So Facebook have been at it again...
They are now practically removing Facebook page posts from peoples feeds in a trial that we can only expect to be rolled out sooner rather than later.
So all that work that many people have been putting into Facebook marketing is wasted, right?
Maybe not, but lets first understand what it is they are doing.
Facebook trial has seen massive drops in reach...
The journalistic community has picked up a change to the Facebook feed where non-promoted (non paid for) posts are being pushed into a "second feed" in a trial in Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka.
According to one Slovakian journalist, Filip Struharik, they are seeing a decrease in reach of 2/3rds, other figures being suggested is from 60% to 80% drop in engagement. Original Source
Terrifying stuff if you rely on Facebook as the spearhead of your Social Media Marketing Strategy...
So why are Facebook doing this?
They want your money and they will kidnap your followers to get it.
They are essentially making the platform a "pay to win" platform, they want you to give them your money to give you access to your followers.
They are basically holding your Social Media Marketing campaign hostage, they have enticed you with a free service and now they have you in their grasp, they want you to pay them for that "free" service.
That is all it is about, they want your money...
Told you so...
Now I have been saying for over 4 years that Facebook is not trustworthy and this would eventually happen.
That was based on countless bait and switch tactics by Facebook over that period.
Whilst I hate to say I told you so, I did tell you so... (I talk about this extensively in the Social Media Mastery Masterclass).
Many Social Media Marketing Trainers disagreed with me (some quite publicly) and continued selling Facebook to business owners and marketers as a primary investment source for traffic and have trained them quite poorly in my opinion, ignoring the obvious signs and wasting their money.
So what can you do?
Now all is not lost - so don't panic!
You can take action to take control of this.
Here are a few things I recommend you do.
1. Build a different platform presence:
Start focusing on a different platform like Twitter / LinkedIn / Google+ / Quora / Pinterest so that in the next couple of years, you have a strong presence in place if you are currently reliant on Facebook as your sole Social Media Outlet, diversify your presence so your traffic is not completely dependent on any one single platform.
*Note - I left out Instagram here because they are owned by Facebook and eventually it will suffer the same fate.
2. Leave and take your followers with you:
Make sure you start to encourage your Facebook followers to connect with you on other platforms in your marketing content, i.e. "follow me on twitter" instead of "follow me on Facebook".
3. Short term - shift your followers to Facebook groups:
A short term fix is to create a Facebook group for your followers and start to shift them over to that group so that they get notifications when you share your content with them.
Now I would not recommend this as your long term strategy because eventually Facebook groups will also become pay to win.
4. Long term - the best kept secret - shift to a community based Social Media Marketing Strategy:
The best kept secret to a powerful online Social Media Marketing Strategy is creating a community for your followers to use and interact with one another.
The best social media based community platform out there currently is Google+, in the past 12 months they have heavily switched their focus to becoming a community based social platform and they are getting some incredible success for themselves and their users from doing this.
Google+ communities are second to none in terms of ease of use and functionality amongst the social platforms.
And then there is the real secret sauce, Google personalised search which Google+ community owners and users can take advantage of.
If you connect with people in your Google+ community, they will have a high chance of having your content fed to them whenever they use Google search to find your type of products or services through something called "personalised search".
Google+ is one of the few platforms to have SEO benefit, although not in the traditional sense of backlinks, but rather in linking Google profiles and creating search benefit from that. (For more details about this, see the Social Media Mastery Masterclass - details below).
Like any community it takes time to build a presence, but in the long term that community can grow and become quite dominant in search, bringing you lots of new potential followers/clients.
Eyes wide open:
If you would like to learn more about personalised search, then grab access to your 30 day free trial of the Social Media Mastery Masterclass and have a look at the lecture on Personalised Search - Module 20, I think you will find it quite eye opening...