getting seen, but I knew this way back when I would post something from a fan page and it was getting minimal views unless someone with a large following reshared it out. Even at that point, it wasn’t getting the visibility I thought it deserved.
I’m still building my email list, Derek. I don’t want to be an idiot in your eyes. 😀
FYI – I just tried to post a modified version of your suggested message to my fan page of 20k. The first time I got an error about posting which I’d never seen before. I refreshed the page and tried again. This time it looked like the post when through but when I check the page, it’s nowhere to be found. Looks like they are censoring. :/
In all honesty, I’ve now deleted my personal Facebook account and am ONLY keeping the fan page up to still have a presence.
Two reasons I had a Facebook business/personal account. Business-To create a brand and a living of course! Personal: To follow/like/subscribe to–whatever you want to call it–the Social Triggers brand.
I’ll just follow by e-mail now 😉
Thank you, Derek. And I have been paying a social media site just to post for me too! I’ve gained about 300 new likes since I hired them but…now it will cost more to reach them? Yikes.
What do you think of creating another regular profile to use for business? Still not enough reach? This idea won’t work for all businesses but it could work for those of us whose business are us- for example I am an acupuncturist. Would like to know your thoughts on this.
This is really upsetting. We are a global ed program for high school students. We don’t charge a penny and make no money. I can’t use email because it’s not where the students are. This has serious repercussions for our organization. I would be happy to pay a small monthly fee, I guess, but I don’t trust FB not to mess with filtering what gets seen/not seen by people.
Hey Derek —
Thanks so much for this! My readers are very engaged on my Facebook page, but like you, my reach numbers have been drifting lower and lower anyway.
So I put out a call to action last night on my FB page, timed for peak reading, and went from 604 to 938 subscribers overnight! It helps that I run a coupon and deals site, so my readers are automatically outraged at the thought of any unnecessary spending on my part. 😀
Facebook fan pages have been the toughest part for me to set up. Doing it out of necessity, but very interesting to see what’s going on with it. I’m more of a twitter/blog guy to accompany the book. But I know Facebook is (or at least has been) the 800 lb gorilla.
That Facebook is encouraging Fan Page owners to pay to play is exactly what I expected when the company went public. Social media companies cannot go public and survive because the thirst for revenue will drive people to do exactly what you suggest here. Why pay to give away something — whitepaper, ebook, or pink flamingo.
This will surely degrade the importance of Fan Pages for engagement and, over time, kill the power they once had as a social tool.
Great post. Thanks for the mention.
-Brandon O, Social Media Manager, AWeber
Hey derick thanks for the info that’s good to know they are doing this.
I actually think this is going to be a good thing though. We’ll still get engagement from whatever fans we reach and the posts that are popular we can boost so that people who are fans see it.
That’s why its still so important to “Crush It” with great content because that could attract more eyes on your brand.
Finally you can then keep marketing these great pieces of content (Jab, Jab, Jab)
Then you pop them with the right hook and get there email address. (Right Hook!)
Conclusion: Though this is annoying I don’t see it as the end of the world just the end for people who don’t have even a small advertising budget.
This is surely the end for Facebook fan pages? I have been frustrated with them for months now, and it’s getting worse. Facebook are going to push everyone away with their marketing plan.
Recently a colleague of mine tested the Facebook advertising and drilled the target audience down, right down, to himself! He told Facebook ads to target people in his area like him based on his information stored in his Facebook. And guess what? He didn’t see his ad despite being on Facebook all day waiting to see it.
I lost faith in Facebook a while back, and I think that’s the reason many now flock to G+ to like lost social media sheep. Shame, as it could be so much better…
this is so depressing. i just gave a talk on saturday about the value of being on the same social platforms your people are already going to- but you’re right Derek. ugh!!! i’ve noticed the same thing on my page over the last few weeks but couldn’t figure out why only a fraction of my followers were seeing my posts…unless i boosted them. more reason to steer folks to the email list- absolutely…..
I don’t send out every link and facebook post on my email list, so asking them to sign up not to miss it, would be lying. But I think this will be the death of facebook when it comes to small businesses using pages.
Hi Derek, you are a freakin’ genius. That is a brilliant idea. You just made my day! Will put this tip in place now. Keep on the good work. Thanks. Claus
Thank you so much for this post. I was wondering my reach dropped by 80% the last month. I use google+ and twitter but Facebook was my biggest draw. This really sucks for the small business owner that now has to dig up extra cash (from somewhere?) for marketing.
I am glad I changed my focus to building up my email list or I would have been really hurting…thanks for that advice to.
