Things were bound to change at Facebook, they have to make money from all the people that visit, but have they gone too far?
Over the last month I’ve personally noticed a more than subtle change in what and who shows up on my timeline, have you?
Seems that some bigger brand names are starting to feel the pinch as well. A post from WebProNews this morning shows just how far some Brands are going
Here are a few samples from the letter:
…your algorithm is saying most of our friends don’t care about sushi porn, that they aren’t interested in hearing our deepest thoughts about pizza toppings. Are you listening to yourself? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? You know that all those people clicked ‘Like’ on our page because it’s full of provocatively posed burritos and cheese puns, right?
Truth be told, your actions make us feel like you don’t respect us….All we do is give, and all you do is take. We give you text posts, delicious food photos, coupons, restaurant recommendations… and what do you do in return? You take them and you hide them from all our friends. Maybe you steal our random musings about pork buns and claim them as your own. Guess we’ll never know.
Even if we could figure out your mysterious, all-knowing algorithm, it’s constantly changing, so what works today might not work tomorrow. Posting something that most of our friends see is like biting into a burrito and actually getting all seven layers…never gonna happen. The point is, you’re wasting our time and cock-blocking food porn from our friends. Not cool, Facebook, not cool.
But the bigger picture issue is that we can’t trust you. You lied to us and said you were a social network but you’re totally not a social network. At least not anymore. When we log in to Facebook, we want to see what Aunt Judy is doing next weekend (hopefully baking us cupcakes) and read hilarious headlines from The Onion and see pictures of a cat who got his head stuck in the couch cushions.
Eat24 said it would delete its Facebook presence at 11:59 P.M. on Monday night. Sure enough, it’s gone. If you search for it on Facebook, it shows up in the results preview, but when you click on it, you’re simply redirected to the homepage.
Facebook’s Brandon McCormick responded to the letter by saying: “Hey Eat24, this is Brandon over at Facebook. I was bummed to read your letter. The world is so much more complicated than when we first met – it has changed. And we used to love your jokes about tacquitos and 420 but now they don’t seem so funny. There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends – really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space.”
So, Facebook’s response to brands is basically, “Oh, you don’t like it? That sucks. See you later.” You have to wonder if that would be the case if a substantial number of brands did the same thing Eater24 is doing. I don’t expect that to actually happen, but what would Facebook do?
One of the things that I’ve always been concerned about with Facebook Marketing is the location of the link? Where are the posts that you are making to Facebook sending your prospective customer? In the WordPress Mobile Social Marketing course I spent considerable time going over this very issue, post to WordPress first have WordPress post to the social networks like Facebook. The reason was the idea that like many other social media networks there is an ebb and flow to their relevancy. One day your Facebook, the next day your Myspace.
Making sure that you have a constellation of traffic sources available for your hub site and money spokes is the best bet for long term success selling online. For example the FullContact WordPress Marketing Blueprint Map breaks traffic down into three unique categories with over 40 different sources of qualified traffic.
Having them as sources though doesn’t mean that they’ll always work for you. At least that’s why almost 20 years of selling online has taught me! Be flexible with your tactics, use what’s working WHEN it’s working!
So will Facebook Dry Up as a free traffic source?
I don’t think that drying up is the right description. They have to make money and they will be charging us for access to the people we want to interact with. Big Brands already know this so expect more news like “Big Brands Leaving Facebook” in the near future.
If you’re a small business, hedge your bets and follow the Mobile Social Media Marketing mantra of Post to WordPress first and have WordPress post to all the social media networks.
James Maduk is the founder of WPBlogSupport.com as well as the author of the 62 Best Selling "Secrets My Mom Never Told Me About Internet Marketing" ebooks. James also runs WPGrow.com a WordPress Campus with Courses, Workshops and Certification for WordPress Bloggers who want to Start, Build and Grow there WordPress Powered business online.