Facebook charges you to talk to more than 15% of your "friends".
This might be old news to you, but not to me. In a conversation with Davey D today, really on the new FCC rulings being promulgated, he noted in passing that Facebook is now charging you for the privilage of talking to all your “fans” and “friends.” I spent a few minutes online right after the conversation, and confirmed it. According to Facebook's own advertising department, on the average, about 15% of the folks you imagine are getting your stuff are getting it. The other 80 or 85%..... not. That's one in five if you're lucky, one in seven if you're not.
Ever wondered what that “promote” button at the bottom of your posts is? That's the doorway to talking to ALL your followers or friends or fans. It's the ONLY doorway, and it's a toll booth.
This is not a bug, it's a feature. Facebook is not a level playing field, and it's certainly NOT a meritocratic online universe in which you can “earn” an audience and then once that audience is built get to address them merely by posting on your Facebook page in the certainty that they will see it. What would be the profit in that? If you want to talk to ALL of“your” friends instead of the random percentage FB allows you have to pay Facebook for the privilege, about $1 per click thru item per “friend.”
Although Facebook is Black Agenda Report's number one referrer, I have long wondered at the relatively meager returns we get, a fraction of the traffic we should have been seeing if all 12K people who "liked" the page were actually seeing the articles. We've got pretty good Google Analytics records for the last several years. I wonder if I look back to the spring of 2012 will I see the fall-off that this article mentions, around the time they stopped automatically forwarding stuff to everybody who's your “friend”, you “fan” or who “likes you?
What we are seeing then, is Facebook turned into another forum where only those with the big bucks can really afford the mic. It's the American way, at least until we can drastically change our country and our world.
The lessons here are that email itself (along with the old-fashioned telephone and the radio) are the killer people-reaching apps. You KNOW when a phone call goes through. You can employ low-cost means to verify that your emails are reaching people, and local radio, when available, reaches a local audience like nothing else. Community building, reach-building and organizing will not happen on Facebook, for the most part. Often they will happen in spite of it. In-person events, with people signing up to get on your lists, and giving you their phone numbers AND email addresses are the gold standard, as far as building up an audience goes.
I'm certainly not the smartest guy in the universe. I am far from even the smartest person I KNOW. But if I didn't know this about Facebook, it's a safe bet that most people don't. Some large fraction of these are doubtless still walking around with the illusion that it, and some other parts of the online universe are techo-meritocracies where persistence, originality and whatever are rewarded ---- for those who can just get it right. It's important that we help people out of this delusion, when and wherever we can. I mean I knew the Facebook
Is Twitter gamed the same way? I dunno yet, or if so, how. Will look into it. I promise.
Thanks to Davey D for the tip.