Facebook's campaign effectiveness has been steadily decreasing over the past few weeks. Have you noticed yourself going to your friends' timelines in order to catch up with them? Us too. Turns out Facebook is throttling down the percentage of your posts that your subscribers or friends see.
Facebook is showing only a small percentage of posts from your friends and the pages you've liked. They say they've made the change to ensure your timeline is full of more "relevant" feeds, and they candidly admit that they strive for a percentage of "sponsored" versus natural posts.
But this is BAD. We want a social media ecosystem where the good stuff gets traction because it's good, not because it's sponsored. So far, most of the social media presence points have trusted users to exercise editorial control over their streams. If you get tired of seeing Farmville or Pepsi content in your stream, you can unfriend, unfollow or block.
We don't want Facebook making these decisions for us - in order to sell more sponsored posts. That's taking us in the wrong direction.
As you can imagine, this is potentially a dealbreaker issue for Facebook participation, especially for startups and small to medium size businesses. So why did Facebook do it? To make money, of course. To drive their own ad and sponsored post sales. Except that it won't work. It's likely to kill Facebook. Apparenty Facebook doesn't understand that excellent, relevant and compelling content is what keeps people using Facebook, and that sponsored items are anathema to quality.
And I'm not alone in thinking that. Since Facebook went public, they have revenue goals to meet for shareholders. That's fine. But the way forward for Facebook is not to kill the geese that lays its golden eggs - the content providers and the users who subscribe and like, and block and unfriend, without somebody else making those decisions.
We're hoping Facebook gets the message loud and clear that moving toward "pay to play" isn't the way forward. See Dangerous Minds' post "Facebook, I want my friends back" for a detailed analysis and more opinion.
What Can We Do About Facebook Throttling?
Here are two ideas; I'd love to hear yours.
Put your energy into Google+ and other social media presence points. Google+ is still a gold mine of juicy, relevant content, full of information from some of the web's brightest minds, and relatively uncluttered with ad crapeau. Find me on Google+ as FirecatSue.
Tell your fans and friends to add your page as an "interest" of theirs. If you hover over the Liked control on any page you've graced with your notice, and you can create Interest Lists. This will require your folks to be dedicated and really want your stream; not a quick fix.