Still very frustrating…I least I own FB stock, maybe I will make my cash back there (:
Age Defying Golf
My question is that since I run a photography business, and I post photos from portrait session on FB, will people really open an email and view the jpegs of my photos? I myself delete stuff that I subscribed to if it starts to become annoying. What percentage of people that subscribe to an email newsletter actually read it?
I also have stuff go right to trash before it shows up in my emails.
The problem I found with Linkdin is that I have people I have never met ask me to endorse them. I don’t. Seems like it has become a popularity contest instead of a reliable source of vendors.
I have had people endorse me that I have never worked with and they are hoping I return the endorsement. Again I don’t unless I have worked with them.
I had heard rumors that MySpace was coming back…
Since photography is such a visual art – you may find that Pinterist works better for you. And instead if including your images in your newsletter – instead include valuable content and invite them to view new photographs on your website – which makes you interesting enough to open your emails AND drives traffic to your website – win:win
This just means I will be investing far less time on my FaceBook fan page and more time on my blog, twitter, and email marketing.
Derek, I have noticed engagement for my two pages has fallen way off for some time. I once had high numbers and lots of conversations. It was fun. It’s not fun anymore. In fact, I’ve had readers actually leave comments saying they wondered where I went. As someone who posts throughout the day I was growing through engagement. Now the FB growth comes from outside FB. Also…I have always shared a lot of photos and that doesn’t make the algorithm anymore either. Now if I want to engage fans it needs to be through text only in order to touch more people. I’ve considered e-mail for the blog…but Facebook *was* the way to be more personal and fun…something that an e-mail would not be.
It seems to me that Facebook is moving towards larger businesses who are willing to pay for people to handle their social media and pay for promoting their updates.
Great insight. However, with a list you’re having a good day when you get an open rate of 20%. Without a doubt you should be building a list. But you should still use FB as well os other social channels to engage. In boxes are all ready stuffed. Once the small business community gets good at building a list, it’s only going to make the open rates go down.
The only choice in my mind is pushing content through all channels possible….
Cal Newport from the Study Hacks blog had an interesting post on why he does not join Facebook. http://bit.ly/1feILSq
Thanks for your perspective on this. and all your great tips. I agree Facebook has the right to run their business however they want, and complaining about it wouldn’t be the best way to share this news. However, many of us already invested in paid ads to gain more fans (as I’m sure you did too) and that’s where it feels really lame that FB is asking us to pay again to share free content to the fans we already paid to reach. I wonder how this change is going to change Facebook overall. Will it push small businesses away, and leave us with more ads from big business alone? I don’t know that I can recommend putting energy into a Facebook page to my new-to-small-business clients. I’m not sure how much time or money I’ll continue putting into it either. It’s a shame. What would you say to someone just starting with, for example, a coaching practice? Is a FB page worth it anymore?
Hmm … I posted what Derek suggested a few hours ago. That post has gone into ZERO of my fans’ feeds so far. Coincidence??
Thanks for this info! I wasn’t sure how to handle this situation. Have heard a few people say the same thing on Facebook. Thanks for sharing your idea.
Well this is pretty much expected, i think that on the long run it’s their loss. I have already talked to lots of business owners about this and we have all agreed to gradually leave facebook and embrace google plus, cuz to be honest it makes more sense.
Today i learned that if you have 2000 ppl on you g-plus page it will leverage your search engine ranking. Meaning if someone in you circle, google will prioritize your businiss to show for him as long as he is either a frind or a follower. << this is true i checked.
I will pay for my reach for the time being but, will be very happy to slowly leave for good.
Do these changes apply to personal pages as well, or just fan pages? Maybe we can use our personal page, or create a new one, and use it for marketing our business? We’d have to go and individually invite all our fans though to become friends.
I’ve actually had more success reaching my target market with LinkedIn and Pinterest. These have served me much better than Facebook.
Well I think you’ve got the right attitude. 99% of other people are just going to bitch and moan about this change, and to be honest, this is a good situation for me to boost my email subscribers. Thanks for turning this news into a positive.
Thank you so much for this, especially for the wording to post on FB. Great idea!! I have 25,000 fans on my “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” page, and it is common to see “100 people saw this,” (Really??) when before the days of “pay-to-play”I would get 10,000 seeing a post. Then I went to paying for posts, but just couldn’t keep that up. I don’t know who can except for mega corporations with big bucks. I paid to get many of those fans, with no disclosure that I would have to continue to pay for them to see most posts in the future.
