Did you say you thought you owned that relationship?
If you post it they will come. That used to be the case, but not anymore. In their continuing effort to capture user attention and increase time spent online, the social media networks (particularly Facebook) have again altered their approach to what they’re pushing out on timelines.
Users who’ve established a relationship with you no longer see everything you publish. They likely see only content deemed relevant and engaging based on their profile, their likes, preferences, and friends. Write posts until your fingers bleed. There’s an increasing possibility those posts are no longer going to be seen unless the social media gatekeepers decide your message meshes with what keeps a user on the website. Did you say you thought you owned that relationship…?
Who really owns the relationship?
This must be – at least sort of – how Sisyphus felt pushing that giant rock up the hill, only to have the gods roll it back down. The more you post, the less of it makes it onto a feed. What’s the solution? Get out your checkbook. The visibility you used to get for free once you established a relationship with social media users now costs you money.
Those Facebook Likes and Follows no longer ensure your content gets seen – even by your most ardent fans. If you want that, you’ll pay to boost or promote content. Could it be the outliers who insisted that a Facebook Like really doesn’t mean much were right, after all?
Yes, and no
Facebook Likes are important. They register intent and potential engagement. Nevertheless, Facebook and the rest of the social media networks are circling around a valid point. So what if I said I like you? I’ll pass on your post if it isn’t about something that interests me.
They’re just not that into you
Not so fast, Chicken Little. The sky isn’t necessarily falling. It may be frustrating, but maybe Facebook et al is on to something, here. Maybe it really is about quality, rather than quantity.
The data points that Facebook has amassed for its users is mind-boggling. Social media sites may soon be more adept at predicting user behavior than spouses. It’s possible that Facebook was actually doing you a favor when they elected not to show your latest post to all of your followers.
Based on what they know about those followers, perhaps what you had to say isn’t something some of those users wanted to hear. It’ll take more than a spoonful of sugar to make that medicine go down – but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. What it does mean is that it’s now more important than ever to significantly deepen the relationships you have with your followers on social media.
The real worth of a Like
It hasn’t been “push” since the days of radio and television commercials. Today, it’s all about interactive. And, if you’re nodding affirmatively about that, you’ve also got to concede that social media posts are dangerously drifting across the digital median line and back into being “push.”
Does that make Facebook’s decision not to share your post akin to the rumble strip that warns you you’re about to drive off the road?
Hopefully, it wakes you up. It reminds you that you have a responsibility to go beyond initiating the relationship with a user. You have to develop it by interacting with them. You’ll learn what they like, uncover their preferences, and even find out who their friends are.
This can only happen if you step up your game, move past just posting, and start using all those other social media functionalities. You know, like mentions, comments, reposts, and direct replies. The stuff Facebook’s been tracking for quite some time now. If you want Facebook and other social media sites to keep giving you the free access to your followers you’ve come to know and love, you’ve got to prove those followers don’t just like you – you must demonstrate they actually want to hear what you have to say.
Whether you call it organic or relevancy, algorithms are pushing us and the content we create in the same direction. A vague social media relationship is no longer enough to give you access to users. The gatekeepers now expect you to show you’ve earned the right to talk to their users. Otherwise, it’s time to get out your checkbook.