As photographers, Social Media takes a hit on all of our time. We do it for various reasons. Because it is fun. Because it is a good way to reach people who are otherwise not reachable. Because it is certainly a powerful part of the lives of all of us in business.
Facebook is certainly a big player in the Social Media world. Many photographers have used it to great advantage to help market their work, or grow their reach.
And there were custom landing pages that allowed small businesses and photographers offer a premium for “liking” their page, as well as present a custom look to the normal Facebook UI. These custom pages could be set as the default home page for “Pages” allowing the FB business to control the entrance to the page.
Then that changed, and we have the timeline. The only customization that can be made is the top graphic. OK, fine. If it is across all pages, then it is somewhat “fair” I suppose.
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But many photographers and small business owners have worked hard to get a lot of subscribers to “like” their page. These are people who ASKED to be kept apprised of posts and changes to the page.
Facebook just inserted them into the middle of this now by requiring the photographer to PAY to reach out to the people who ASKED to be kept apprised. (Right about now, someone is going to say… “well, FB is free so you shouldn’t complain”. Oh, please… that is simply bullshit and we aren’t even going to go there. FB charges advertisers to get access to me. A lot of money.)
So they expect me to spend from $5 to $20 to reach out to the people who have asked me to send them stuff. I will not comply (well, there have been two that I did ‘Promote” as they were essentially advertisements for my UDEMY course. For an ad, I have no problem with paying for the placement, so no problem there.)
From Photographer Neil van Niekerk;
“The linked articles above mention a loss of up to 60% of people that see the pages. I’m in the region on 90% if I have to roughly estimate it. By reposting the album of photos, I have been able to get more people to see it, but the numbers are still way down.
If this trend with Facebook continues, I’ll just put more accent on my blogs. FB doesn’t bring discernible income to me. It’s a marketing thing, sure. But I can’t say that I have had any income which was solely because of FB. I don’t have anything to sell in the way a retailer has … so there isn’t much driving me to pay FB money for other photographers to see my FB page.
I will just send the link to the FB albums to my clients, and they will share with family and friends, and I am content. That’s all I really need from this. But there is no reason for me to use Facebook to the extent I have in the past.”
You should absolutely read all of Neil’s post. It is far more detailed than I am going to get.
Like Neil, I find it difficult to continue to create content for Facebook if I am forced to pay for the reach I earned. I will probably hook up my twitter account to feed it, but the idea that I create specific work for my Facebook people when MOST will never see it makes me weigh the ROI of the work.
You can see in the chart below EXACTLY when FB changed their (secret) algorithm sending posts out to folks. From an average of 1670 readers to an average of 460 readers in a few days. The same days that FB changed it up.
I am preparing a longer post on what I think photographers should do now. But quickly, it is that it is now even more apparent… your BLOG / WEBSITE is still your best marketing tool. Every time we get a third party intermediary they begin to chip away at our wallets. Ya know!
There is no easy way to do anything, and working on a blog and a website can be hard work. You have to WORK for your readers, and you have to WORK for your content.
But no one is going to come between you and your readers.
See you next time.
“Want to Highlight Your New Facebook Pictures? Pay to Promote Them”
by Samantha Murphy at Mashable.
Yes, FB wants you to PAY to promote your personal shots of lunches and laundry.
A Hipstagram photo from recent trip through Maine.