I used to be a TV investigative/consumer reporter. I would use the term extortion or fraud, but if those words are too strong, I’m hoping some consumer advocates with legal clout can look at this.
And to the person who said there are other alternatives…besides Twitter, YouTube and a few other less visible social media sites, what are they? Someone needs to form a new FB like the good ole days. The marketing gurus I know who are just shattered by these changes, especially for non-profits, say exactly what you do…build your newsletter list. Thanks for the reminder!
Jeez, Derek, when I received this in my gmail box, I thought it was an ordianry newsletter and I splashed it on my blog for wide distribution. However your name and address are still on it. I guess I will now have to add the source.
You did well by informing us. Some of us were depending on FB to explode our traffic and engagement and then this! So, we wouldn’t have to waste our time there.
Omg Derek, Thanks I was starting to think there was something wrong with me. But I guess this is classic case of a break up (me and facebook) where the problem isn’t me its them! I have to admit I was one of those idiots I have had a blog for over a year but I didn’t start caring about my email list/newsletter until last week 🙁 I know its a little late but bate late than never I guess .Thanks for the heads I am totally letting my fans know!
Facebook groups = 100% visibility
Great observation Derek. I’m surprised by the number of people who seem to think that transitioning to Google+ is a solution. They could do the same thing in a year. The only solution is to build your own distribution network so you don’t have to rely on another company.
I think you hit the nail on the head, you need to build a list. That is really the only way to insulate a business from these kinds of changes.
I’ve seen it time and time again where it was fairly easy to generate free traffic from a particular platform, but the minute a “change” comes along people wish they had generated a list from it first, rather than trying to sell right away.
Your list you can keep as long as they subscribe…free traffic comes and goes based upon the whims of the platform.
I am half dead with the flu, but wanted to chime in on this:
Listen the whole purpose of Social Media is to be social, not to be a one way street. When we push and push and push, even if we are pushing with honest value intent, it is still pushing. Facebook had no choice but to do this as marketers ruin everything. I will tell you that we are seeing great results by engaging on ALL platforms and building relationships.
As a general blanket statement I will say that EVERYTHING the general social media ‘guru’s have been preaching for the last 11 months will be changing in 2014. All the platforms are ‘growing up’ and having to get the marketers out. NOTHING social is easy and for sure there are no short cuts or automations that will work… sorry they just won’t.
We need to stop focusing on numbers and start focusing on value engagements.
You shouldn’t pay for Facebook to show your posts, but as Derek said, it is their business. I will tell you that in addition with what Derek stated I would create an ad campaign targeting your followers letting them know about the value of your connect and how it may be harder to get now via Facebook. I would NOT just say sign up for my newsletter list ( remember marketers ruined email in 2009 ). Email is still ‘ok’ and can be great, but let people know what you are on other platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Medium, Your blog… give them options.
I could go on and on and on ( and I will on my blog later this week when I am not half dead )
In closing just remember this: Show them you care and don’t fake it in all you do!
I think that this is a natural course for Facebook to take, though I don’t take it as you do. The most VITAL platform for a business is their website, not SM. Businesses abandoning Facebook because of this is a HUGE mistake I believe. There are ways to reach a fan base on FB and if these aren’t know to a Page owner then they should hire a marketer who is. – that is money well spent!
Thanks, Derek! This is unbelievably enlightening. We just launched a page two months ago. Our first dozen posts each got hundreds of views; now most posts only get a few dozen views. I was considering starting a Facebook page for my personal website, but it seems like this won’t be nearly as beneficial as I’d anticipated–not worth the time and energy. Appreciate the insight!
I have been so discouraged by Facebook lately I have even considered quitting altogether. Those of a certain age will remember an online service back in the 80’s and early 90’s called Prodigy. It was extremely popular. You paid monthly for a subscription to use the service. In 1993, it began charging hourly rates for several of its most popular features, including its most popular feature, the message boards. This infuriated so many that tens of thousands of members left the service. I am afraid that same fate might happen to Facebook. What do you think?
I think the changes are inevitable as Facebook finds new ways to increase revenues. I believe that using Facebook to drive traffic and sales is an outrageously great opportunity today. I think one day we’ll look back and realize how easy it was to make things happen for very little investment other than time and effort.
This is pretty much why I never invested the time to try and make Facebook work for me. I knew it was all too good to be true and they just wanted to make themselves ubiquitous before shoving the need to advertise down our throats.
I’d been wondering what the hell was going on with our Facebook page too.
Could see this coming. As they say, never put all your eggs in one basket. I think there will be a lot more of this coming so writing compelling content will become even more important to maintain your audience.
