Many small businesses rely on Facebook pages to get the word out about new products and services. With the new FB Timeline in place, a good majority of people who subscribe to updates from businesses or churches are not getting them in their timeline. A shiny new algorithm tries to surface content that it thinks you want rather than displaying viable content to which you subscribed. I realize there is a way to get all of the content, but it’s not readily available when a page is first loaded.
I was made aware of this after reading my friend’s wife’s blog since I don’t peruse Facebook at all (unless I’m trolling on my wife’s account). Amy from Evy’s Tree has a small clothing line that has done really well using a FB page for marketing purposes. Amy typically posts new products to make fans aware that they are available. Recently, her sales took a nose dive and traced it back to FB’s new content algorithm.
Here’s what she wrote on her blog for Evy’s Tree:
I logged onto Facebook to put up my morning status update. I posted it then went over to the home page to look for it. IT WASN’T THERE. My status was gone! WHAT?!? I went back in and erased it then posted it again. After doing this a couple times, it finally popped up in my news feed…but nobody was commenting on it, unlike my regular status updates, the ones I posted that day got nearly zero comments and barely any likes.
Amy estimates that her posts reached a max of 20% of the people who subscribed to her updates. I post announcements for our church’s FB page to help get the word out about events and I noticed the exact thing. I only reached a 17% of the page’s followers whereas that number used to be in the 60-80% range. The sad news about Evy’s Tree is that it will close unless sales rise.
This is something Facebook really needs to take a look at fixing. If someone subscribes to updates from a page, they should get all updates rather than a parsed feed of supposed relevant content. The content IS relevant if a user has subscribed to it. This is a point of user experience that is a bit frustrating for content editors and users alike.
I imagine there are other businesses and churches who have lost a lot of volume on the messages they’ve been sending to their users…well 20% of them. When technology has to think for the user, the technology has gone too far. Users are still smart and don’t need to have their hands held when browsing a site.
If you would like to help save Evy’s Tree, go buy awesome hand-made stuff there or share a link to your friends on a blog or your social network. If you’re a business or a church looking to get your message out, the lesson here is don’t put all of your eggs in one basket on Facebook. Diversify your advertising and outreach.
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