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Troy

Personal Facebook Posts Get More Engagement Than Business Pages

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Since Facebook has become "pay to play" for business pages, meaning you have to pay to have your posts seen.  I've been reviewing my use of the platform including abandoning it altogether.

One experiment I've been trying lately is to post messages about my website activity on my personal page, rather than my fanpage.  I only have about 4,800 friends, less than 1/4 of the number of fans I have on my business page, but I'm finding that posts on my personal Facebook page are getting more engagement than the posts entered on the Facebook page for my business (AALBC.com).

In fact, over the last couple of weeks I've been posting on the personal page, then sharing on the business page.  I used to do it the other way around.  

Sometime early next year, after I collect more data, I'll see if this increased engagement has resulted in an increase in traffic to my website--which is the only reason I use Facebook.

This might be a worthwhile thing to try--even if you don't have many friends.  One downside is that you could risk losing the friends you have on Facebook by boring them to death with posts promoting your website/blog/business.  This is a risk I'm more than willing to take, as Facebook is not how I engage my friends.  I'm ole school, I'll visit, pick up a phone, or send a email or card.

 

 

 

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I did this a while back Troy. I deleted by author's page and my fan page for my sneaker company. My web traffic actually improved using my personal page. I have since activated my footwear page again, but the interaction is very limited and not many conversions come from that. I use my personal page primarily, but even that is not a very good means of driving traffic to the site. I find the best method of getting traffic is posting an article then sharing it.

You know I like reading your data so I can't wait to see what you come up with. I am pretty sure I know what the outcome will be though...

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I'm not sure what to make of this - but is Facebook getting ready to share in the wealth of by hosting Instant Articles from everyone? This blogger says not much information is forthcoming but below is what what I found. 

 

https://instantarticles.fb.com/

"On April 12th at Facebook's F8 conference, we will open up the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any size, anywhere in the world. We invite you to register your interest below."

 
 

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@Troy Instant Articles on FB might be another way to use the AALBC Member blog  - especially for writers who may not have a facebook page - but want to take advantage of those 1.6 billion potential readers... I'm referring to this section from the overview:

Integrate with Existing Content Management Systems

"Publishers can easily publish their full catalog of articles each day directly from their existing CMS through an RSS feed with HTML5 markup, eliminating the need to author articles in a new location. Instant Articles are published when stories are pushed to the publisher's website and apps. Updates and corrections are also automatically captured so that breaking news remains up to date. "   

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Hi @Mel, I finally got a chance to watch this video.  This is a brilliant idea, beautifully packaged, and presented in a compelling fashion.  

While I was watching this video I was tapping my foot trying to figure out how one is compensated for providing Facebook with all this compelling content. Over 2 minutes into this 3 minute video they finally said, "publishers can bring their ads with them."  But it is not clear to me how this ad presentation will work from watching the video.

I'm still not moved, and actually have a problem with, Facebook constantly telling us how many people they have on their platform, as a selling point to convince publishers to give them FREE content.  

Our platform’s potential audience is not Facebook, but the World Wide Web itself, which will ALWAYS have more people!

Content does not just pop out of thin air, we pay to have it produced, or spend a great deal of time and effort creating it.  Why for, God's sake, would anyone give content to Facebook for free.  This allows Facebook to monetize the traffic and the visitor behavior without having incur the expensive of generating content of their own. This is why we have our own websites.

So, I'm supposed to pay writers, edit the copy, produce video, gather images, format it for Facebook system, and just hand it over to Facebook—for free?  No.  They need to pay.

The notion that Facebook can deliver content to mobile users, better than a major content producer is silly too.  First, 4G mobile phones can download content faster than most people can receive it with the cable connection at home. Nobody waits 10 seconds for a page to load on a 4G phone.  There is nothing that Facebook is doing that National Geographic (the subject of the video) could not do better on their own website.  Also, publishers can only do what Facebook allows them to do, which is a very limited subset of what is possible.

This, I argue, is what is curbing creativity on the web.  Facebook's content will always be presented in a less compelling fashion than what is possible on the web.  This is not to suggest that websites always get it right.  In fact, most of they time they don't.  But the imperfect world of the World Wide Web, is what makes it beautiful, The stale, cookie cutter world which FaceBook promises is far less desireable.

