Facebook: authors need to rethink strategy in light of latest changes

Authors will have to re-think how they use Facebook.

The social media company announced its changing the way updates from brand Pages will appear in Facebook feeds. Many authors have fan pages instead of profiles and will need to adjust based on the new algorithms, according to a post from Facebook.

Facebook’s Chris Turitzin, a product manager, said that it saw text status updates from Pages didn’t get as much attention as status updates from friends.

We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types.

Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

It seems using photos, videos or sharing links will be a better option to get your fans to see your updates.

This change seems rather annoying. If a person “likes” a brand page, they did so for a reason – to see the brand’s updates. Facebook is constantly tweaking its algorithm as to what people will see on their feeds and it looks like brand pages are always the ones that suffer when it comes to engagement.

I run a couple of different Facebook pages for companies, and this is going to be frustrating because you never actually know what will work. One day you can post something on Facebook and the reach gets into the thousands. The next day, you can post something similar and you might only get a couple of hundred.

With the constantly changing methods from Facebook, it almost seems like a crapshoot as to what kind of update will work.

But one thing that always works – money. I’m sure if you pay Facebook to boost a post, you will get plenty of reach whether it’s a text status update, a photo or a video.

7 Comments on Facebook: authors need to rethink strategy in light of latest changes

  1. Jonathan Sweet // January 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm //

    The reality is that this is about a money grab for Facebook. I always see an interesting pattern in the pages I manage. We’ll be getting good reach, then suddenly for about a week, it plummets. Then comes the message from Facebook telling us to promote our posts to get more reach. The pattern is so obvious I can basically now predict when the Facebook message will be coming.

  2. That’s why I’ve cut back a lot on Facebook this past year. I’m getting better results elsewhere, like Pinterest, Tumblr and my website.

  3. Susan Lulgjuraj // January 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm //

    I see the same thing Jonathan. After two posts of little reach, I think “Here we go again.”

    Bill would love to hear more about some of your strategies … if you don’t mind giving away secrets. :)

  4. Here’s another reason authors need to reconsider their presence in Facebook: Facebook no longer provides a reliable personal archive of your posts! http://www.imaginaryplanet.net/weblogs/idiotprogrammer/2013/10/why-facebook-is-no-longer-relevant-to-content-creators-or-readers/

  5. @Jonathan

    I’ve seen that as well, only in my case the “wouldn’t it be a shame if something happened to your reach” pitch came before the drop in reach.

  6. Susan, I wish they were “strategies.” I would make a mint selling them instead of making books :)

    Seriously, though, the best marketing can be defined as “putting out” and “drawing in.” You put out by publishing the best books you can write (with good covers and well-edited copy), and reaching out in whatever social circles that align with your books: mysteries to where mystery readers gather, romance to where romance readers gather.

    “Drawing in” means luring people to you based on what you’re putting on the web that can be found with keyword searches. If you write cat mysteries, write about cats online. I prefer doing it on my website, so that people searching for information on that subject have a chance of finding me. If those subjects work well on sites like Pinterest or Tumblr, post there as well.

    Here’s the crucial fact that all book marketers don’t emphasize: There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan. Instead of buying someone else’s plan and forcing it to work to you, look at what you’re writing about and use that to guide your path. Google+ might not work for you. Nor would Twitter. If you don’t want to reach out, put up material on your website that make you look knowledgeable in your field, to draw people to you.

    If you have an idea to try, such as Google Ad keywords, try that for a limited time and see what results you get. It might work for you; it might not. But the point is to keep trying.

    Best of luck.

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