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Social Media for Dummies

Yes. I know that title’s taken. But, the ever-changing landscape of social media ALWAYS makes me feel like a dummy…….AND I KEEP UP WITH IT. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who don’t, yet still rely on it for everything. I was at an event yesterday morning, and I asked a Facebook connection a question, and her first response was, “Didn’t you see what I posted on Facebook?”

NO. I DID NOT. BECAUSE FACEBOOK’S INDECIPHERABLE ALGORITHMS DIDN’T DEEM IT NEWSWORTHY TO ME.

I don’t get to decide what I care about anymore.

It isn’t that I think Facebook is the Internet Anti-Christ. (Though I do think that.) I’m forced to spend more time there than I used to. Because most of my blog subscribers use and rely on Facebook for everything (to maintain news about friends and relations; to announce big events; to let everyone know you’re having a bad day; or a good day; to relay various important things that are going on in your life), please read this announcement about Facebook:

FACEBOOK IS NOT A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE. IT IS AN ADVERTISING SITE, DRIVEN TO EXTRACT REVENUE FROM EVERY SINGLE CLICK, EVERY CONNECTION, EVERY JOT AND TITTLE YOU LET YOUR MOUSE LINGER OVER FOR TWO SECONDS WITHOUT MOVING ON.

YOU ARE THE PRODUCT.

What does this mean for you as a person?

As a Facebook user, that means you cannot rely on Facebook to keep up with people you care about. In spite of the fact that I’ve created lists of the people I want to see, I never, ever see those people in my newsfeed. Facebook merely knows what ads to show me because I was stupid enough to tell them which people I most care about.

Do not use Facebook to make important announcements or rely on it as your sole means of relaying key information about happenings in your life. (Granddad just died. My sister has cancer. I just lost my job. It’s a girl! Etc.) I know most of you are smart people and will likely go, “Duh. Who does that?” Answer: LOTS OF PEOPLE DO THAT (and get upset when nobody cares, when really, nobody saw it.)

If you care about seeing specific content in your newsfeed, you need to interact with it when Facebook deems to show it to you. Click Like. Click through to read the article. Make a comment. Not every time you see it. But sometimes. Interact somehow, because Facebook just announced that they’re no longer going to show you content YOU’VE SAID YOU WANT TO SEE in your newsfeed UNLESS YOU INTERACT WITH IT.

Along with this ‘we know better than you what you like’ mentality, Facebook also announced that they’re going to start showing you content from sites who are paying for Facebook to continue to exist EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T LIKED THEM. Maybe that won’t be all bad, because you may see some things you actually like. But, they’re well on the way to censoring your newsfeed to suit them REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO.

And, they can do that, because it’s their platform.

I’d think about that, long and hard, before I made casual posts on Facebook from this point forward.

What does this mean for you as a blogger/business?

You’re going to PAY, or nobody is going to see anything you SAY. Wonder why clicks to your blog from Facebook are dropping when your content hasn’t changed? Because you aren’t paying to promote each post to people who’ve already said they want to see it. (And why the HELL would you do that, unless you’re making money from your blog?????)

Furthermore, Facebook told brands in December (yes, blogger/non-profit/random person who has a page, you are a brand) that if they didn’t buy separate advertising on their platform, eventually no one would see what they posted, regardless of how many people shared, interacted, liked or otherwise took an action on their content.

Do with this information what you will. My hope is that you will be a little less frustrated that your good, engaging content may not be reaching the audience it did 6 – 12 months ago.

I’m connected to people who are way more conversant on this topic than me, and I welcome your additional insights in today’s comments. Please pardon my lengthy (but I hope helpful) post. Kinda all makes me want to tell Facebook…….

facebook fu

*********

If you’re in the Nashville, Tennessee area, I’m going to be a featured author at Landmark Booksellers’ booth at the Historic Franklin Main Street Festival this Sunday, April 27, from 12 – 2pm. Please come out and support this gem of a bookstore. I’ll sign your copies of To Live Forever. I’ll sell you more copies for your friends and relations. And, if you’re really nice, I’ll show you my feet. MTM may even be there, decked out as Meriwether Lewis in his ‘dandy’ period. Click here to see all the events at this year’s Main Street Festival, April 26 – 27, Franklin, TN: http://www.historicfranklin.com/events/main-street-festival

Here’s today’s Reader Question, straight from the West Ashley Greenway, one of the places I trained for my Natchez Trace walk.