Besides, why would major companies so willingly give one company so much power?  If Facebook is not paying National Geographic for the right to publish their content then Facebook is simply brilliant and National Geographic are fools, or engaged in a desperation move (are print publications in THAT much trouble?)

Also giving content to Facebook introduces another gatekeeper controlling who can see your content.  I often lament the control Google exerts as a gatekeeper in terms of the discovery of content on the web.  But while I have my complaints about Google, they are more focused on providing you with the best answers to your searches.  Facebook, in contrast, is concerned with delivering content that will keep you engaged with their platform.  Their is a profound difference between the two.  Google sends you to websites most likely to help and inform you. Facebook presents you with content most likely to keep you on their platform so that they can maximize their revenue.  Whether you are helped or informed is incidental.

If all the major content providers give their content to Facebook, then users may feel completed to go to Facebook, which increases Facebook's stranglehold on the net and when on entity exerts this much control we are all worse off.

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Until Facebook decides to create an ad publishing system everything they do will only benefit them and give us "potential" revenue. As far as I'm concerned if I can't monetize it, I will use it for what it's for and that's to connect to friends and family. 

My main point is providing content to Facebook can potentially earn you revenue. But until Facebook develops an ad program and actually says the words "content providers can apply for Facebook Adsense" or something like that, then Facebook is a not that vital to non-entertainment business ventures. IN MY OPINION. I can only provide evidence based on what I've done which is why I draw the same conclusion as Troy. I say it a lot, but it's always worth repeating, content is king and community creates revenue.

Oh and if you build that community via social media you are adding one more step in the process of monetizing that community which hurts you.

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Here is a more balanced take on Facebook's Instant Articles.  If anyone finds a Black platform talking about this subject in a critical way please post a link.  My Huria Search, shows Black sites just sharing Facebook's press release, which is not news but free propaganda/promotion for Facebook.  

 

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Damn, they sound like us. These guys get it. They understand that utilizing social to share your info without making it just a link on social is dangerous. The goal should be to get people back to your site. Those who don't really look into their statistics are going to be seduced into thinking they are reaching and building their audience with Facebook's new tool. All they will be doing is adding another step in the conversion process. Troy, there isn't a black site that will cover this. We should do a Google Hangout and discuss this.

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Let's say for now - with an open mind and no barriers (remember I don't even use facebook - but I'm all for making money lol)  it is Either, OR, AND...

If www.AALBC.com/tc/blogs is already set up as a RSS feed and HTML5 - and you can launch it through mobile - AND AALBC members already post mini blogs on the AALBC.com blog page; and you, Troy, as the AALBC.com founder and owner already have an account on Facebook load the AALBC.com rss feed to Instant articles with your own AALBC ads, it seems as if you will be opening up another channel for AALBC.com online publishing,  AALBC.com readers, AALBC.com authors, and AALBC.com book club members.  Further, instead of paying writers - writers have an opportunity to pay you to advertise on the AALBC.com/tc/blogs FB instant articles feed. 

For example, you run a special a 2-fer at $X per month to advertise an author's book on the AALBC.com/tc/blog  & the RSS Feed via FB instant articles...  Not only can I advertise my book on AALBC.com, I also get to advertise my book via the AALBC.com/tc/blog feed that I've contributed to, which is distributed through FB Instant Articles too! BAM!  
 

From the FB instant articles Q & A... (I don't code nor do I have an app, so I can't speak to this from a technical viewpoint  - but here's a clip of the Q & A that goes beyond the video )

Choose From FLEXIBLE MONETIZATIONS OPTIONS 

Ads within Instant Articles load quickly and fit seamlessly into the reading experience. Publishers choose what monetization option works best with their business! Facebook Audience Network maximizes ad revenue per article with demand from over 2.5 million advertisers globally; Publishers can also directly sell and serve their own display ads and keep 100% of that revenue.

Q: What types of articles work best for this format?

A: Instant Articles works for any type of article, from daily spot-news coverage to in-depth, long form features.

Q: Do publishers need to create original content for Facebook?

