This is, in a way, an important article; and I want people to see it, read it, and take note – hence the reason I’m paying to promote it on Facebook; particularly via my Facebook fan page. I’ve tried not to ramble on too much, and to get to the point. If no-one reads it then it might, in a way, appear that I’m trying to disappear; which is in fact the last thing I want people to think.
I suppose I’d better start by saying that this is a difficult article to find the right kind of illustration to go with it. – So you’ll have to just read and not worry about the lack of pictures… Oh all right then, if you insist; but it has nothing to do with the subject material as such…
There was once a time, not long ago, when artists and other companies could stay in touch with their customers and fans without penalty of any kind on Facebook. Indeed Facebook became such a viable platform for doing so that it virtually killed MySpace and all the musicians and others migrated over to Facebook. As a result Facebook became huge and MySpace became, well, dead.
But Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook controllers noticed this and wondered how they could further commercialise this to their advantage. – That’s fair enough: It’s their business, and the objective of any business model is to provide product and to make money in doing so. A business either grows or it shrinks. Unless one can come up with new ideas and implement them successfully the business will die, or at least fade, as happened to MySpace. MySpace did react to their predicament, but it was all too little too late: If a ship is sinking and the passengers have evacuated into life rafts and maybe have been picked up by another ship; mending the damage on site of the near disaster and righting the vessel – even going as far as kitting it out with all the latest finery – won’t get the original passengers to return, come back on board, and finish their journey. – They will have sailed off into the sunset with whichever vessel picked them up, or drifted on the tides for ages until rescued. They won’t sit there waiting in a lifeboat a few hundred feet to the starboard of a vessel that is slowly sinking and listing to port just in case everything is put right eventually.
So Zuck and the Facebook crew came up with a way to get the new ‘passengers’ who had joined the Facebook ‘cruise’ to part with their buck and to pay their way – in the hope that they’d make Facebook richer in doing so: ‘Standard business practice. The problem is the way in which this new money-maker was implemented as well as the scheme itself: Coming up with the lame-duck excuse of
“[We’ve decided that] our users are getting bombarded with unwanted adverts; so to remedy this we’re going to charge advertisers to bombard people with unwanted adverts in order to alleviate this.”
- sounds like exactly what it is: -
A pointless scheme – from a customer perspective – that will do nothing but financially penalise advertisers and other users who RELY on the exposure they are currently getting from the spreading of their message.
A snide and badly presented scheme to part users with their buck in order to ensure that Facebook’s’ profits increase to cover the loss in company value incurred by their falling share price since flotation, one that smacks of scam and dishonesty due to the way it was presented.
And the upshot of all this is that the ‘passengers’ notice that the crew have created a weakness in the ‘hull of the Good Ship Facebook’ and consequentially they start jumping overboard and manning the life-rafts.
All this business-like-talk isn’t really getting to the point I’m trying to make here; but at least it’s set the scene: I’m sorry that I was rather long-winded in doing so.
The long and the short of it is this: Once upon a time I could advertise anything on Facebook and everyone would see it. Now I have to pay to advertise anything on Facebook, as when I just post something about 20 to 40 people actually see it. Why? Because Facebook withhold it until I pay them, and the more I pay Facebook the more people see my post.
- Now the above is fine IF I am quite rich financially and if at least 1 in 10 people respond to my adverts by purchasing or reposting/’liking’ my post. This scenario throws up 2 problems though: -
I’m not “quite rich”; that was a while back and unfortunately for me it didn’t last.
A 1 in 10 response-rate is the very best response-rate anyone can hope for in a scenario such as this.
- So for Facebook’s new model to work fully in the customers’ favour the customer has to be both rich and lucky. – That’s me out on both counts: I DO pay a little for advertising though, and it does have some effect, although to a limited extent. As my fan-base grows I’ll have to pay more to reach all my fans, and unless every fan of mine on Facebook purchases every release I sell as a result, I’m just going to end up out of pocket; or with a large fan base and no money to live on.
So as you note I’ve seen the weakness in the hull of the Good Ship Facebook myself; but does that mean that I should start heading towards the life-rafts ready to abandon ship? No. To do so would be disadvantageous to me and disloyal to my followers. I have fans on Facebook who have indicated by becoming my fans that they want to hear from me, to listen to my releases, to read my spiel, etc.
The good thing is that there is another option: That smaller vessel which has been following us all the way from port is my blog; the very place in which you’re reading this article in full. On my blog I can post anything I want and have anyone I want read it, provided they are one of my ‘passengers’ or regulars. If the Good Ship Facebook starts sinking then there is room on my blog; The sharronidol.com, for all my fans and more. On my blog I’m the captain and I say what goes. – In this way I have a much better chance of creating a tailor-made positive experience for my followers, and it costs me what? Financially around $250 a year I would estimate. (Many hours annually in terms of time, but we’ll leave that out of the equation as it would be the same in terms of time if I were communicating solely via Facebook.) – I can reach ALL of my audience here for less than half of what I spend on Facebook to reach half of my audience. – In other words it costs me approximately 75% less to communicate via my blog – this website – than it does to communicate via Facebook.
There is one thing missing though: A lot of my fans are hanging out on Facebook only and never even visit this website. Possibly many of them don’t even know about it this website because I haven’t paid Facebook enough for my messages to reach them.
So here is what’s going to happen in future: I’ll be posting mainly on this website from now. I’ll be notifying my Facebook fans of my posts on here by means of Facebook, but the posts of these notifications will only appear on my page and in my feed. I won’t PAY for people to see them; so my fans are going to have to LOOK at my page and my feed sometimes – which they won’t mind doing if they truly are my fans. – Either that or be a ‘passenger’ on this ship as well as the Good Ship Facebook.
My ship is a commercial ship too; but the difference is I OFFER you the chance to purchase, rather than making it almost pointless being a ‘passenger’ if you don’t.
Of course I want your money: I’m a business and I need to make an income; but if I realise that you don’t actually NEED my website any more than you actually NEED Facebook – You could always go elsewhere, there are plenty of places… – then I’ll have more chance of keeping you on board my ship than Facebook will. Facebook is too big anyway: It’ll eventually no longer be able to support buoyancy and sink under its own weight. – I’ll still be floating: I’m a much smaller vessel. I’m also not saboutaging myself by creating weaknesses in my hull.
I look forwards to welcoming you aboard.
If you feel that there are any improvements I could make, please feel free to let me know. Thank you for reading.