 

84 Comments Post a comment
  1. As they say on several places I visit on the internet…this, just this. Breadcrumbs (although that is pointless on FB and WP). Good post. AND it is going to be worse if the new Net non-Neutrality rules actually come into effect.
    Oh, and the only people who actually know much more than you are those who are paid by corporations to be social media for them…

    April 24, 2014
    • While I don’t do social media for money, I am very interested in it. I write these posts from time to time because I’m a neutral person. I don’t make money from doing social media marketing. I want to state that right up front in my first comment reply. What I’m saying isn’t driven by my own profit potential. (I know you know that, Robert, but some other folks may not.)

      April 24, 2014
  2. Miranda Gargasz #

    FB makes me want to weep. I truly wish I were better at the social media thing. There are so many options for social media that I get overwhelmed. Who has time to maintain all these platforms? I’d need a person just to do that job and only that job if I wanted to advertise across all outlets. Since I’m only one person, I chose one outlet to use, foolishly putting all my eggs in one basket. *sigh* …….. I am so relieved to know I’m not the only person dressing up her husband to sell books. I’m way more blatant than you, though. I just got him a t-shirt with the book cover on it. The back says “My wife is the author.” My little walking billboard.

    April 24, 2014
    • If MTM wore t-shirts with writing on them, I would totally copy you, Miranda. 🙂 That’s awesome.

      Everyone, eventually, is going to have to pay somebody to manage this for them if they ever want to have real success with social media. I try to be completely transparent with my readers and with those who interact with me, and I will tell you I already do that. My publicist designs much of my social media strategy. She recommends specific posts to promote (and I do pay FB to promote posts.) She is an administrator on my Facebook page (I am not), and she (or MTM) post everything you see there. When I respond, it’s from my personal profile, because I’m not an administrator non my page, and I actually respond to people. (Why I’m not an admin on my page is a long story that I’m not putting on the internet, but I will tell any of you privately if you email me.)

      As an author, you have to come up with a strategy to tackle these platforms. Yes, it is overwhelming, but I’m on all the platforms I list on my bio page, and I largely maintain them myself. You can do it, if you formulate a strategy and stick to it.

      What that means, largely, is that your time to scroll and dawdle and waste time on these platforms goes away. When I’m there, I’m posting content, sharing the content of others, interacting with my readers and followers, and engaging with whatever else I can see in less than a minute.

      I take the time to write lengthy responses and really engage with my audience here, on a platform I control. I try to get everyone I can to subscribe directly to this platform that I control, because I make the rules here. I have stopped wasting my time and energy trying to get things like Facebook likes, because Facebook has repeatedly made changes that render them irrelevant. Don’t misunderstand. I still get likes on my page, and I’m grateful for every one of them, but my energy is driven toward capturing an audience in a platform I control. Period.

      April 24, 2014
  3. As one of those who is sometimes paid to plan strategy for brand-which includes how to use Facebook, just plan to pay. It is no longer any different than the local broadcast TV channel which a business pays to air an ad for them-sometimes you do something newsworthy and you are featured in the evening news, but most times you pay to get your message in front of your audience.

    April 24, 2014
    • I told Rotarians in my District this in three presentations today, and I’ll say it again here.

      Every single solitary thing you see in your newsfeed on Facebook in twelve months will be bought-and-paid for content. EVERYTHING.

      That’s my prediction, and I may be wrong, but I haven’t been wrong about much that I thought FB would do so far.

      How you respond to that is you pay. Period.

      April 24, 2014
  4. I’m on Facebook, but I can’t say I’m a fan of it. Half the time people ask me, “Did you see such and such’s announcement on Facebook?” But most of the time I haven’t seen their news in my feeds. I have tons of other people’s announcements! It’s frustrating.
    Great question from Carlos. I wondered that too. I should have asked.

    April 24, 2014
    • No matter how I have tried to organize FB to see people I want to see, they don’t show those people to me (unless it’s to say, “Andra! Your dear friend Lori O’Leary liked this product/bought this thing/interacted with this brand!!! Maybe you should, too!!!!!”)

      This is only going to get worse.

      April 24, 2014
  5. We all know you’ve developed a robust presence on Google Plus, Andra, but what about some more insight into the proactive steps you’ve taken elsewhere? I’ve been talking with one of our new authors, who’s a passionate and crazy energetic social media marketer, and it’s been enlightening, so I’m curious.

