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ECISMG Follow Up: Like or Dislike The Company, Facebook is Amazing Technology

At today’s East Central Indiana Social Media Group, I gave a short presentation about Facebook Reach, and why I don’t think we should all be freaking out about shrinking numbers. My main point was that anyone working with social media should understand the basics of how Facebook determines the reach of individual posts (time, affinity, weight) before we accuse Facebook of a conspiracy to limit the effectiveness of pages. I gave this presentation in response to this video that has been making it’s way around the Internet:

The video echoes the feelings of a lot of social media managers who are upset that they are not reaching as many fans as they have in the past. I think this whole anti-Facebook movement is unfair. Don’t get me wrong. Facebook isn’t my favorite network. I don’t like some aspects of its design, privacy policy, and other nitpicky things. But I don’t see how we can criticize them for filtering the news feed. There is just too much content. It is flooding in. And newsflash: a lot of it isn’t very interesting.

And that is the core problem. It isn’t Mark Zuckerberg sitting on a throne somewhere with a machiavellian plan to screw business owners. It’s us. It’s people. We have been given an amazing platform to share text, photos, and videos around the world. Think about that for second. We have gotten so used to the technology being there, that we have forgotten how revolutionary it is. View it through the lens of someone living just 50 years ago. It would be magic. It would be a tool with boundless possibilities.

Now bring yourself back to the present where we see it as an annoyance or a chore we have to do for work. We can choose to keep seeing it in this cynical light, but we also have the choice to see it as an unprecedented tool to share art, educational materials, and creative endeavors of all kinds.

If a business wants to beat the Facebook Reach problem, they have to stop posting surface level thoughts, re-used jokes, click-bait, and hard sell marketing pitches that fail to grab attention. Consistently produce content that people want or need to see, and you will never have a problem reaching an audience. Don’t just regurgitate what your competitors are saying. You don’t even need to rely on yourself to create the content. Get brilliant writers, illustrators, photographers, and video production teams to present a unique, eye catching message.

Don’t waste this amazing technology. Use it to provide value.

My name is Josh Schweigert. I graduated in May 2012 with an M.A. in Digital Storytelling from Ball State University, and I am the Social Media Manager at Roosevelt University.

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