It didn’t take long before the fears expressed by many specialists were confirmed by Facebook management: pages, especially those of companies, could no longer have their publications displayed on the news feeds! In other words, they may have millions of fans, it will no longer be possible for them, in fact, to reach them for free…
Adam Mosseri, News Feed manager at facebook, has just published a statement, where he confirmed the tests already carried out in certain countries. Their goal is to separate the contents of pages from personal publications. Because, according to him, people prefer to see the publications of their friends and family members. He also said that testing will continue over the next few months.
So what should we do?
Over a year ago we warned, and we were neither the first nor the last: ” Facebook has proven time and time again that it is not to be trusted. It’s a platform where the rules are constantly changing. When the fan page system was launched, companies rushed to recruit new subscribers. They spent a lot of money there, because we all thought it was a more or less sustainable investment.
Indeed, having a very large audience and being able to reach them for free is an opportunity not to be overlooked. But Facebook, through the changes it has made to its famous Edge Rank – and which means that to join your own fans, you have to spend money (guess who), or settle for a tiny percentage of your entire audience – has prompted many companies to revise their plans. If the pillars of your strategy are in the hands of others, expect the worst. And indeed, the worst seems to be at the doorstep of businesses: the small percentage that you could reach through regular and effective efforts may be taken away from you. If you want your fans (what does it mean to be a fan today?) To see your posts on the newsfeed, you have to pay. If such an “escalation” to page owners is confirmed, what would be the point of staying on Facebook. The question is very important.
Why not a pull strategy?
The logic of Facebook pages has always been a push strategy, the content is pushed towards the subscriber whose news feed depends on an algorithm. A page performs well when, among other things, its publications appear on the largest number of news feeds. With the change so feared by CMs, the only way to make sense of the existence of a page would be to instill in Facebook subscribers, the reflex to visit pages as they visit websites or blogs for example. The interest for companies that adopt a Pull strategy would be not to lose their strengths, often acquired by large expenses. Clearly, if a company has millions of fans on its page, it can not abandon them overnight.
However, a Pull strategy will generate new expenses. So every business will have to ask themselves if their page is worth it. On another level, at Facebook, they have the annoying habit of deleting old publications, and even entire pages (extremely rare, but real) without giving any explanation. If we deploy a Pull strategy to bring visitors, why not do it for the benefit of another much safer platform?
It’s time to demystify Facebook
آ We have often read and heard how social networks allowed Barack Obama to be elected in 2008. What many ignore is that the former president of the USA had focused his campaign (digital side) on a platform specific to him my.barackobama.com. Initially, the site bore the title “Obama For America”, it was intended to help the candidate to access the supreme office. It enabled interactivity, idea sharing and even hosted blogs. Once Obama became president, he knew how to adapt his platform to allow him to respond to his new situation. The site has been renamed “Organizing For America” and has become a space to communicate with the President of the USA, while allowing the dissemination of mobilization tools towards citizens.
Barack Obama had of course used other platforms, including Facebook, but he was based on a site that he could control and evolve. He was very well advised, especially by Chris Hughes one of the founders of Facebook! However, he did not push him to put all his eggs in the Facebook basket …
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Facebook is a very important and often essential support of the social web, but it must always be treated as a tool, with its strengths and weaknesses.
In conclusion, Mr. Mosseri says that the tests that aim to isolate page publications are motivated by the complaints of users who prefer to see the publications of their friends and relatives. So far so good, but what should we think of when branded content is invited to “personal” newsfeeds because they have been sponsored?