I have a rep around the agency that I’m in the tank for Facebook, and I have to admit that I have been. I’ve staunchly defended the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm as a useful tool for improving the social experience on the platform. I’m always the person suggesting to clients that if they want to really increase the likes on their page, they need to seriously consider using Facebook ads to do so. I jumped for joy when you rolled out “promoted posts” for fan pages while those cynical souls around me said it was just a blatant attempt to extract more money from brand pages. I stood by you when you trampled on the privacy of millions of consumers. Creepy facial recognition feature? Not a problem!
When you manage social medial properties for brands (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, blogs and more) you need to use tools that let you manage the entire process. You need a single dashboard (whenever possible) where a social media team can schedule posts, reply to posts and comments, plan the workflow and editorial calendar, analyze results and adjust campaigns. The bottom line is that it is just too time consuming to manually upload content to
And here is where the problem is. It seems that Facebook, the very Facebook that I have defended for years has been gaming me like some slick carny operator. If you use a third-party app to manage content, Facebook assigns a lower weight to the post. That means fewer people will see your post and that means lower reach, fewer likes, fewer shares, fewer comments, lower engagement. Social engagement, when using 3rd-party apps craters. Where’s the “me no likey” button?
We tested this premise on the SmithGifford Facebook page. We posted content manually to the page and posted the same content using Hootsuite. The result: reach declined by 41 percent. In a similar test with a client, we noticed a drop of between 40% – 50%. Not good.
Hey, I get it. It’s a matter of making sure that Facebook gets the greatest amount of traffic. They’re a pubic company now and we all know how well that is going.
So, what’s the plan? In the meantime, we’re manually uploading and curating content on Facebook using their totally lame scheduling system. We’ll use Hootsuite and other tools to manage everything else. This is not making me happy.
Last Friday, I stopped by the McDonald’s on my way into work to grab a cup of coffee. While waiting for it, I noticed 3 teenage girls sitting at a table, iPhones in hand, using Twitter.
I walked over to them and asked, “Do you guys use Facebook too?”
The young girl in the middle look at me oddly and replied, “No, not any more. I mean, I have a profile, but I never go there anymore.”
“Good,” I thought. I hope that attitude catches on. Why? Because I’m no longer in the tank for Facebook.