Why You Should Stop Trying To Build A Fanbase On Facebook

Zuck_background22Over a year ago, we learned that Facebook would no longer allow Pages (like your band page or small business) to communicate with all of the people who have clicked on your page. Instead, they would only let you contact 15-20% of the people who liked your page unless you paid money to “promote” your page. Well, it turns out, it gets worse… Valleywag has up an article that Facebook plans on only allowing you to contact 1-2% of the people who have liked your page unless you pay Facebook to talk to them. From Valleywag:

A source professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, tells Valleywag that the social network is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent. This would affect “all brands”—meaning an advertising giant likeNike, which has spent a great deal of internet effort collecting over 16 million Facebook likes, would only be able to affect of around a 160,000 of them when it pushes out a post. Companies like Gawker, too, rely on gratis Facebook propagation for a huge amount of their audience. Companies on Facebook will have to pay or be pointless.

That 160,000 still sounds like a lot of people, sure. But how about my favorite restaurant here in New York, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, which has only 3,281 likes—most likely locals who actually care about updates from a nearby restaurant? They would reach only a few dozen customers. A smaller business might only reach one. This also assumes the people “reached” bother to even look at the post.

If you promotion strategy was to build a big following on Facebook, I suggest you reconsider it right now, unless you want to pay them to talk to fans, instead of using more effective means like Twitter and YouTube for free.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • phood

    Hey Matt, I wouldn’t overreact until it happens. It would be great for me and DRUM! magazine and our web ad network if Facebook goes down that road. But these tech firms are very savvy. They may figure out that your pie restaurant is different from Coca-Cola and adjust their rates accordingly. You’re right that small businesses are different from enormous businesses. 1000 people might love their local hand-brewed coffee joint and want to know when they post. But the 80 million people who like Coke, may not care if they ever see a single post from Coke. If you’re a drummer and you love Kendrick Scott you might welcome every post. On the other hand if you “friend” the Coldplay it may mean you’re a rabid fan or it may just mean you like the group but don’t want to see a lot of posts.