Thanks for update.
I totally agree that we shouldn’t have to pay to give our readers free content. I have only recently started my online business and the first thing I did was build an email list – I have a few people and it is growing all the time – if I have anything important I want to share, an email to my list is the best way to reach them.
What a great idea to let your fans know about this, it will hopefully grow my email list even bigger, thank derek 🙂
Ugh, yea. I find this super annoying.
Derek, I agree that it doesn’t make sense to pay to promote free all your free content.
It makes we want to abandon Facebook from a brand perspective or at least cut back. Facebook used to be great for making a connection to with fans, but if they never see your posts they can’t make a connection, so what’s the point? Now it’s just going to become another selling channel. BOO! Facebook is supposed to be social. Guess we can’t rely on that anymore from the small biz perspective. Ah well. Yes, glad I have an email list.
This is one of the most valuable posts you’ve ever done, Derek. Seriously… I don’t think people realize who important it is to not depend on social media platforms that are always changing. Suggesting to let your FB followers know to hop on your email list to get all the free cool stuff you give is brilliant.
Another “obvious” tip from Social Triggers that most people overlook.
I’ve posted this on two of my fan pages already and will do the other two tomorrow. I’ve been seeing a long, steady decline for a long time and have been hearing lots of complaints from travel destinations and gear brands that they built up a huge following “but we’re lucky if 10% are even exposed to what we post anymore.” It’s a total extortion racket. First Google (Adwords clients getting higher ranking), then Facebook, and who knows where the next shoe will drop. The only reliable way to reach your fans is by good ole e-mail. Thanks tech companies for this Back to the Future return trip. A fun detour while it lasted.
Thanks for this important information. In light of this news, what advice would you give to someone just starting out? Would you suggest creating a fan page at all? I hear you on building an email list loud and clear. It just seems now that having a fb fan page may not be a top priority anymore.
I’m in the same boat Isabel. Would love for you to email me with how you are doing in your business. (Or send me a friend request on FB)
I guess it was just a matter of time before Facebook would start pulling some stunts that would negate the purpose of using them. All these companies seem to do that at some point or another. Rather a shame. I was getting facebook likes but no one signing up for the email list. I wonder if this would get people in board with doing so now?
This makes perfect sense. I was wondering why the FB posts I’ve been putting out there were reaching fewer and fewer people each time. I thought I had done something wrong or was posting at bad times, but now I’m starting to understand. Thanks!
I periodically make FB posts encouraging those who like my page to sign up for my newsletter. In addition, you can add an app that captures email sign ups.
I’ve focused more on building my email list rather than my FB page. I figure that will come along slowly but surely. So, even when I do post there, I try to drive people back to my website.
Thank you for always sharing great and helpful content.
Thanks so much for addressing this! I was just thinking about the same thing over the weekend when I shared something with 5700+ of my fans who like my page and only 48 saw it! This is just crazy, but I agree – they can do whatever they want with how they run their biz. But I have a feeling that businesses are going to catch on and they might shift their marketing strategies away from facebook (or not). I guess only time will tell!
Actually rather surprising that this is such a surprise to many…
– Everyone likes, nearly no one dis-likes
– Let’s say the average FB user likes a 50 pages a year. There is a ‘like-inflation’. 1’000 likes 5 years ago have been much more worth than 1’000 likes today
– As those pages feel encouraged by all those likes, they even post more -> let’s call that the fanpage-posts-inflation
– Let’s assume the number of posts the average FB user reads is by and large constant; let’s say 10 per day
– Assume FB shows each user each morning an increasing number of posts from an increasing number of all the pages ever liked will result in: The first 10 posts will be read, the rest will be ignored.
– As the first 10 will largely be irrelevant to him (‘Uh ya, I liked that page 7 years ago…’), he will use facebook less often
– Economics 101: The best way to allocate a scarce good is to let supply and demand determine the price => reach costs money, and likes from ancient times have no value at all
Sure, much better to have a mailing list instead of a facebook like. However, people don’t sign up to mailing lists that easily, as they realize subscribing to and receiving 500 newsletters is somewhat differnt than liking 500 fan pages on FB.
I enjoy using Facebook but the lack of reach is frustrating. I’m starting to think LinkedIn might be a better way to go – I can start using my company page a lot more.
This Facebook change bugs the crap out of me. I have a fan page with 16,000+ subscribers that I’ve spent a couple years building up now. My posts get seen by maybe 1,000 of them.
