A Different Kind of Facebook Complaint
Is Facebook greedy or is the social giant simply fighting back against spammy marketing tactics?
As marketers, it’s tough to constantly change and adapt strategies to match algorithm changes. With Facebook, the changes are arriving faster and faster each day.
Is that a bad thing? That depends on your intent with the platform.
If you care about your end consumer, this is great news. If you simply want to exploit Facebook’s massive network for your own benefit, this is bad news for you.
Almost every article complaining about Facebook’s organic reach issues has the same thesis:
“Facebook won’t hand us millions of customers on a silver platter?!”
The logic is simple, they care about the experience of the millions of people who use the site every single day (oh, and they’re a publicly traded company).
Why would Facebook let thousands of marketers come into their space and spam everyone to death? They gave us a platform with free brand pages, but marketers came in, used spammy growth techniques, and now they are taking back control.
If you worked tirelessly to build a website for millions of people, would you let marketers trample all over it and ruin everything?
Of course not. You would regulate. You would have rules.
As soon as company pages were allowed, thousands of articles came out about how to game the system to get tons of likes. Facebook regulated, and we should be thanking them instead of complaining about it.
They purged fake likes, and suddenly organic reach (and vanity metrics) started to slip away. They algorithmically control the content displayed to user, instead they offer paid advertising.
Facebook isn’t stupid.
They’re on to our tactics.
They will constantly be one step ahead of everyone else to keep their platform fun to use. If they let businesses ruin everything, soon the consumers will abandon the platform entirely. They refuse to let this happen.
They simply want brands that care to rise to the occasion, they have raised the barrier to entry for spammy tactics.
Facebook wants you to succeed. Without brands and advertising dollars, they would have no business model. Facebook just isn’t willing to subject its users to bad experience.
The sheer number of people in one place is a goldmine. You can narrow and target your advertising audience unlike any platform we have seen.
I would guess this is also why Facebook will continue to restrict Instagram’s user-switching features. They know what would happen if they opened the floodgates so even paid advertising on Instagram is only allowed for a small few. Actually, rumor has it these ads cost up to $1 million.
Why Are so Many Disrespecting Their Own Audiences?
I didn’t have to scroll far to find examples of brands using Facebook simply as a broadcast network:
2 pieces of promoted content, over 1500 likes, 750 shares 160 comments. At a glance that sounds pretty good but when I expanded the comments I realized that neither brand had bothered to reply to a SINGLE comment or question.
These brands are spending money to get in front of Facebook the users that were “taken away from them”. Now that they have an audience again, they actively ignore them. Does that sound like a good customer experience?
This is not only disrespectful to their customers, but also to Facebook as a social platform. FB allows these companies to advertise to their audience yet they can’t be bothered to interact with them?
We are losing organic reach! Facebook is the worst!
But when we get in front of customers again, we only care about impressions and clicks. These are the tactics that ruin Facebook for everyone.
Customers are not just a number; they’re smarter than that. They know when a company doesn’t care and just wants their money. Facebook has provided targeted access to millions of users. Outside of that fact, nothing has changed.
Facebook isn’t a strategy. It’s just another channel that we can leverage to connect with new and existing customers.
When you dive into Facebook you shouldn’t be saying “Let’s figure out a way to profit on Facebook” instead think “How can we use Facebook to get our customers what they want”.
The truth is that customers want access to brands, this goes beyond promotional material. If you can provide actual, personal feedback you create brand loyalty. Not every customer interaction is directly transactional… Just look at the 1400 people that were ignored above.
Not every company deserves thousands of organic “likes” just for putting in the minimum effort. Business is competitive, you knew that when you started.
Maybe instead of complaining about the cost of advertising we should be asking:
“How can we serve our customers better? How can we provide more value?”
That is how you win.