    April 24, 2014
    • I’m going to respond to everyone later today, but I’m giving presentations on social media at my Rotary District Assembly for the next few hours. I have many answers and thoughts, so I hope readers will come back this evening and read through the responses.

      April 24, 2014
    • I’ve tried not to jump around too much, but some of this is in earlier comment replies.

      1. I try to be very responsive to people who engage with me across all platforms. It’s exhausting sometimes, and some days (like today, when I’ve been away from my office for twelve solid hours) I don’t do the job with that I’d like. But people are going to interact with me wherever it’s most convenient for them. And, if I want them to continue to interact with me, I have to deal with that.

      2. I pay to play. See my comment reply to Miranda above. (And, don’t even get me started on how authors don’t have money to invest in themselves. If you are not willing to invest your own money in yourselves and your stories, why on earth is anyone else going to?????????)

      3. I have a publicist. I pay her. My publisher does not. See comment reply to Miranda above.

      4. Whenever a new commenter responds on my blog, I capture their email address. If every social media platform blows up on the same day, I’ll be able to go to my database of addresses and continue as normal (or as normally as that would be.)

      5. Because Facebook views every user as a product, I view my presence there as my author brand image. I will only post things there going forward that hone and refine that image. Period. I leave my socializing to Google+, because I have the flexibility to make posts specifically for groups I create, to mark them private versus public, and to compartmentalize my online life. (And that’s not to say everything I post is about my book. I share posts of others, but it’s always with an eye toward the message that I’m going somewhere, that things are happening with my writing career, that I’m somebody to watch, etc. That’s what I know, and that’s the message I want others to believe.)

      If your author had any additional ideas that you’re willing to share or discuss here, I’d love to hear them.

      April 24, 2014
  6. A media post all the way through to the listener question. I am frustrated with the Facebook, but also find it’s what “everybody uses”. We are definitely the commodity.

    April 24, 2014
    • The advice I gave groups today, and it bears repeating here, is that you should reach out to those people on FB that you truly care about staying connected to. Create a profile on Google+, and encourage every one of those people to join you. Experiment with posting the same content in both places for two weeks. I’ll bet you you see more of what you want to see on G+. Then, decide as a group where to be.

      There’s a solution to the FB problem, and it’s this: STOP USING IT. As much as we possibly can, we need to migrate our social networking activities to a true social network, and right now that is Google+. If enough people stop going there, stop feeding it information, stop logging in multiple umpteen times a day, and stop tolerating what they’re doing because they’re arrogant enough to believe we don’t have other options, then they won’t fail.

      And they really, REALLY need to fail.

      April 24, 2014
  7. Theresa Carter #

    Thank you for the Facebook info. It answers some questions that have been forming over the last month. I’m missing contact with a few notable friends and pages. Like staying in touch but don’t often “interact”. Always enjoy the blog.

    April 24, 2014
    • The only way to keep in touch at this point is to interact. Eventually, I fear even that won’t work. 😦

      April 28, 2014
  8. FB tripled their earnings last quarter. They will not change a thing and believe they’re on the “right track.” The only way for us brands to gain advantage is to hire someone to monitor and respond. Yeah. Like THAT’s a good idea.

    April 24, 2014
    • Their publicist crafted all the media on that. ALL OF IT.

      April 24, 2014
  9. So true, so very true. And by the way, I love your FU symbol. I should really stay off Facebook entirely. For some reason most of the posts they show me tend to piss me off. But same as you, if I don’t go on there then people are always “didn’t you see what I posted on FB?” It was all so much easier back in the good old days.

    Now get off my lawn!

    April 24, 2014
    • I’ve just started telling people, “No. I didn’t,” every time they say that to me. And I give them a mini-lecture about FB as an advertising platform and how that’s only going to get worse.

      April 24, 2014
  10. Interesting post, Andra (this is coming from a FB nerd – only use it hoping to see photos of my grands).

    April 24, 2014
    • My guideson’s parents made the most awesome Tumblr for photos of Cooper. I prefer it to anything they post on FB (which I almost never see anymore, in spite of the fact that I click Like every time I see one.)

      April 24, 2014
  11. Not a fan of FB. Never was. I left years ago. People need to wise up about what it is really going on there– and this post is a good start for those who are confused.

