Why Facebook is a waste of time for content publishers

Estimated read time: 3 minutes


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 70,191 other subscribers



I have lamented about people dumping their links on Twitter and other social media networks including Facebook. And then Facebook changes its algorithms and organic reach plummets for many. I’ve seen it and I’m about to write Facebook off for my content marketing distribution efforts.

Related: The difference between a distribution and promotions strategy

Even though organic reach has plunged to record lows, of course, I thought Facebook was doing all this to come after my money (aka content publishers’ money).

And, of course, they are after our money. That’s business. As a quick refresher, though, via my favorite satirical news site – The Onion: Content publishers need clicks. Impressions on social media are nice and some entrepreneurial sales people might be able to sell social media campaigns but ultimately what pays the bills in publishing are people coming to our website.

Forgive the harsh language, I didn’t write it, but here’s how The Onion put that:

Personally, I see a lot of value in getting a lot of engagement and reach on social networks but again the click is important. So interestingly, I noticed on Facebook that now you can’t even run a paid campaign that goes after clicks. You can’t even give Facebook money to get people to click. What? Now, I have to say that I know that Facebook tests things with different audiences and sometimes the functionalities are different at different entry points, but when I went to Facebook using the Facebook Pages app, which I thought Facebook wanted me to use to access pages I could not run a campaign that had a goal of link clicks. Here’s a screenshot:

So all the goals of my Facebook campaigns can now only be actions that are on Facebook. Grrr.

  • One goal is to get likes, comments and shares.
  • The other one is to have people send me a message

Related:How to set up a chatbot on your website

 

I’m all for messages and engagements but I have to go with The Onion on this one. It’s a numbers game in digital publishing and if nobody is clicking those links (especially if I paid for the campaign) what’s the point?

Facebook will just ask me to pay even more to get more likes. But few likes pay the bills.

Should we still post to our Facebook brand page?

Yes, but not because it will reach people. You’ll want your page to not look dead when others – those not following you – check it out. That does happen!

Here’s a Twitter example.

Interestingly, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook still currently offers website clicks as a goal in paid campaigns that are set up directly in Instagram. However, I ran some and haven’t found much success and they seemed expensive. One cost over $6 per click. ?My advice would be to post the minimum amount on social media and create content on your website that can be easily found (SEO!) and that is share-worthy and will get shared by your readers. Make the share buttons highly visible!

Related: Why your blog should have share buttons

So there you go. I was disappointed in running into this change on Facebook as I was ready to run a campaign (read: spend money) but when my goal was no longer one of their goals I aborted the project. I took my Apple wallet and went home.