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How Facebook is pushing businesses into the arms of Google+

(Social Media) Facebook has made changes to their algorithm, but most businesses still have no idea why their Page is failing, and how Facebook could be positioning G+ to win.

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Facebook is changing their algorithm

Last month, Facebook announced changes to their algorithm in what they called an effort to improve news feeds, surfacing “higher quality” content to users that they are more likely to click on based on their current behavior on the site.

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This means that meme photos will be diminished in value along with overly shared links, as Facebook deems those to be lower in quality, and they will begin promoting news articles to users, stating that their research shows people enjoy coming across them more than they do pictures of landscapes with inspirational quotes, or shots of cats with silly phrases. They will begin displaying “relevant” articles underneath links in the news feed that readers have recently opened, with the idea that this will expose them to something else of interest.

But the truly important part: organic reach

Facebook also admitted that organic reach of Pages is dropping, so even though 6,500 people have indicated that they like your company and want to receive your updates on their news feed, the social media giant is surfacing Page content in news feeds less so they can charge for you to reach the customers you’ve already won over as fans.

They blatantly stated last month that that paid advertising is the best way to increase visibility, noting, “As the dynamic nature of News Feed continues to follow people’s patterns of sharing, Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly. Advertising lets Pages reach the fans they already have and find new customers as well.”

Some took this as a confession from Facebook that they are reducing the organic reach of Facebook page posts so they can suck money out of companies in the form of advertising, while others assert it is not a conscious effort, rather an acknowledgement that Facebook is getting noisier and to cut through the noise, brands must be engaging and may have to pony up to increase visibility.

Facebook says they expect this trend to continue, and we’ve seen it first hand in our own pages, regardless of the type of content shared. The video above is one of the best explanations of why this is a crock, and why we think that Facebook could be pushing business users straight into the arms of Google+.

The American Genius (AG) is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matt

    January 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Yeah, it sucks to spend a lot of time and money building a fan base and having to pay to reach them. But… The reach that page posts get is extremely dependent on the engagement level of the people who have viewed it. If it is getting liked or commented on a lot it will reach a much higher percentage of your followers. For example if make a post that’s not very engaging and gets only a handful of likes it will be displayed to only about 10% of my followers or less. If I make one that is engaging and is being liked by a large number of the followers that viewed it (5%+ of all viewers) and is receiving comments, it will reach nearly the entire available page audience.

  2. Erin Round

    January 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the vid! it put all of my scattered thoughts into a nice video package 🙂 I work in real estate and keep telling new agents [and seasoned ones!] start using Google+, build yourself up which goes without saying for YouTube, Gmail, etc.. I don’t think anyone is too shocked with the direction FB has gone.

  3. Maris Munkevics

    January 17, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Facebook is pushing business pages into arms of Google+, however, Facebook still need to think how to push personal users towards Google. When this happens, the circle will be completed, lol.

  4. Leaf Mother

    May 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Actually all G+ needs to do is absolutely nothing, and eventually they will get most of Facebook’s SME market, which in turn will lead to these businesses promoting their G+ pages and thus attracting ordinary users to G+, and the migration will happen. Facebook’s greed will be their undoing. If G+ however implements a similar system of “double dipping” (akin to Fb making you pay for page likes, and then yet again to reach those likes), then G+ will be throwing away this potential migration to its platform.

    Whilst it might seem common sense for G+ to do nothing, let’s remember that big corporates make mind numbingly bewildering decisions all the time. Just look at how FB still hasn’t backtracked on its double dipping – to any outsider we can see from a million miles away this will backfire, and yet they can’t. If G+ doesn’t implement too many new “exciting changes” it will flourish. They just have to sit by now and wait.

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Social Media

Facebook’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Social Media

Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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