I’ve built my list as well but I hate mailing my list daily with cool content because people complain about too many emails. (I can send them a link to immediately download a free iPad or something amazing like that and I’d still have people complaining). Email marketing has its frustrations as well.
I’ve found some great workarounds to get high engagement are to 1) start using Twitter again. Engagement seems to be increasing over there for me again… And 2) create a Facebook group (instead of a page) and direct people to join that instead. People see much more of the posts in groups and interaction seems to be much higher.
Great blog post!
Hi Matt, these are great adjustment strategies!
Just wanted to say that. I think I will find myself on Twitter quite a bit more 🙂
Thank you so much for this! Enormously appreciate the heads-up!
I have a small ongoing campaign with Facebook, which I have been thinking of deleting for a while. This article was the impetus I needed to pull the plug on it for good. I just looked over my numbers and noticed that over the last month, only 5-10% of my fans see any of my posts. This is down from 50-60% a few months ago. Most of my traffic comes from Google searches, Pinterest, and FoodGawker (when I’m lucky enough to get published there). Facebook is a waste of time and money. Good riddance!
Derek, Thank you for this wake-up-call.
Although, I still believe in the power of leveraging Facebook to build our email lists… (whether it is via FB Ads or ‘Free’ FB Strategies) – it is also true that we as business owners MUST NOT put our businesses in a dependable position of any social media platform. I prefer to have full control 🙂
But HEY… changes and challenges are part of this entrepreneurial journey. It activates ‘the genius’ to leverage changes in a creative and positive way.
By the way, do you think that Facebook’s EDGE RANK FORMULA will still apply? I’ve been reading about it lately and testing the free marketing strategies to leverage it.
For those in here who may not know what the Facebook’s Edge Rank Traffic Formula is… Well, Facebook uses it… to determine which posts get more exposure and which ones won’t. It also talks about this:
The more “likes” your fan page has… the higher your fan page will rank in the search engine in your respective niche(s). Basically, More Like = More Traffic (exposure).
Derek, by any chance, have you heard about that?
Once again, thanks for sharing this, man. Very appreciated. 🙂
I don’t recall who said it (probably Derek), but if you’re building your audience on Facebook, then you’re working for Facebook.
My No. 2 referrer this year has been Facebook, so I am reasonably happy with the engagement and conversion rate I get, but I also know that if I’m not using it to build my list, then I’m working for someone else.
It’s all about the list.
Thanks Derek! I’ve been wondering about the decline in my fan page reach lately too, scratching my head each time my posts don’t go anywhere. This is super-helpful information.
My next concern is that when I post the note to my FB fans to subscribe to my page instead, will FB show that to them or give me more of the same, “meh, we’re not showing this post to your people either” nonsense? Any thoughts on that?
Thanks a million for this. This has been a hot topic in a number of FB groups I’m in. Will be sharing this article with them. Thanks Cx
Derek, I have to slightly disagree with you.
The best outcome here is to get them to sign up for your email list AND get them to subscribe to “get notifications” on your Facebook page (mouse over the page like button, it’s the top option).
Also, the paid reach is a mess. I’ve had clients get huge results with some posts, and then get less than 20% of that in the next post with the same budget. I have noticed the drop off in organic reach too, but I thought it was just lackluster content.
Very interesting yet disturbing. As questioned above, will I have to be paying for the posts that get the word out? Would imagine fb would be censoring those posts out in particular
Thank you for this update, Derek. I already suspected that Facebook was doing this for a few months now but it’s good to have evidence to show my co-workers that I was right, haha.
Google + is the new Facebook.
And yeah. Email lists are a total MUST.
I have never noticed this before today but I posted 4 times on my page 5 hours ago and at this time there is 0 reach for all of them. Some have likes and shares from fans who were on the page but I guess none of them were in the newsfeed.
Thanks for this! I agree that FB can do what they want, but it’s only going to hurt them in the long run…I’m not going to support a business that screws over the little guys 😉 I’ve been working on my email list and even when I was getting a greater reach on FB, my email list was still beating it out for page views (and I have a lot more people on my FB page than my email list). I think that’s very telling…the people that sign up for my email list really want to view my content. That’s not always the case with FB fans.
Thats good to know. I have recently been getting a lot of traffic from Facebook. Based on this, they are busy installing the proverbial yellow telephone. Its ringing now and in a little while they will pop in to disconnect it, unless I pay. It all makes sense. Thanks for the heads up.
Ha! I thought something like this was happening because over the last few months the reach of my FB page posts has declined. By a lot recently. I used to get anywhere between 60 to 90 views. Now I’m getting 20 if I’m lucky.
