News You Can Use

The Great Facebook Swindle and What to Do About It

Posted by @LeeAase, Mar 24, 2014

Interesting (and troubling) information about brand content being further diminished in Facebook users' activity feeds. I thought the points at the end about changing your calls to action to: Visit Us on Facebook and Share with Your Friends were constructive.

Tags: Facebook, facebook pages, Advertising


Posted by @neurosciencegroup, Mar 25, 2014

I agree. Started adding the "Share if..." option right away on FB content and will continue to do so.


Posted by @fabamy, Mar 25, 2014

As a Social Media Strategist, I understand how Facebook works. I also don't understand why companies complain so much about paying to get higher reach. Where else can you be on a network with over a BILLION people? Even $20 to boost a post works really well.
Business owners want too much for free, but don't blink an eye to pay thousands for a PHONE BOOK ad.


Posted by @jkennedy93, Mar 25, 2014

I wish Facebook would just come out and admit they need to charge for their
service and not force ad buying. As a personal user I would pay $30 to $50
a year to create see the updates and feeds that I choose are of interest to
me. As a social media manager for a small business, I could justify a
monthly charge of one center per "like." If there was a per like charge the
drive for numbers would lessen and the focus would be on engagement... in
theory. Just a thought.

*Janet M. Kennedy*
Cell: 919-802-1423



Posted by @mikeboehmer57, Mar 26, 2014

Thanks, Lee. I've been reading a lot about Facebook's changes... and this gives us some practical actions we can take moving ahead.

zmz likes this

Posted by @KimberlyGDATF, Mar 26, 2014

I am the only full-time employee at a nonprofit organization, and social media is just one of 50 other things I do in a given day. My frustration with Facebook is that the rules keep changing. At first, FB was promoted as a great way to engage with your followers. Then, FB changed the rules to supposedly increase the reach for “engaging content” at the expense of other posts. (Although I don’t believe the specific algorithm was ever publicly disclosed). Now it’s “pay to play” – regardless of how engaging your content is. So yes, it does feel a bit like a “swindle”!

zmz likes this

Posted by @LeeAase, Mar 26, 2014

I think this highlights why Facebook and other general-purpose platforms should be just part of your strategy, not the whole thing. It's the one basket/all your eggs problem. Clearly we get a lot of traffic driven to us from Facebook, but lots of that is by people sharing links from and to our pages...not necessarily from our brand page. I think we all need to look at some of the best practice suggestions (as were in the article) and adjust accordingly...and also make sure we're using multiple platforms. I know that doesn't sound great for you when you have 50+ other things to do...but one thing you might consider is using your personal account more...since that wouldn't be subject to the same reduction as brand-related pages are.


Posted by @KimberlyGDATF, Apr 25, 2014

Hi Lee – When you talk about using a personal Facebook page, are you suggesting using the follow/subscribe feature (I think FB keeps changing this terminology) or about friending people that have an interest in the organization? I already have quite a few “friends” on Facebook who I have met through my current job, and honestly, I wish I could put that horse back in the barn!

I’ve created two separate groups for friends related to my current job vs. for all other friends to control who sees my personal posts, but there is zero control over what shows up on the Facebook News Ticker. Facebook itself says of the News Ticker:

“People included in the audience of the post can see your comment or like in News Feed or ticker as well as other places around Facebook. You can check who something is shared with by going to the post and hovering over the audience icon.
For example, you might comment on a photo one of your family members posts to just family. A friend of yours, who isn't included in the audience the photo was shared with, won't see a story in ticker or News Feed about your comment.
If you aren't comfortable with who can see the post, don't like it or comment on it.”

Yikes! In other words, if you “Like” or comment on a post that is public (and by default, comments on all FB “Pages” are public), this will show up on the Ticker for *everyone* on your “Friend” list. Granted, the Ticker has a very short “shelf life” – and it’s not like I’m making comments that would keep me from running for public office – but to me, it’s still a huge privacy concern.

Posted by @LeeAase, Apr 25, 2014

Sharing more content on your personal profile isn't for everyone. I was just saying that as a person sharing with your friends your posts are proportionately more visible than your hospital posting to its brand page. Not a great solution, but highlights the importance of making it easy for individuals to share content from your Web site or blog via a FB share or like button.

zmz likes this

Posted by @hagm04, Mar 27, 2014

Good Morning Lee,

I have a question about FB. I Boast posts on our FB page of certain events
that are important to readers of American Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
Support. My problem is that I regularly get blocked because FB says I have
offended persons that do not want to get this information. I have also been
blocked several times for friending individuals that I do not personally
know. I have written to FB many times that I run a non profit and of course
I friend people do not know, because the non profit is for a rare disease.

Linda N Hageman, RN

zmz likes this

Posted by @LeeAase, Mar 28, 2014

I think the way to avoid getting blocked is to encourage those who don't know you to initiate the friend request. If the people get to your Web site you can have a link to your Facebook profile and then encourage people to reach out.

Audrey Glasby likes this

Posted by @hagm04, Mar 29, 2014

Thanks Lee, this problem of being blocked on FB is so frustrating. Do you
think that Boosting certain information works for letting people know about
a rare disease non profit? Thanks Linda

zmz likes this

Posted by @LeeAase, Mar 30, 2014

I think it depends on how targeted you can be in the boosting. If you can't target effectively you are going to reach a lot of people who don't have an interest in the rare disease.

zmz likes this

Posted by @hagm04, Mar 30, 2014

I was wondering if boosting was causing me to be blocked on FB. Also can FB do a search and see who is reporting me?

Posted by @LeeAase, Mar 30, 2014

Boosting shouldn't cause blocking. FB won't tell you who is reporting you. From their perspective the fact that someone is reporting you is all that matters. They aren't going to invest a lot of time to tell you who and why.


Posted by @fabamy, Jun 17, 2014

This could also happen because of HOW OFTEN you post. Also, people do NOT like to be spammed with friend requests from strangers. That's the hub-bub of all the privacy issues people think they have on Facebook.

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