A Bit of Business, to stay in touch

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Sorry, guys, this post isn’t hilarious or touching, just necessary. If you follow on Facebook, please note the following.

Facebook is openly reducing the “reach” or exposure of pages. While originally a Facebook user could “like” a page and see its updates in their feed, now those updates are not often shown unless the page pays to promote the post. This means users simply aren’t seeing updates.

Businesses are reporting their organic reach has dropped as low as 2%, but one of my Twitter contacts @SeanPWallace reported that “33,000+ Likes, 10 people seeing a post. #ridiculous” (Facebook allows page owners to see how many times their posts have appeared to users.)

Facebook isn’t even being coy about this:

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site. …The best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”

This goes a long way toward explaining why a half-dozen Facebook fans have told me personally that they completely missed the release of Kitsune-Mochi. Facebook simply never showed them the posts about the release, even though they’d “liked” my page to get updates.

Facebook

Facebook (Photo credit: stoneysteiner)

Okay, Facebook is a private business, and they have every right to monetize and make the policy decisions they want. But it is beyond impractical for me to pay to share other people’s books I’d like to recommend, photos of foxes or frozen ponds, fun bits of conversation about books which aren’t even out yet, or tidbits about a free museum exhibition, to use this month as a sample. But that’s what I enjoy sharing and where I get interaction with others. And I certainly don’t want to just spam readers with promotional material, the only thing I could justify paying for, because no one wants that.

So, a workaround is in order.

  1. If you’re not subscribed to my newsletter, please consider doing so. It won’t carry all the little tidbits I normally put on social media, but it will contain the big things, so you won’t miss, say, an entire book launch!
  2. If you just want the blog posts, look in the sidebar and find “Get New Posts Via Email.” They’ll come straight to you, no middleman and no spam.
  3. Twitter also offers promoted tweets but is not limiting normal tweets, so users still get to see everything they signed up to see. You can follow me at @Laura_VAB. (And please say hello, as I like Twitter conversations!)
  4. I’ll be trying to maintain my Google+ account more now, especially that I’m hearing it’s a good community for writers. My author page is here if you’d like to add me.

It’s not just about me

Facebook got defensive last year when it was suggested they would tweak feeds to essentially require paid advertising, but now small businesses are really being affected by this. If you also follow a local library, or a favorite store, or a band, or any other small business you still want to hear from, consider checking whether they have alternate social media options as well. You can still see updates by going to each individual page to check, but they probably aren’t making it to your news feed.

Okay, that was a lot of rant and instruction, and if you’re still here, you deserve something better. Please enjoy this adorable photo of my Doberman Laev curled up on my bed beside me while I work on my laptop. (And ignore the laundry. Really, would you disturb that just to put away some laundry? I didn’t think so.)

Doberman Laev asleep on my bed

“G’night, Mom. Happy writing.”

Sources:

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Goal: 10,000 for a free story
The Ghost Bride: Chinese Folklore and Ramen
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2 Comments

  1. Facebook has been moving in that direction for a while, and it’s ridiculous. Why even bother liking a page if not to keep up with that page’s updates? Interest lists have also been broken for months with no fix in sight.

    That all being said, Laev is one adorable dog.

    • Yeah, I understand FB wanting to maximize profits — they’re a business, after all — but this is hard on small businesses and people who aren’t making money on every little update.

      And isn’t she cute? I’m pretty sure she practices poses in the mirror while I’m away.
      Laura recently posted…A Bit of Business, to stay in touchMy Profile

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