A conclusion I came to some while ago is that FB is not a great platform for building a business for every business. Some businesses may suit FB better than others, just as with any social media platform they each have their own pros and cons.
The trick is to find the social media platforms that best suit your business and stick to them. Yes, try out a new one, or a current one, from time to time to see if they’re a good fit for your business. But social media platforms in general should not be relied on for building your business. Or getting traffic.
Great article Derek. I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing.
Yet another reason why I wish I could quit Facebook. I’m not a Fan (ha!) But since all of my friends are on it and I really need to see their pictures to remember what their kids look like I can’t walk away. I do not utilize Facebook for work–although I do have a fan page. I pretty much ignore it. I know that’s no too smart but it’s a time issue for me right now. Only my biz people use Google+ and I’m still migrating over to it myself. Most of my traffic comes from Google search and back links. Thanks for the reminder about email d-base which I am woefully behind the curve on. And thanks for this info on Facebook. I’m hoping this will be the chink in their armor that will bring down Goliath. One can only dream…
Thanks for the great info, Derek. The future for FB – if this is the road they continue down – is less quality content, and more soap and car commercials.
In the meantime, we’ll find other avenues to get great content to our readers. We are relying more and more on specialist social-media websites, which have already proven to deliver a much higher percentage of engaged subscribers to our newsletter and blog.
Eventually, FB will probably try to win us back, but by then it may be too late. There’s always someone out there ready to take up the slack.
Make sure when posting to your page that it is highly engaging content and do not try to “game the system” by asking for likes and shares, it should come naturally. Social Triggers does not game, I think it is highly engaging. They are looking at the content, images and text to see if it is natural or not. We have all seen posts, say of a pretty cat and the test says, “like this if this cat is cute, share if it is adorable”, or something like that. Facebook is catching on to this and they are also updating there Edgrank algorithm, a tool that measures engagement.
You can also ask people to use the “follow” function to get more updates. Thank for all of the great stuff Derek!
I noticed that something was up with my facebook page and had already been thinking about a strategy for getting my stuff out there. Thanks for posting this. I don’t have thousands on my page, but I do like to share with who I do have and I started realizing that the way to do it was to ‘promote/pay to promote’ your posts. I toil with the thought ‘is this the cost of marketing’? But I think you have made one really good point. I have all of my eggs in one basket that I don’t control when I leave it up to my facebook page and not my own email list.
The only problem is that e-mail seems to be really unreliable now too. We have a lot of paying people not receiving emails because of problems unknown! I swear I should just go back to manual emails.
Thanks Derek. I just made an integrated FB app for my MailChimp signup form, so folks won’t have to leave FB to get on my list. I think Aweber has that capability, too.
Hi Derek, great, mind blowing article.
How often would you run this ad?
Do you do this on a weekly basis to ensure new Likes get the word too?
Also is there a certain Facebook ad you like better then others to ensure your fans see it?
Thanks for this game changing email!
Yeah, this isn’t surprising. Would it be useful to also add “If you want to be sure to see my content in your news stream, be sure to “like” and “comment” on one or more of my posts.”
I know that the pages I’ve liked show up with a lot more frequency when I’ve specifically engaged with their content. The ones I don’t engage with show up rarely if ever.
I started a business profile ages ago for this reason. Of course FaceBook only allows 5,000 friends, but what I’m wondering is how many Followers a Profile can have?
I think its unlimited, as I follow a few authors who have very large subscribers. Be careful though, if you are caught “selling” from a profile instead of page, Facebook could delete your profile for violating their terms of service.
Fan numbers for brand pages are unlimited.
Great advice. Please advise: if only a small percentage of my Facebook fans see a post, won’t the same small percentage be seeing a post that I put up asking them to sign up for my email list? How do I reach that full Facebook fan base to get them to my email list?
Phil, there is only one solution to getting that word out to your whole fan base. Promote that post. Otherwise it’s only going to go out to the at best 16% of your audience and from the sounds of it that number is going down as we speak..
I think that 16% number is high, or maybe it was accurate at one point and now it’s falling. More and more of my posts are down in the 10% range.
Your post will be seen by more people if you don’t link to a url outside Facebook. Facebook penalizes you for taking their customers away from Facebook. Remember they are not your customers they belong to Facebook. Text only posts have the best distribution – but it is still a small percentage.
Cliff, that is a great point. I can’t believe I never thought of it myself. I’ve noticed in the past that my Facebook posts without external links are seen by a much higher (but still relatively small) proportion of my followers than posts that link out to other sites, but I never put two and two together. Thank you. Now I just need to figure out how to make best use of this info.
