I was talking to a friend today about Facebook’s crackdown on using personal pages for business. For those outside the writing community, I’m sure you may not think this is a big deal. But for every entrepreneur out there, it’s a game-changer.
Last year, Facebook scaled back a business pages’ reach, meaning only a few people could see posts containing URLs unless the page’s owner shelled out some bucks. This, I understand. Writers and artists, more than anyone, can appreciate getting paid. Facebook took years to create, and they have overhead costs just like the rest of us. No one wants to work for free.
But between limiting pages’ posts and hiding personal feeds, authors feel like they’ve been kidney punched after being jumped in a back alley. And it’s not just writers. Every small business I know is going to take a hit. Why? Because their business model was built on creating relationships. And those relationships are reflected in their feed. I love getting posts from my friend who makes her own jewelry. Or my friend that creates sculptures, or the one passionate about essential oils. Intellectually I grow from their product knowledge, and I love the variety of being included in such diverse tribes.
It should be simple. If I friend someone, like a page, or join a group, that means I want to see what they post. If they turn into spammy twatwaffles, I’ll unfollow them. Why can’t I have control over my own feed?
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Facebook has 2.23 billion members, which makes it a veritable playground for unethical practices. This has forced the need for clear guidelines and supervision. And, let’s face it. Algorithms drive custom-tailored advertising, which is the cornerstone of the social marketing industry’s bottom line.
While I understand the whys of it all, lately Facebook has been a little too controlling for me. I’m missing so much in my writer community. Groups I love no longer cross my feed. Cover reveals I want to support aren’t showing up, and I have to hunt for posts from friends and family, wondering if I’m seeing all that they have posted or only what Facebook wants me to see.
And so, I’ve decided to make some changes. I’m going back to my “comment on ten tweets a day” routine. Instagram will see more action from me too, as well as Tumblr and Pinterest. Instead of hunting for an author or blogger friend’s Facebook page or group, I think I’ll step out into the interwebs and head on over to their blog.
Let’s quit allowing algorithms to dictate what we see and rethink the way we use our social media tools to connect. As for me? I’ve decided to go old school and bring the party back here. It may not be as fancy, but, hey, it’s home.
Place your blog’s URL in the comments below, and I’ll stop by and visit.
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