There’s been a lot of back and forth this week about Facebook and whether the social network is a worthwhile part of your marketing plan. Since both Dear Author and Smart Bitches covered the economics of the issue in great depth, I won’t rehash the arguments. (I do recommend you read their blog posts however.)
Basically the hoopla boils down to this: Facebook has decreased the organic reach of business “pages.” Meaning, if you have an official page, there’s a good chance your posts aren’t making it into readers feeds. Hell, even if you have a regular Facebook page and not a “business” page, thanks to Facebook’s algorithms, there’s still a good chance your posts aren’t showing up in people’s news feeds, or if you are showing up, you’re showing up way on the bottom. All of this jockeying, of course, is part of Facebook’s plan to increase its revenue stream.
Once upon a time, five or six years ago, I loved Facebook. The network let me reach out to friends I hadn’t talked to in years. Back then, checking for updates meant catching up on people’s news of the day. What their kids were doing, what they were doing.
Then someone decided Facebook was an awesome way to talk about books. Suddenly Facebook became all about getting friends. My feed became a mishmash of “buy my books” links and re-posts of book reviews Between that and Facebook’s continual tweaking of its product, the social aspect of the social network has been all but erased. Whereas before I scrolled my news feed with interest, I now fast-forward, stopping only if something catches my eye. (Hint: it’s usually a cat picture or one of those What Kind of _____ Are You? quizzes.)
All of which has me torn over whether or not I should break up with Facebook. Am I sticking with the site merely out of fear I’ll miss out if I don’t? As far as a marketing tool, I’m not sure the site gives me any real advantage. The few times I spent money to “boost” a post, I didn’t see any true return. Linking to blog posts isn’t so useful either, as I’ve heard Facebook’s algorithms are such that embedded posts rank higher than links that take you from Facebook’s feed. (I don’t know if that’s true or not, but seriously, when a site becomes that nit-picky, it’s time to look for a better site.)
For now, I’ve decided on a compromise. Rather than leave completely, I’m scaling back. I’ll keep my author’s page (www.facebook.com/barbarawallaceauthor) as a tool for making announcements about covers, releases, etc., but I’d much rather focus my energy on finding new ways of meeting friends and readers – one that allows me to actually talk with people rather at. (By the way, for those of you on Google Plus – you can join my circle there at google.com/
Or better yet, sign up for my newsletter. Granted, a newsletter isn’t two-way conversation, but it will keep you up to date with releases. And who knows? I might throw in a cat picture or two.
Meanwhile, for those of you reading this blog post, I’m curious, has Facebook lost it’s appeal for you as well?