by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
No, I don’t think Facebook is going anywhere—yet.
But I am.
I’m tired of wasting time and energy with this clunky and frustrating social network. Facebook has become it’s own worst enemy, working at cross purposes and driving away users.
The Downward Spiral
When Facebook started, it was a way to stay connected with the people and things we were interested in. I had my list of friends and I had control over what I saw in my newsfeed.
Back then, everything my friends posted on Facebook showed up on my newsfeed, in an orderly, relevant fashion. If someone posted something I didn’t care to see I had a choice of how to deal with it.
- I could do nothing and ignore the post.
- I could hide that particular post.
- I could hide that particular friend.
- I could unfriend that person.
The control rested with me.
The same was true with the businesses I followed. If I wanted to follow a business or a professional page, the posts from that also showed up. If the page irritated me, I had the same options.
I didn’t matter whether I interacted with the person or the page, what they posted showed up. That worked good for me, because I don’t interact with everyone or everything I find valuable on Facebook.
But this, in my humble opinion, is where Facebook began its downward slide into self-destruction. They began to judge the value of things by what posts I interacted with. There’s so much wrong with that simple premise it’s hard to know where to start.
Here’s what I mean. I like to keep up with a lot of hard-core marketing pages. I read to stay abreast with what’s going on in the field of social media. It’s a good foundation from which to give advice to writers—but most of these types of FB updates wouldn’t be something my friends and followers find valuable, so I don’t interact with those posts much.
For instance, I follow Social Media Examiner. But they’re a site I don’t interact with much. The other day I realized I hadn’t seen much from them in my FB feed. I searched for their page and they were still there. But because FB judged my interest by my interaction, they never showed up in my feed. I visited their page, clicked on the arrow beside the LIKED tab and clicked on NOTIFICATIONS. Today that means that all their updates should show up in my newsfeed.
But what about the new option to Boost a post—isn’t that valuable?
Um…not so much.
First let me explain something about the Facebook Edgerank. This is the algorithm that determines what shows up in your FB newsfeed. One of the elements that determines how many people see a post on FB, is how popular the post is. The more people who Like it, Share it and Comment on it, the larger number people get to see it.
Boosting a post isn’t a way to get around this. Yes, you can pay to boost a post and reach a lot of people, but that boost doesn’t give you a leg up on the next thing you post. You start over at zero and the algorithm again determines who sees the post. To repeat the reach of your boosted post, you must pay again to boost the post.
Let’s compare this new paradigm of Facebook with other social media networks. Here’s what happens when I post something on FB versus Twitter and Google+. I think the numbers speak for themselves.
- Facebook: the last 7 posts I put on my FB page garnered me an average of 46 views. That’s out of 500+ Likes on that page. I had a net gain of 5 new Likes
- Twitter: the last 7 posts I shared on Twitter went out to all 13,000+ Twitter followers, as well as anyone who searched for the hashtags I had within those posts. I had a net gain of 56 new followers
- Google+: the last 7 posts I shared on my Google+ page went out to all of 748 followers and all those who searched for the hashtags I had within those posts. I had a net gain of 26 new followers.
Once upon a time I recommended authors have a professional page, to reach readers. Now, an author page has become a liability. For the vast majority, it’s nothing but a black hole of time-sucking frustration.
Some of you still have success with your Facebook page. But almost 100 percent of those were already flourishing communities before the Edgerank Algorithm was instituted. For those of you with FB success, don’t change or jump ship. Stick with what’s working.
I still intend to keep my personal profile active on Facebook. I’m using it as a professional page and it’s working fairly well. It’s clunky, but doable. Here’s a post on how to do what I’ve done by Adding a Follow Button to Your Facebook Personal Profile.
For the rest of us, here’s my recommendation, cut your losses and run. Invest in what works, don’t try to squeeze success from a dried-up network.
Now it’s your turn. Share your thoughts, questions and frustrations with Facebook in the comments section below.
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Here's why #socialmedia mentor @EdieMelson is waving goodbye to the frustration of #Facebook (Click to Tweet)