Can Facebook Last?

Facebook has been making moves that have me, as a marketer, rather annoyed. In the past couple of months, I’ve notice that reach of my school’s Facebook Page had significantly declined. At the same time, the cost to promote a post increased while the reach decreased. In October, a non-promoted post would routinely get 1,500 impressions in a month. In November, I have to pay $10 for that.

 

Now I have to pay $20.

 

I’m not the only one frustrated by these recent changes. The Washington Post recently announced that it is pulling its social reader off of the social network, and Mark Cuban has expressed his frustration with Facebook’s recent changes.

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Just when I had resigned myself to paying for this exposure, their new toy, Instagram, released a new set of Terms of Service, that in this humble blogger’s opinion seem completely unreasonable (The New York Times has a great breakdown of the ToS in layman’s terms). Even Zuckerberg’s wedding photographer is upset by the new changes.

Is this latest move with Instagram the final straw? It’s clear that Facebook is trying to ramp up it’s revenue stream and we can expect more changes like this in the future. While this is going on, Twitter is seeing huge growth in teen users, and Facebook is becoming “uninteresting” to that same group.

 

So what does this all mean?

 

I don’t know yet. Right now, I’m not sure how I can take a photo that has our students in it if Instagram can just sell it off or use it in an advertisement. As for paying Facebook, I’ve got to work extra hard to make sure that the content we put up is engaging and interesting and be thankful I’m not dropping $3k on a post like Mark Cuban is.

 

How about you? Are you fed up?

 

What are you doing in the midst of all of these changes?  Has Facebook finally ticked off its userbase enough to cause a migration?

Drew Millikin

Drew Millikin

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Vermont Academy

Drew Millikin is a social media hang-a-rounder. After a brief stint in banking, Drew decided that education was a much better place to hide. That brought him to his alma matter, Saint Michael's College. While there he worked in the Office of Admission helping to create and develop Saint Michael's social media marketing strategy. After five years of rabble-rousing in higher education Drew decided to move into the boarding school glam life.

http://www.drewmillikin.com/

  • Facebook will last as long as its audience stays. And as long as our audiences are there, we’ll have to deal with all of the algorithm changes, tweaks to presentation, changes in copyright laws and every other curveball they throw us.

    Our numbers have dropped over the past few months, too. But we’ve been able to combat that with more frequent posting and ensuring that our content is more engaging and relative than ever. I look at the changes Facebook made to drive more pages to pay for advertising as a challenge. “Okay, Facebook… you’re gonna pull that? Guess we’ll just have to step up our game, too.”

    Having said that, it’s even more depressing now when an idea you have falls short of your expectations.

  • MadelineSRiley

    Good perspective, Mike.

  • drewmillikin

    Not long after I posted this, Instagram began backtracking stating that it’s ToS were misinterpreted by about a bazillion people(“Legal documents are easy to misinterpret.”) (http://blog.instagram.com/).

    I thought “To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions,without any compensation to you.” was pretty clear, but thank you for clearly that up without talking down to me, Instagram.

    Thanks for your comment, Mike. I’ve been tracking Facebook participation for our school and two others for the 4 months. From what I’ve seen, more posts does not equal a higher interaction per post rate. The key appears to be engagement—in a sense in quality not quantity, but that’s a whole other blog post.