    [Ditto what Michael Carnell said about your FU symbol. Perfect.]

    April 24, 2014
    • I wish I could leave, Ally. But, as long as people are there, I am forced to be.

      April 24, 2014
  12. I refuse to make a page for many of these reasons. Instead I use my personal to do all my interactions and have fun messing around and such.

    April 24, 2014
    • But these same rules are going to apply to personal profiles, Jon. Give them time.

      April 24, 2014
      • That’s why nothing really important goes there. Sharing some creepy picture love there is a good few minutes.

        It’s interesting to note that the yahoo chatrooms of the 90s died away and became nothing but a haven for porn bots and spam at one point. With the way facebook is going, I wonder how long before people filter away and leave the walls with nothing but paid advertising.

        April 25, 2014
  13. FB is a very strange creature. I hate it, yet I am compelled to weed through my feed every day. Very few people post anything even remotely interesting but yet I cannot stop. I think I may need help…

    April 24, 2014
    • One thing that really helped me was deleting the app from my phone and iPad.

      April 24, 2014
  14. For a quick fix (maybe?) on the feed situation: if you go to the top of your news feed and ensure you are sorting on “most recent” versus the default of “top stories” this may help you see everything your friends are posting. Top Stories is what FB wants you to see, based on their crazy algorithms. Of course this only fixes your personal page/feed and doesn’t address your blog page and the fact that yeah, you’re screwed, unless you pay for advertising.

    p.s. Thanks for the tip on the photography app. I’ve been playing with a few, but yours sounds pretty great.

    April 24, 2014
    • Nancy, I don’t know about you, but Facebook no longer gives me the option to sort my feed by “Most Recent.” That button went away for me a couple of weeks ago.

      You’ve seen the results I’ve had with that app. I hope you’ll let me know if you try it.

      April 24, 2014
      • On the FB phone app the toggle between Most Recent and Top Stories is still on top of the feed. In the full web version I thought it disappeared too but then I found it on the left sidebar. Sneaky bastards.

        April 24, 2014
      • I no longer use the mobile app, but I’ll go looking for the sort button on the side when I’m next there. Thanks for the tip.

        April 24, 2014
  15. tarakianwarrior #

    Yes, I am visiting facebook less and less – so frustrated because I get the OLD news and all my friends post stuff that I rarely get to see, so frustrated IF you have expectations…I’m learning not to have expectations.

    April 24, 2014
    • You’re on Google+. We just need to be interacting more there.

      April 24, 2014
  16. “FB stock surged 3.10% to $63.21 in afterhours trading following the impressive [earnings] release. The social networking leader delivered on earnings, revenue, mobile ad growth, and member user count. No question – it was an impressive quarter.”

    Ugh!

    April 24, 2014
  17. Google+, all day every day! 🙂

    April 24, 2014
    • I see you all the time, don’t I? 🙂 And it’s great.

      April 24, 2014
  18. It always amazes me that people use FB to communicate (my Hubby does it). They do it at work ALL THE TIME. I hear “I saw your post” and I feel left out because I rarely check FB. Hubby will say “did you see my post?” I’m not tied to it like others seem to be. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

    April 24, 2014
    • It’s gotten so bad with me that if I’m going out with people or something, I’ll actually go to their FB profile and review it, because I don’t want to be stuck with the ‘did you see such and such’ and always and forever be saying, “No. I did not.”

      April 24, 2014
  19. Lance #

    I’m starting to use google plus more. But as much as we both hate it, The Book of Face gives me more eyeballs and attention for my writing, two blogs and books. I’ve quit FB twice.

    Anyway, like someone before said, I’d love to hear your tutorial on what we can do on the medias that are social.

    April 24, 2014
    • That is going to change, Lance, unless you pay to promote your posts.

      FACT: Because I am not an admin on my FB author page, I cannot even find it when I search for it. FB gives me every option under the sun but my own page, because I won’t pay more money for bigger ads and the like.

      See response to Cameron and Miranda above.

      April 24, 2014
  20. While the family business still has a presence on Facebook, I’m biting the bullet and joining a networking circle here in town (BNI). A few people I know are grumbling about having to join the Rotary. Those types of clubs end up being like Kiwanis around here. I was damn near clawing the door to get out at the Kiwanis visitor’s day, even though they had the delusional big wigs at the meeting. Feh.

