It’s all fun and games…until they change the rules (again) and leave you on the sidelines. Again.
Are you plumb tuckered out trying to promote yourself on Facebook? You should be. Facebook has changed their algorithms yet again (no matter when you read this post, that fact will remain relevant) leaving you and your words hidden to all but a few of the numbers you worked so hard to gather to your page.
It’s like a game where your opponent keeps changing the rules every time you get near the goal.
In this post I aim to convince you to quit fighting Facebook and I will reveal where I’ve chosen to spend my time instead. But before you think I’m calling you to quit Facebook altogether, let me clarify: I’m calling you to quit marketing your site on Facebook, not log out completely. Facebook remains a great place to connect with friends and family, and it’s the preferred hang out for my mastermind group (we use the closed, private group settings). It’s just not the best place to draw people to your site. Here’s why:
Why You Should Quit Facebook
1. This is Facebook’s Game
Facebook makes the rules on their site. This is just and right. They created it, own it, and maintain it. Why are we freaking out when they do what’s best for their company? Here’s the hard truth (and you have to look at the money to get this): Facebook does not make money on your posts. They make money on ads. Facebook’s goal is to have you stay on their site as long as possible, and only leave through a link they make money on (like ads or boosted posts). So, it makes perfect sense that they would arrange for your tantalizing statuses to be seen by as few people as possible.
The fact is, no matter how great your content, headline, photo, or previous engagement, you can’t get ahead. Because it’s not a level playing ground. This is Facebook’s home field, and they are simply doing what they have to to win.
2. Facebook’s Performance is Below Par
If you were a potential buyer of a sports team, you’d want to know their previous scores, right? If you’re looking at which social media site to invest time in, you should look at how it preforms, am I right? So let’s talk statistics.
- Pinterest traffic spends 60% more than Facebook users, and Pinterest traffic converts to a sale 22% more than Facebook traffic. (Great Infographic here)
- Pinterest pins often have a half life of over one week. Compare that to 80 minutes for Facebook and only 5 to 25 minutes on Twitter. (Source)
- Pinterest’s average montly reach is 2.5x that of Facebook because they do not employ any feed curating strategies such as Facebook’s EdgeRank.
- 1 % of people who like a brand’s Facebook page actually interact with that page. (Source)
3. Facebook is not a Marketplace.
It’s true that if you look at performance rates for the top social media sites, Facebook seems to outshine them all with higher click through and referral rates. But that is due, I believe, to the fact that it’s the most familiar site for users, and not that it is the most efficient platform for content marketers. The fact remains that the original purpose of Facebook was not content sharing, but interaction. Compare that to Facebook’s fast-growing competitor Pinterest, which was actually designed as a content discovery and sharing utility and I think you’ll see why I’m encouraging you to put your promotion efforts elsewhere.
Facebook may still be your #2 or #3 traffic source. But if you check your Facebook page analytics, you can see that that traffic probably isn’t coming from your Facebook page. The traffic you’re getting via Facebook is from your readers sharing your posts with their friends, not from you sharing your post links on your page. It’s organic traffic, not promotion, and that’s all the difference.
Let’s Stop Playing Games
IF* you’ve been called to a season of growth on your blog, or have a product or message you’re compelled to spread widely, I think it’s clear that Facebook can be one of the toughest places to do the job. So, what should you use Facebook for? And where should you put all that time you’ve been spending scheduling posts and trying to increase engagement?
- Use Facebook’s closed group settings for brainstorming and support with other bloggers in your niche, or with your mastermind group.
- Use Facebook for connecting with family and friends (although I would assess whether this is the best tool for updates and pictures, or whether a good, old-fashioned family blog would serve you better.)
- Feed your blog’s posts automatically to your public Facebook page to make your posts accessible there without using your precious time.
If Facebook is sucking the life out of your blogging career, it’s time to let it return to a place of conversation, not conversion rates. Once you’ve scaled back and automated your presence there you’ll be free to focus elsewhere. Maybe that’s Pinterest…or maybe it’s not…
I believe the most important strategy for spreading your message is prioritizing the creation of high quality content on your site. When you write the words that only you can write, with a passion and level of skill only possible when you’re not spread way-too-thin on social media, you may be surprised at the impact your words will have, and how far they will go.
*Notice that great big “If” up there? I included that because I really have begun to feel that self promotion is optional and one can still have a successful platform without it. Have you considered ‘going organic’ on your blog (letting all shares and traffic be generated by your readers)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.