The Problem With Facebook

Derek Muller, the scientist behind Veritasium, shook up public perception of Facebook back in January and again in February. He argues that Facebook pushes pages to pay to have their content featured more prominently on Facebook. He notes that while platforms like YouTube pay content creatures, driving higher quality material, Facebook does the opposite. It hides user-created content from brands and community pages in order to force them to pay for advertising.

This knowledge is nothing new to community managers. This concept is difficult to convey to clients, especially those who have paid for fake likes or poor advertising in the past. They see an immediate growth in people liking their page, but by the time they bring me on to manage their content, they’re puzzled by the lack of activity of their members.

Facebook admits that only 16% of your fans will ever see your content organically on Facebook. They make this metric public specifically to entice pages to pay for sponsored stories. Facebook’s stock standard response for how to boost engagement is to post short updates but to focus more on asking questions and posting videos and photos (rather than links to webpages). While it’s true that this content does better, you’re still only going to hit a minority of your users unless you pay to boost your content.

Most importantly – create your own content. This means spreading material that is novel and making your own graphics.

This post was first published on 13 March 2013

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