Just an idea…I think you could post your status update without the promotional URL and then leave a comment on your own post with your URL in the comment.
Also, just an idea here, not sure if it would work, but what if you post a photo in an album (not as a status update) and in the description include a link to whatever you are trying to promote, then you post the FB URL for that photo as your regualar status update? If It’s true that FB links are not being hidden from our fans then this roundabout way might work.
I have the same question. How do you get the message to the fb fans without posting a message that only a few of them will see?
Maybe if you set up an event on your fan page more followers will see that than a regular status update. The event, of course, is to join your email list. Just an idea.
Yeah I noticed this with my own page over the last few weeks. I checked on some other pages of friends who normally have had incredible engagement in the past and noticed their reach and likes per post have been way down.
I’ve use Facebook advertising extensively, including an ongoing campaign to promote for “likes.” What value is there is paying for likes if I have to pay a second time to have the content displayed to those who have liked the page? I agree that Facebook can do what they like but this sounds like a losing proposition for me. I’ll have to rethink that campaign for sure. Thanks for the heads up, Derek.
So so true, Derek, thank you!
I had noticed it myself a while ago and was quite annoyed by it. Also, I did not quite know how to go about it. Thank you for the ideas. Brilliant as always.
@Josh, no they don’t, except if they especially visit your page (which they mostly – 99% chance – don’t do). If you go to your “Home” on FB, you may notice that in your own feed you do not get messages from everybody you liked, either. Someone is making a choice for you – and that somebody is a FB algorithm based in part on what Derek has just explained.
For one of my online businesses we paid for FB ads to get ‘Likes’ to our page, now they are going to charge us twice to display content to these people? Not only to get the ‘Like’ but to display content to the people who have ‘Liked’.
It seems a little counter intuitive, because by ‘Liking’ a page I am saying to Facebook that I want to see the updates and info from this company. I will be disappointed when I don’t see updates from Justin Beiber as often 😉
Seriously though, I think they’ve made a mistake in terms of how their users expect this to work, not just for businesses trying to reach customers.
That’s exactly what I am concerned about! I spent a lot of time paying for likes, and now I have to pay again because out of 4,000 fans, my organic reach for a post is about 20. That is pathetic.
When I forward a blog article or meme, my organic reach is about 200….hmmmm
You make excellent points.
Sick @ss advice Halpern! You’re a flipping Genius! Thanks for that free content. The Pond Digger loves ya!
Would you suggest PROMOTING this type of Facebook post once we do this?
I think the changes are bad for small businesses like mine and the people who depend on my guidance to help them navigate their careers, but it’s good for Facebook’s pockets (she said with a sneer).
Thank you SO MUCH Derek for sharing this important info with us!
Unfortunately it seems like these DAYS every change is bad for small business.
Ever since Mark Cuban mentioned this late last year, I’ve put little emphasis on Facebook. Facebook needs to make money (shareholders!) and the only people who have the cash and the will to pay are companies looking to promote themselves on the platform.
Exactly. Facebook is going the way of Myspace: corporatized, full of annoying, paid-for ads. Bye-bye, Facebook!!
Wow Derek, what a timely post. I absolutely hate the idea of paying for reach. And I agree, subscribers matter, more than likes. I especially appreciate the script. Going to implement today! Woot! I appreciate you.
I am having the same issue on my Fan page. I am considering deleting all of the posts on the page and putting up a big banner that says “I no longer post on Facebook so please connect with me on LinkedIn and Google+.” Ultimately, I am certain I will enjoy that Facebook has implemented this policy as it will be one less network that we need to update.
It is a good idea to share with your fans that they can click “Get Notification” under the “Liked” button. This will increase the chance they actually see your post.
And it increases the chance that you annoy the hell of out of them because then everything you post shows up in their notifications and they’re alerted everywhere about it. They’re sure to turn that off in no time.
Absolutely! I clicked “get notifications” and it is VERY annoying!
Sorry if this question is silly. But your posts aren’t being seen by all the people of like your fan page?
From my experience this post is not 100% accurate. Everybody knows about their news feed about what people don’t realize is there’s also a page feed. I find that I see every fan page that I’m a fan of, their content makes it into my page feed.
What this articles talking about is the content in the page feed not making it into the user’s news feed. The way I see it the problem isn’t that fan page feeds are not making it to their fans, the problem is the fans don’t realize that all the fan page content is in the page feed.
Oh No Josh,
no, no, no….