A: No. Instant Articles provides a faster, Facebook-native way to distribute the content publishers already produce for their own websites. We've made it easy for publishers to publish their full catalog of articles each day directly from their existing *MS through an RSS feed with /TML markup, eliminating the need to author articles in a new location.

Q: How much effort is required for publishers to reconfigure their content for Instant Articles?

A: It's a straightforward process because Instant Articles uses HTML and RSS, standard ways for authoring articles on the web. After some basic setup, publishers can automate Instant Article production directly from their own content management systems. Facebook provides tools so publishers can preview all the items in their Facebook publishing feed and edit or revise content manually. Publishers who wish to embrace new elements like interactive maps and auto-play videos can use simple, well-documented HTML tags to enhance their content with rich-media features.

Q: How quickly are articles published and updated?

A: Instant Articles automatically loads new stories from the RSS feed as soon as they are published to the publisher's website and apps. Updates and corrections are also automatically captured via the RSS feed so that breaking news remains up to date. 

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I get what you are writing, but it fails to address the primary point addressed in the video, when Facebook articles kicks in the articles will be read on Facebook. What you are assuming is that people will eventually click through to an RSS and by my own research they don't. In all honesty RSS feeds only work with high powered tech sites or sites that don't really need the traffic that arrives from a feed. What you have to consider is most people don't have feeds enabled on their site. They aren't even aware that they can do so through their CMS. But even by chance, everything you wrote is to the benefit of Facebook. Anytime you see Facebook native it is in regard to the content remaining on Facebook to improve their numbers.

What I have is not a bias. I can't speak for Troy, but I've been reading and following his own tests in regard to the ability for Facebook to generate consistent traffic and social media simply does not do very well for non-social media that requires a person to actually click through and visit your site. You are excellent proof of this as you aren't even on Facebook, yet your site is gaining ground. Which leads me to this question, why would you even defend something that you don't use yourself?

What Facebook articles is, in essence, is a frame. When a person utilizes a frame your website does not get a page view/load. This takes away the impression on that ad. You can be an advocate and look at the other side, but doing so means that you would be okay with losing ad impressions. Now, when a frame is used the ads very rarely show up. What's worse is this detail in the following quote reaffirms my thoughts:

But there’s still an open question about what the impact of Instant Articles is for publishers. Facebook significantly restricts how many ads publishers can show in Instant Articles. According to its policy, “Each ad must be separated by a minimum of 350 words. If your article consists primarily of images or media, ads must not exceed 15% of the content.” For some sites, that’s fewer ads than they’re accustomed to showing.

Meanwhile, the stripped down, sterilized design format can remove important links that help recirculate traffic to a publisher’s other posts, and that encourage people to pay for subscriptions, buy event tickets, or sign up for newsletters. The Wall Street Journal reports some publishers are now earning as much per click to an Instant Article as to a traditional page. But that doesn’t factor in the decreased likelihood of subsequent page views. http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/17/instant-articles/

As always this is a good, productive discussion and it is one that lurkers and posters will benefit from.

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Thanks for sharing the additional information.  

Once Facebook opens the floodgates does anyone one, for a split second, think their Blog posts will be seen as many times as a big corporation's content? 

Sure we have to compete with corporations on the World Wide Web, but the web, even with Google's dominating search, is far more democratic that Facebook.  Where else can you quadruple your fan base and see your reach drop by 75%?

Whats next promoted (paid) Facebook Instant posts?

I don't serve a lot of Ads on AALBC.com.  This discussion forum only has two.  I could very easily quadruple the number of ads and even embedded them in the posts (like Facebook), but I hate sites which inundate you with advertising.  Facebook also recognizes too many ads spoil the experience, hence the limit.  But again Facebook can afford the limit the ads because they are not paying for the content creation.

I hear you Mel regarding the selling of advertising, but here is the trade off.  I'm giving content to Facebook for a marginal increase in reach, which will likely come at the expense of reach that I would have gotten directly.  

All content producers should boycott this Facebook "service."  Then what would Facebook do?  I guess Facebook would have to create content and compete like everyone else.  Which would not be a bad idea for them since they have the platform and already know how to control people.

They could run the HuffPost Okie Doke and get people to write for free--just for the privileged of being on Facebook.  Indeed many of us do this already...

 

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