    April 24, 2014
    • I love Rotary, Nate. It’s one of the most rewarding things I do. I know that depends upon the culture of the club, but if you have multiple clubs in your area, visit them all, and see which one best fits you.

      April 24, 2014
  21. I get what you’re saying, and believe me when I say I share your irritation and frustration. Not unlike every other “good thing” that’s ever come down the pike, Facebook’s original premise has been buried under the guise of “improvements” ostensibly to make it better for the users, but motivated solely by the profit line. I do much shopping on line; hence my feed is so clogged with marketing “have you seen,” “you might like” and “did you forget” that I spend a lot of time searching through the detritus in order to see those posts that were my initial motivation to be involved with FB in the first place. Grrrrrrr.

    That said, I’m not ready to give it up, because I enjoy seeing the random posts and photos from family and former co-workers (many of whom I regard as “family”); seeing what they’re up to and watching their children grow. I’d feel very cut off without it, so I guess I’ll make the best of it.

    April 24, 2014
    • Please see my response to Lisa Spiral above. Please, please try that and see what happens. Please. You’re one of the people I love seeing, and I almost never do anymore.

      April 24, 2014
  22. Andra- Facebook is the devil. One I stopped playing with long ago.Great Post.

    April 24, 2014
  23. Good Luck Duck #

    I have just under 400 “likes” for my page, and it rises only glacially. I sometimes wonder if friends or passing acquaintances have “liked” my page to be polite, but later un-follow or hide it somehow under the radar so they don’t see it all the time, by their own choice. Maybe you’ll talk about that possibility? Not that I’d want to change that; if they want to read me they will, etc.

    April 24, 2014
    • Nobody who’s liked your page is seeing it, Roxanne. Here’s a stat from my own.

      I have 1757 Likes on my page, as of right now. The most recent post that I did not promote on my page was shown to about 30 of those people. Do the math on the statistics of that, because I know you can.

      It isn’t you. It isn’t that people don’t want to see and read your content. It’s that they’re not being shown your content EVEN THOUGH THEY’VE SAID THEY WANT TO SEE IT.

      And, you’re one of the blogs that slips by me as a result of all this, because you’re on Blogger, and the feed situation being what it is right now, if I don’t see you on FB or G+, I don’t read.

      April 24, 2014
  24. For some strange reason, and before I read your post earlier today, Andra, I found myself quite randomly thinking how Facebook is much less of a social media tool now, and more of a business tool. The odd thing (apart from me thinking it in the first place…!) is that I haven’t used Facebook for years. And I was driving. Where the heck did that thought come from???
    The whole social media / social internet concept is getting more and more frustrating. I’m feeling frustrated as I feel I’m being blocked (and how and by whom is baffling me) to write even the most stupid of posts for my blog, which I don’t advertise on any social media site. I’ve started to notice I’m not being alerted to posts on blogs I follow through the WP reader, and although that may be me missing them rather than not being alerted, that’s frustrating me also. And I’m also feeling frustrated about the information (or misinformation) I’m getting from other sites, which seems to be more propaganda than proper information. You can’t trust anything these days.
    Anyway, I waffle and rant, rant and waffle once again. Sorry for going on.
    Thanks for this post, Andra. Even though I no longer use Facebook I still feel its effect… now even when driving. And I really like the FU symbol.

    April 24, 2014
    • Here’s a sad reality: blogging as a platform is dying, because all these ‘improvements’ to Facebook and Google search engines and whatnot have relegated most blogs to the hinterlands of the internet. I don’t know why WordPress would be complicit in this, because it’s to their advantage for people to blog. I hope that they continue to come up with better, more effective ways for us to have our own social network right here, on our own sites, where we want to be spending time anyway.

      April 24, 2014
      • “blogging as a platform is dying…” that is a scary thought. I guess my question is “then why blog?”. Other than to satisfy our need to write about this and that and hope someone reads it…. Meh

        April 26, 2014
  25. The best advice I can give you guys (not sure if it is what Andra would recommend or not) is to control your own content. Get a blog of some sort that you own/control like Andra has here and then use the other social medias to point people back home to your site. Use interesting images or risque irresistible to click quotes/one liners like Andra does. And then find some way to keep people coming back to the site. Perhaps regularly post RSS tips on the other social media pages teaching people how to subscribe to blogs and use readers (in any related images/videos you make to teach people use your own blog and URL as the examples of course!). As for the whole FB paying to promote I don’t know and Andra would be able to tell you more, but I would assume you simply have to pay to promote with FB these days. I haven’t been on FB in a very long time so not sure how it works these days.