It it is being seeing for only a few so here is the challenge:
You need to do some work to get people to LIKE your page and then…
You need some extra work to get people to actually read your content!
It is hard enought to make people take action on what they read, imagine now with those two extra barriers!
That is why what Derek is saying makes totally sense!
Hey Josh –
That’s right. There was a number that has been floating around saying that the average number of your Facebook fans/likes to see your updates is around 16%. This was an average number put out by Facebook themselves over millions of pages and users, and can be somewhat more or less.
I think what Derek’s pointing out is that number will continue to go down as it’s in Facebook’s business interest to charge for exposure.
Building your own email list and maintaining your own blog website to control your traffic, viewership and online destiny truly is a “no-brainer” as he states.
Thanks Derek for a great post!
I have noticed that. I currently have 454 likes, but most of my posts have around 150 people who ‘saw’ it. Sometimes it’s as low as 50.
Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for the great article Derek.
Nope, it’s not even close. If you run a fan page, you can see how many people see a post by looking underneath the post. It’ll say “X people saw this post” (and X will be much smaller than the number of Likes for the page) along with a “Boost Post” link for you to pay to reach more people.
OK also a dumb question…Is paying for more people to see your fan page the same a running a Facebook ad? Also is there a certain number of where this kicks in…if you only have 500 fans would all of them see the post?
Yes, it’s actually set up the same way as a regular ad except a lot of information is pre-populated for you. You can click on Boost Post and see your options. You can pick “People who like your Page and their friends” and “People you choose through targeting.” Those are both shortcuts for targeting options you can choose on any other ad.
Not a dumb question at all I was wondering the same thing!
Most of my engagement from social comes from Google+, I think one must diversify just in case. Of course, the mailing list is a top priority!
Mine is still pretty small, but it’s slowly growing : )
You gotta go where your people are, sometimes that’s G+… but that still carries the same risks. You have no such risks with email. 🙂
You also have the same risks with email.
I’m an Aweber customer and they got a DDOS attack in the middle of one my campaigns, I lost money because I was promoting a resource, and people were singing up to my email list but I lost ALL of my leads because their service was down, also I wasn’t able to send emails for up to a week if I remember correctly, and then they did a pretty awful job to compensate affected users, especially users who lost money because of that.
There’s risk everywhere
Nice ideas here, Derek. I’ve been wondering how to transition away from FB because of a variety of probs (mostly due to reach, for exactly the reasons you’ve described above) and this sounds like a nice way to start the transition. I guess I’ll have to pay FB to promote that post to get the message out 😉 Keep up the great work and looking forward to your next podcast. More please! (I listen to you while walking my devil-dog.)
Thanks for the tips!
I was recently banned from posting in groups for one month.
Facebook won’t tell me why!
How is someone supposed to avoid prohibited conduct if FB won’t tell them what it is?
BUT… FB would certainly take money for ads from me during this period!
FB has a link to “Appeal if you think this is a mistake.”
Except they never answer it.
I suspect they never read what folks put there.
I suspect they block to increase ad revenues.
I also suspect they NEVER read feedback AT ALL.
Hey Laura-Jane, you seem to have a lot of engagement on your FB page. Do you promote most of your posts or do you just naturally get a lot of people who see your status updates?
Derek – I’m really glad you addressed the FB issue. I’ve noticed that my engagement has dropped massively over the past few weeks/months and I think I’m really close to giving up on using Facebook for business. My time would be better off spent on other areas. It’s like, if a certain marketing tool doesn’t bring any significant ROI, what’s the point in using it? It really seems like a waste of time for my particular business.
Although I don’t doubt what anyone here is saying, I’ve watch my page’s reach grow an incredible amount over the past year. When I began managing the page (which had been set up a few years before I took it over), the weekly reach was somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25-35,000 people. Now it fluctuates between 150 and 300,000. We have just over 40,000 likes, and the average reach of our posts is 15,000, with posts frequently reaching 40-60,000 people. We even had one post earlier this year reach an astounding 500,000 people!
In case you’re wondering, that page is for a world class animal shelter.
My trick has been to share funny content like memes and caption-me contests in order to build a following, and then embed posts about adoptions and fundraising in between. This remains a wildly successful approach and not only is our audience growing, the demographics have gone from primarily 40-65 year old women to a broad yet robustly represented demographic ranging from 18-65 year old men and women.
Anyhow, I’m not sure if this is of interest to any of you, but it works for me, and adoption and donation numbers are doing great.
Travis, I’d love to see your page, as well. Also, where do you get your cartoons, memes, etc. to post?
Helpful info. What’s the name of your site? Would love to see.