I have had a Facebook fanpage for a long time, I set it up not too long after they were introduced by Facebook. At first it was great, I would share something on the page and would get a lot of immediate interaction from those that had clicked “like” or that followed the page. According to the Facebook stats, if they were to be believed, about 75% of those that were following my page saw my posts. I never used my fanpage as a way to sell my work, it was simply a place where those that wanted to follow what I was posting could, and could also provide feedback and we could have electronic conversations about photography, as I said, it was great.
Since then, Facebook has implemented what they call “edgerank,” supposedly to help target your posts to those that interact with you. Since edgerank went into play, I have seen a drastic reduction in the numbers of people who are even getting the chance to see my posts, it happend almost over night. From that initial 75% view rate, it dropped down to about 5%. Simply put, I was making posts that 95% of my fans and followers were never going to see, unless they specifically searched for my content. Seems a bit crazy to me, someone who has indicated that they want to follow my updates and posts are not able to because Facebook deemed that they were not worthy to do so. Never fear though, Facebook has a way for you to insure that those who follow you see your posts, you simply pay them per post to make your followers worthy of seeing your content. I actually gave this a test, I promoted a post and sure enough, about 75% of my followers saw that post, worked like a champ.
Here’s the deal, I realize that Facebook needs to find some way to generate revenue, I am not against that at all, but I do have a problem with them in effect censoring my posts and deciding who of my followers is worthy to see my updates. I would be more than happy to pay Facebook to promote certain posts to people who are not already following my updates, but I simply refuse to pay them for people who should already be seeing them. It simply wasn’t worth the effort to maintain a page and post content to it that was never going to be seen, so my fanpage no longer exists.
I do want to point out though that this is based solely on my experience. If you are a wedding, portrait, event or lifestyle photographer, I suspect that you get a great deal of traction out of your fanpage, when people can be tagged in an image and that image then shared with people who follow them, that is sort of like a snowball sitting at the top of a hill. When you make images that typically don’t have people in them, that isn’t going to happen :-)
Does this mean that I am leaving Facebook totally? No. I will still be posting stuff to my personal page. Frankly, I have been getting better interaction there anyway, and isn’t that the whole reason for social media, to interact with others? As for other social media sites, I am a lot more active on Google +, especially now that they have created the communities, and Twitter continues to be a mainstay for me. I would highly encourage you to follow me on G+ and Twitter if you don’t already.