Anyone who knows me knows that I L-O-V-E Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg). I’m serious!! I love it so much I started a business to help business owners use Facebook (and other social networks) to grow their businesses and connect with their customers. I’ve seen the power of social media for business. Especially Facebook!
Facebook should love businesses, too, when you consider that advertising comprises 85% of Facebook’s revenues. According to the company’s IPO filing, ad revenue was over $3 billion last year and has been growing at more than $1 billion each year since 2009 (yes, those are both B’s!). In fact, one of the “risk factors” listed in the IPO filing was that there could be a “decline in advertising revenue”.
CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE RUNDOWN ON FACEBOOK’S IPO FILING
That being said, you’d think that Facebook would want to do what it can to help businesses succeed on its platform. However, as a business owner who not only advertises on Facebook, but encourages her clients to do so as well, I have to admit I’m less than pleased with many of the things that are happening with Facebook Pages (business pages) in the past few months.
I realize that Facebook developers live by the code (no pun intended) that ‘done is better than perfect’ and their focus is on delivering features first and improving them later. I get that – and I like that approach – but there are some things that have been rolled out that seem to punish Page owners, aka advertisers.
So, Mark Zuckerberg…can we talk?
Given just a few minutes with Mark, I’d like to propose several things that, I feel, could make all of our Facebook lives better and improve everyone’s bottom line. Below, I outline six problems that I encounter daily and my suggestions for solving them.
The Problems and My Suggestions
1. Problem: Let’s start at the beginning. When a company initially creates its Page, it is required to get 25 “likes” on the Page before being able to claim a vanity URL (i.e. www.facebook.com/seekmediagroup). This requirement was supposedly dropped a few months ago, but it hasn’t been. A vanity URL is important because it makes it easier for potential fans to find the page on Facebook. There’s nothing vain about it.
Suggestion: Allow Page owners to claim the vanity URL immediately upon creation of the Page. Easy breezy!
2. Problem: The biggest advantage to having a Page is the ability to connect and engage with clients and potential clients. Since the advent of the ticker, posts from Pages are relegated to the ticker…for about 3 seconds. No longer do our posts go to our fans’ news feeds. We’re told that if a fan engages with the Page, the Page’s posts will appear in the news feed, but that’s not happening either. many of my Page’s most engaged fans complain that they don’t see my posts in their news feeds.
Unless a fan happens to be on Facebook, looking at their ticker, they most likely won’t see the post. It’s difficult to have fan engagement when the fans can’t see your company’s posts. According to AllFacebook.com, only 17% of a Page’s fans actually see a Page’s posts. While some of that may be due to poor content, most is due to the posts going straight to the ticker.
Suggestion: Simple. Allow Page postings back in the news feed – with or without prior fan engagement to allow for greater engagement opportunities. If a Page continually posts substandard content, they will lose fans of their own accord, but at least give the fans the choice.
3. Problem: When fans aren’t seeing a Page’s posts, they don’t have an opportunity to engage with the Page. Studies show that 80% of people don’t return to a Page after liking it. It is for this very reason that Page posts need to show in the user’s news feed. They liked the page because they want to receive the information that the Page posts. They shouldn’t have to go to the Page to get that information. By the way, my Page’s fans have complained that they aren’t seeing my Page posts…and they want to see them!
Suggestion: See number 1 above.
4. Problem: Pages are unable to tag fans in posts unless the fan has made a comment. Even when a fan posts on the wall, we are unable to tag them. Tagging is very important since the Facebook notification system no longer seems to work. Tagging a fan is sometimes the only way he will know that his post or comment has been acknowledged which is an extremely important aspect to building community and engagement.
Suggestion: I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. Another easy breezy fix. Allow tagging of any person or Page that has liked a company’s Page.
5. Problem: Owners of business Pages want to grow their Facebook communities. Other business owners want to support fellow business owners. However, likes from other Pages don’t count toward the likes of a company’s Page. That’s ridiculous! A like is a like is a like!
Suggestion: If a Page likes another Page, it should be included in the like total.
6. Problem: Insights. Aside from the fact that they are three to four days behind, they are not very insightful. The stats that Insights are supposed to provide don’t mean very much when one is aware of Problems 1 and 2 above. If the Page posts were in fans’ news feeds then Insights would be incredibly valuable – and insightful. However, seeing that my post only reached eight people doesn’t mean anything since I know the reason that most fans weren’t reached is simply because they weren’t given the chance to see or interact with the post. Many business owners have also complained that in addition to Insights delayed reporting, many times they don’t work at all. When the Insights pages are opened, the information simply never loads. What’s the point of offering on-site analytics if the information reported is skewed and of little value? While we’re on the subject the “Talking About This” metric is absolutely of no value! Again, how can anyone talk about something they never see?
Suggestion: Take a little time to work on providing analytics that are more valuable and true for the Page owners who are helping support Facebook and themselves.
Do you have a Facebook Page for your business? If so, what are issues that you’re facing? Are you a fan of a business Page or Pages? Are you seeing their posts in your news feed? Do you want to see their posts in your news feed? Let me know in the comments below!