“Facebook is dead!”
That’s all everyone is saying at the moment. But why?
There have been a number of updates to Facebook pages over the last few years, that page owners (that’s bands to you and I) were not happy with, things like the amount of text allowed in the header image (the 20% rule), the allowing, not allowing, and then re-allowing of like-gates, and recently the continued reduction in the reach of your posts. Last year, people were finding that now when you post a status update, only 12-16% of your fans will ever see it (this is called organic reach), and only if you pay to promote the post, will any more of your fans see it. So Facebook spent the last few years telling us we need to build our fans and get more page likes, offering many ways to help (for money), so a lot of the time we paid them for ways to reach more/new fans, and give our pages a boost. Now we have spent all that money on getting new likes, we have to spend even more money to reach those fans we just paid to get (well the other 84-88% of them that Facebook are stopping from seeing our posts). But it gets worse, in the last couple of weeks there have been many reports online of this organic reach dropping from 12-16% to only 2%!
This is why people are hailing Facebook dead for anyone running a page!
This is not the end of the world in cases where we are using social media for it’s main use, however there are many bands out there, the majority I would say, that rely solely on Facebook as their communication/interaction tool between them and their fans. While this is ok as an outlet, the issue is, as these changes that are made by Facebook, and we have no say in, affect this major channel of communication, we are in trouble! I have heard people say the phrase “don’t build your house on rented ground”, which is as it sounds; we wouldn’t spend a lot of time and money building a house to live in, on land owned by someone else, because when they change their mind, they could pull that land from under you at, relatively, a moments notice! Instead we should be using Facebook in our arsenal of tools to help spread the word about our band, because if all our eggs are in the Facebook basket, when they change the rules again (which they have even more recently with the new pages timeline and the removal of the tabs at the top) our home on the Internet could be under serious threat.
What can we do?
They best thing I can suggest is to make sure you have a host of tools in your online tool chest:
- Facebook – of course
- and don’t forget, your website and mailing list!
Also don’t forget, with the widespread news that the numbers of ‘younger’ Facebook users jumping ship, amid all their mums and dads, aunts and uncles, and grandparents all signing up and stalking their profiles, seeing what they are upto, which as we all know, we need somewhere we can hang out without their prying eyes! They are moving to other social networks or mobile apps (the most growth seen at the moment is with Instagram and Snapchat) to escape! So head there, and connect back up with your fans.
Original feature image by Jo Naylor.