Why Is Facebook Punishing Highly Engaging Brands?

Facebook's changed news feed has cut page engagement in half, says guest writer Nick Vivion co-founder of Unicorn Booty.

The new Facebook news feed has practically erased from users’ homepages all brands that don’t buy advertising.

Check it out for yourself: Scroll through all of the posts on your feed. Do you see any brand posts?

Most likely, you will not see one single post from any brand you’ve liked — even a brand that you have interacted with regularly over the past 18 months!

Facebook has apparently decided that any brand relationship – – engaging or not, regardless of your past behavior — is not desirable in the news feed.

This has completely eliminated Facebook as a source of traffic for my website, Unicorn Booty, which provides news aimed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities.

It used to be the number one source — to the sum of 10,000 to 20,000 visitors a day — and now it’s barely even registering.

We have worked so hard for our 65,000 Facebook likes, and our page was seeing an average of 800 daily interactions (likes and comments) on our posts.

Now, with the updated news feed algorithm, we are seeing that number halved.

We have spent 18 months nurturing and cultivating our community on Facebook by creating memorable, compelling and ultimately shareable content on the social network.

Our hard work has paid off with an extremely active community that treasures our posts and looks forward to each and every one.

In fact, when we do not post on our regular schedule — around ten posts per day, our community always asks, “Where have you been?”

So, rather than being prized by Facebook, why are they punishing us — a brand that has taken the time and consideration to cultivate and nourish a thriving Facebook community — by removing our updates from our engaged fans’ news feeds?

These people love our content, and have opted to receive it in their feeds.

And while I understand Facebook’s desire to heed user discontent with marketing messages in their feeds, the company should also respect the desire for relevant content served to them in the format and place of their choice.

And what about all of us who’ve spent chunks of their marketing budgets building these communities?

Facebook is biting the hand that feeds them not only money, but content.

We are the people that add value to the social network. We are already fueling Facebook as a content consumption destination. We are a brand that people have a relationship with.

We are a brand that people want to see in their news feed. Why deny that to people? Why deny that to us?

We have followed the rules, and built a thriving community on your platform, and you have pulled the rug out from beneath us.

It’s not fair, and it’s also not what your users want. Punish the unengaging brand pages, the ones that are clearly misunderstanding the platform — and reward the brands that are making Facebook an even more powerful content consumption platform.

Facebook, what say you?

Guest writer Nick Vivion is co-founder of Unicorn Booty.

Publish date: September 26, 2011 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/facebook-engagement-punish/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT