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…….
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.