I think it’s true that, with some notable exceptions, Facebook as a business tool is not really doing it for the vast majority of those businesses that try it. And now there’s this latest turn of events regarding followers…

Carving out a space amongst the person to person ‘life clutter’ (and the time in which to do it in) is for most, already a challenge too far.  It would appear Facebook itself, having gone from homespun rebel geek status to gigantic corporate behemoth, is the only real commercial winner.  And because it now needs to generate gazillions of dollars to pay the investors and keep it in Jelly Beans, at every turn it’s trying it get money out of its users. But this next one really takes the biscuit (currently!)

facebook-topHaving encouraged you to make a Page or your business, Facebook suggests you then simply need to get as many Likes as possible. This is because your own posts will then appear on the News Feed of those that Like you.  The idea be in as time passes this will allow you, according to Facebook, to start ‘building loyalty and creating opportunities to generate sales’. That may make sense in principle but – and it’s a huge big but – it may be a slower start to generating opportunities than you’d rightfully expect.  Because here’s the kicker: even if you do manage to build up thousands of Likes (and good luck with that) once you  start posting on our Facebook page, not all the users that liked your Page will see your posts.

Oh dear.

So – as if it’s not difficult and expensive enough to build Likes, a recent Forbes article by Elan Dekel confirms that in their example of a Page with over 6,000, a typical post would only be seen by only 1% to 5% of the people that Liked the Page.  What??

95percent1So if you are justifying all your Facebook marketing expense because you think it’s just like building a database of relevant email contacts, then it would be like a database that only allowed you to access a tiny, randomly-selected subset each time it was used. Elan’s excellent article goes on to say that Facebook offers a solution for this quandary, which unsurprisingly involves paying Facebook between £3 and £250 to ‘Promote’ your post and increase its reach.

Hmmm.

So is this yet another example of Facebook’s own commercial bias overruling that of your business. Because actually, have you not paid Facebook enough to build those Likes already, only for them to now cut you off from communicating to over 95% of the followers you invested in building?

So it would appear Facebook’s founding ethos of ‘trying to help people connect in ways that are meaningful to them’ is becoming more focused on helping Facebook, than its users. #EPICFAIL