    I don’t know how well promoting works on Google+ but I love it to death and would highly recommend everyone play with it a little bit. And don’t log in, call it a ghost town and log out. Much like any social network it is what you make of it, so you need to start communicating with people, finding people, etc. I do know company/corporate pages that are pretty active over there and seem to be a great way to communicate with customers. The crowd there is a TON more tech savvy then on FB so at the least it is easier to communicate with random people there.

    April 24, 2014
    • I can only echo – AGAIN – that Google+ is awesome, if you spend a bit of time there and figure out how to use it effectively.

      April 24, 2014
  26. very frustrating situation and feel like we are hostages with regard to fb

    April 24, 2014
    • They think we are. I hope from some of my comment replies, people will take some proactive steps to try other things.

      April 24, 2014
  27. Reblogged this on The Quotidian Hudson and commented:
    Lots of good Facebook information here.

    April 24, 2014
  28. I’m a little late to the comment thread today but thank you for so clearly expressing my frustrations with fb. I do check in casually and have grown increasingly frustrated by the marketing and suggested posts taking up the places where I thought I would see posts from people I actually like and want to follow. 😦 I’m looking forward to reading your responses tonight and plan to spend some time in the next few weeks exploring Google+.

    April 24, 2014
    • If you sign up, please circle me, Lisa. I feel like I’ve been scattered everywhere of late, but one of the circles I’m getting ready to make is ‘bloggers I’m connected to elsewhere’ so that I can see more of what you and others post on the web, more effectively share it, and be a more supportive community member.

      April 24, 2014
  29. Another quick tidbit on today’s post: My dashboard stats indicate that I haven’t gotten a single click through from Facebook today. Imagine that. Not only did they not show my post to much of anyone, they probably censored it because I bashed them.

    April 24, 2014
  30. Well, my laptop will not let me comment or like your posts, so here I am on the iThingy doing my one finger poking. I have probably ignored Facebook two days out if three over the last month and not really missed it. I do know that there is no rhyme or reason to who and what I see or don’t see so I have stopped worrying about it. Will basically go to Twittet for whatever I need to do it see. I like G+, but, not many folks there.

    April 25, 2014
    • There are tons of people on Google+, just not many people we know. I shifted my thinking about that a long time ago, and starting interacting with the people who are there. I’ve met some really awesome folks as a result of that.

      But I understand that if people are on social media to keep up with people they know and care about, that shift won’t happen. They won’t like G+, because they don’t know anyone there.

      I still maintain that spending time in both places for two weeks (with a core group of people from FB who are willing to do it), posting the same content both places, and seeing what happens will be the best way to convince some of those people that Google+ really is the superior platform.

      April 25, 2014
      • Good Luck Duck #

        It’s true, although I hadn’t made that connection consciously. Over the past month, I’ve gotten six times more hits from G+ than from FB.

        April 25, 2014
    • People say G+ is a ghost town, but my profile has been viewed almost 800,000 times since I set it up. If that doesn’t convince people, particularly people who want their content to be considered, that spending time on Google+ is worth it, I don’t know what will.

      April 25, 2014
      • hell, little old me has had 166,628 profile views! There are definitely lots of people on there interacting!

        April 25, 2014
      • I just chedked out my G+ profile and I have had 236k views… I was like, say do what? I use G+ but not that much… Hmmmm interesting indeed.

        April 26, 2014
  31. This is so good Andra, thanks so much for sharing all this great info. I’m trying to get a post done about the internet and Asperger’s and also about Facebook. I wonder if I could link back to this post? I’ll let you know before I post it. Thanks so much 🙂 All the best at your book signing!

    April 25, 2014
    • Absolutely, Sherri. Link away. I’m glad the post was helpful. Enjoy your English Spring weekend.

      April 25, 2014
      • Thanks so much Andra, sorry for the late reply, but yes, although our English Spring weekend started off on the right foot – sunny and very pleasant in that English-kind-of-a-way – it went downhill into blustery storms so there went the walk to see the bluebells! Never mind…hope you had a lovely weekend!

