It was 2 years ago exactly that Scranberry Coop was forced to convert our much-loved personal Facebook Page to a Business Page.
We posted this page on our site: The Tragedy of Facebook, explaining why we had to do it. We also did a post about the change, and talked about it as much as we could on FB while we were transitioning.
Facebook continued to make changes that no body liked. You know how you can't see every post all your friends post in chronological order on your "wall" anymore? Now you have a feed, and no matter what you set your settings to, Facebook decides what posts are important and what will be added to your feed so they can place lots of advertisements.
But the truth is everyone is on Facebook, everyone posts and signs in and works with what they can, even though FB keeps changing things for the worse. We're no different, and here's the story of where we are with this right now.
In the past few months, FB has really messed with their business pages.
We don't know when you've commented, sent a message, shared a photo, or liked something. We scroll through our page often and try to keep on top of everything, but obviously that isn't as good as getting a notification.
We're not surprised they removed that option since we haven't received any notifications at all for months anyway.
According to Facebook, even if people click on our page, "like" the page, and then jump through all the hoops FB has set up to subscribe and include our page to their feed as "important", FB will only show them 1 out of 10 of our posts on average. That's what they say, anyway. It's actually even less than that.
Any requests for help are met only with instructions on how to "promote" our business page and "boost" our posts by paying. Yes, paying for every post.
In 2012 when we had just over a thousand followers, each post reach hundreds of people within a few hours.
Today, we have 2,130 "likes" and each post only reaches 2 to 3 dozen people, despite having over 1480 people subscribed to our posts in their feeds.
See that "Boost Post" button? It appears on all our posts now as we see them. Our whole page defaults to buying ad space, instead of to posting and sharing with our community.
We don't want to harvest "likes" and "fans." We don't have goals of reaching a certain number and run campaigns about it. We would rather have a smaller number of interested collectors, recyclers, artists, antiquers, shoppers, Andover neighbors, Steampunkers, flea marketers and friends. We'd rather have a nice group of people that are interested in our single-location mom and pop private business, our go-green ideas, and our fun dog Joey Badenov than a huge number of people that aren't too keen on interacting with us.
You know when you see on your feed a "promoted" post? It's an advertisement you have to see because FB took money to put it there. What do you do when you see them? Do you read them? Do you get annoyed at the advertising FB does and scroll past them?
It sucks for a few reasons. It sucks because we'd rather spend some advertising dollars on Giving Away Gift Certificates and Free Gifts every single week as we have for years. It sucks because we never saw ourselves as a business on facebook; we saw ourselves as a member of the community, interacting with our neighbors.
It sucks because we want to interact a lot. We want to see your questions in comments and answer them. We want to help you find a great collectible you've been looking for, and an awesome gift for a special someone. We want to share stuff about our Spiral Garden, the local animal charities we support, cool vintage music vids, and more. We can't interact as much as we want to if we have to pay per post.
Have a business page pay a subscriber's fee each year, but then give them the same ability to interact and communicate like everyone else. It would be up to the business to really utilize their subscription and interact with people, instead of buying their way onto people's newsfeeds. That way it's the content the business page is posting that will determine whether or not people want to include them in their newsfeeds. Let people decide for themselves if they want to "friend" a business page they enjoy instead of Facebook deciding for them based on ad revenue space.
The annual charge to businesses would deter spammy business pages who prefer to put out some ads some times in lieu of investing the energy into building their online community, taking the time to interact and get to know people, and actually earning their place on someone's Facebook page.
The ability to communicate like a personal page would invite relationship-minded businesses like ours to join up in order to spend lots of time every single day with their online community. **
Well, we can continue to work as hard as we can to get around it.
We're hoping you will "Friend" our Ambassador, Manager of Smooches and All Around Love Muffin Joey Badenov on Facebook. Joey has a personal profile on Facebook, able to do a lot of interacting, and hopefully you will include him in your newsfeed, please.
While we will still be posting our little hearts out on our Scranberry Coop Facebook Business Page
Joey will slowly start sharing those posts plus posting his own awesome finds and fun stuff. He will be able to interact on our behalf the way we want to.
How does that sound?
Thanks for being part of our online community. We Treasure You! :D