I know you're frustrated right now, I am too.
You've spent all this time building your communities, working out which content works best, and generally prescribing to the principle that Facebook is a social network, not an advertising platform.
Well, things have changed, and although the new Facebook is not what it once was, it's not all bad.
Before we get into the reasons why you shouldn't lose complete faith in Facebook, let's quickly recap the changes that have caused a stir.
The most contentious addition? Facebook's new launched promoted posts.
At first, this seemed like quite a subtle change. We've become accustomed to Facebook ads and sponsored stories, so promoted posts seemed like a logical progression.
If you're not familiar promoted posts, they allow you to do two things:
- They give your posts more visibility in the newsfeed amongst people who already like your page
- Or, for a little extra investment, you can get some extra visibility amongst people who like your page and (most importantly) their friends
The reaction from many page owners, especially smaller businesses, is that you can't succeed on Facebook anymore without throwing money at it.
This is a very understandable reaction as it is a big 'rule' change.
(I almost feel like accusing Facebook of entrapment!)
But, just like Google has done via paid search results, and Twitter has done via promoted tweets, a small piece of real estate is being put aside to generate revenue.
If Facebook was your business you'd be doing it too!
There is an important thing to remember though - promoted posts only provide visibility.
They don't turn crappy posts into magically engaging ones. And, they don't instantly cultivate relationships with your most valued advocates (that can only happen after a long period of voluntary engagement).
So, what can you do to get past this feeling of frustration.
I think there are three pretty simple options:
- Tell Facebook where to stick it and close down your page(s) - I wouldn't do that
- Keep doing what you have been doing, and have confidence in what you've been producing (fashion fades, style is forever)
- Invest more in platforms you own - this is the big one for me. I've always felt your blog is the hub of all social media activity. And, most importantly, you own it so you make the rules. When you invest in other people's platforms you have to play by theirs.
The morale of my letter and something that can be applied across all social media activity is don't put all your eggs in the one basket.
And, accept Facebook for what it is, not what it isn't - a great place for mainstream engagement and one of many avenues stakeholders can take to connect with your brand / organisation.
Facebook doesn't owe us anything, and in turn, we don't owe it anything back.