        Just to say too, I’ve read your comments here with great interest and have picked up on what you say about Google Plus. I’ve got an account but it sat there for ages and I did nothing with it. I’ve only recently updated my profile and had 4 people (who I know from WP) connect with me but I don’t know how to set up circles of my own so I’m in process of learning! Everything you say here confirms just what I’ve suspected and now you’ve inspired me to give Google plus a proper go and see what happens! So once again, thank you very much 🙂

        April 28, 2014
  32. Heh, SO ah-greed. I did a poem about some facebook changes a few years ago here: http://fanboydestroy.com/2011/09/21/so-facebook-is-inspiring-after-all/

    but I need to update it or do a new one at some point because my hatred for that place grows by the month.

    April 26, 2014
    • I’m longing for the day they fail. It can’t come soon enough.

      April 28, 2014
  33. You are right on target Andra. Facebook sucks. 🙂 For the most part my activity on FB are in specific groups that I manage or am a member of. I have a newsfeed that I try to keep up with but I am sure that some folks are saying things I am missing. I created a Palmettocc.us website and a G+ community trying to get our 1100 FB members to move and that is like hearding cats. Most of them use the FB app on their smart devices and have no desire to learn G+ Until they do our FB Group will be our main social media portal. Thanks for all of the information you have shared with us on this.

    April 26, 2014
    • I’m doing all kinds of my own research at the moment, James. When I have enough, I’m going to start posting comparisons on my site. Maybe they will convince a few people. (Though, People. *Sigh* We don’t like change, do we?)

      April 28, 2014
  34. How ironic. I actually saw a Facebook post by you on this very subject. Apparently, FB thought that post was newsworthy enough for me to read 🙂
    I’ve been “done” with FB ever since it started to act like Twitter with the (stupid) newsfeed. I miss a lot of stories that I want to see and I resent that I always have to reset my preferences every time I login. I’ve seriously thought about dropping my “brand” because (1) I don’t have a book to sell (yet) anyway; and (2) it seems superfluous when only one or two of my FB followers ever click “Like” on any of my posts. It would mean an extra step for me to Like my own WP post and have it show up on FB. But that might be better than just being left out to dry 😉

    April 26, 2014
    • Like you, I really resent the constant change to my preferences. I don’t know how many times I must tell FB that I want to see Most Recent posts in my newsfeed (even though I’m still only seeing what they deem to show me, not what I actually want to see.)

      April 28, 2014
  35. Well, i just spent quite a bit of time reading all the responses to your post, Andra, and I feel like I could benefit from reading it all again. It’s a lot for me to absorb. I haven’t really understood what was going on with FB, but I have resented it for a long time. I’m really quite irritated that friends and family make personal announcements on FB and if I don’t happen to see them I’m just out of luck. I don’t have anything to lose by not participating in FB, but I can understand the concern with authors and contributors desiring to participate in a platform that at one time held promise, and is now, by my definition, unethical. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Thank you for taking the time to so clearly define the situation. I find it clear as mud!

    April 27, 2014
    • At every opportunity, I try to teach people that FB is not a social network, that it is not the place to make big announcements or put out big information to a group, because people no longer see that information. It causes so many hurt feelings (why don’t people care about this? why aren’t people commenting? do I matter to anyone anymore? etc), when it is simply that nobody sees it, because FB doesn’t show it to anyone anymore.

      This post is a great place to point those friends and family, Debra. FB only exists to make money off of every single click, every single share, every single connection, every single search, every single preference we give it. PERIOD. They are not a social network.

      April 28, 2014
  36. While surfing around on G+ this morning I found this article and thought that it was relevant to share here. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233319

    April 27, 2014
    • the article is called Confessions of a Facebook Marketing addict.

      April 27, 2014
    • EXCELLENT article, James. I particularly love this outtake:

      “Facebook’s business model resembles that of a neighborhood drug dealer. Get ’em hooked young on something cheap, and then make your clients pay big time for something stronger when the cheap stuff doesn’t work anymore.”

      It meshes with my own experience exactly. Over the weekend, FB ramped up their promoted post algorithm and changed the reach to the level that I can no longer justify promoting posts. I got almost zero return on them anyway, but they changed the spend to an amount that is too high for most people (and many brands) to deem wise (in my opinion.) We’ll see where that goes.

      April 28, 2014

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