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Social Networking | Roadblocks | Fake Fanpages | Facebook | Google+ Tips & Tricks | The Blackhole of Facebook

I’m taking a queue from our friends over at Pure Actions for Photographers and finally sharing my thoughts.  I hope that you’re read along and share as well!

 

Presently we’re working hard to establish a presence on Google+ as well as facebook.   Why are we doing this?  We think it’s necessary to engage with our fans and customers.

On Google+ we want to share our normal sale announcements, images of products in use by our amazing customers, and highlights of products we’re offering….but in addition to that we’re finding Google+ a great resource for sharing useful information such as tutorials, articles, videos. When I share those kinds of things on Facebook I feel like they aren’t seen by our customers.

What I do is ::: keep one tab on my browser open to Facebook and one tab open for Google+ and I check both throughout the day. It hasn’t been that hard to keep up with both so give it a try.  I love that I can follow whomever I want and not wait for fans to find me!  Because of that alone I am discovering new photographers left and right that I’ve never heard of and I’m enjoying seeing their images and posts as well.  It also feels good to know that all of the posts I share can be seen by my own followers instead of altered and hidden by the “Algorithm” debacle that we find on facebook.  Also, did you know that Google uses your G+ profile to determine part of how your SEO goes? If you are more active on G+ have higher SEO.  Check out this article to help understand Google+ better as well.  It’s a great resource!

I can, personally, tell you that for the past 4 years I have put my heart into my business since the day I opened.  4 years!  That’s well over 1400 days of my life [with the smallest breaks for a vacation here and there and even then I try to check in]   My business has been a labor of love and my wants and desires for it are to be able to share everything I’ve worked so hard for with my fans.  What breaks my heart is hearing over and over from my loyal fans/customers that they are constantly missing our posts [which means missing all of our sale offers] and they can’t figure out why Facebook is hiding them — even though they WANT to see them.

With all the loving care put into our business and the rise in the important of social media to get the word out we all just want to be seen and heard. With 155K+ fans I didn’t think I would be talking into a black hole of nothingness…I thought I would be sharing content as well as engaging in meaningful dialogue with my customers,…wouldn’t you feel that would be the case?

What can I can share with you all is that I spent thousands of dollars in 2013 advertising with Facebook hoping that would help get us seen by the audience we targeted very carefully in our ads.  After 6-7 months of trying that method for advertising [and getting away from other methods I felt weren't working] I can tell you that I feel that all those advertising dollars got me was dug into a bigger “hole of blackness” on Facebook.  We gained more and more “likes” of our page each day but I felt fans were less and less engaged.  Something was definitely not right here and I just couldn’t figure out what.

Did advertising on facebook give us growth? Yes, it did.
Did that fan growth help us?  That’s a big ‘noppers’ in our opinion.
Did we think we were hitting the right target audience for the ads?  Yes, we did.
Did we?  We think not.

We have been combing our fans list and really looking at “fans” actual pages.  Want to know what we’ve found so far?  HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of fake facebook profiles from countries such as Egypt & Pakistan. We got more and more curious and looked deeper into our stats and we could see an enormous amount of likes coming from countries we didn’t target in our ads.  How were they finding our page?  We know it’s the Facebook ads!  Everything started changing as soon as the “ads” went up.  That’s when everything changed for us.  And what a shame…we paid for advertisement with Facebook and they turned around and screwed us royally!

As soon as we realized what was happening here we know that this video was spot on!  It’s exactly what we discovered about these “strange” likes.  Have a gander at this video if you haven’t seen it:

We’ve started the process of deleting these facebook “fake fans” from our page.  There is not reason to have them.  We don’t need inflated numbers.  We need REAL…ENGAGED FANS!  We don’t need fake likes bringing down our engagement numbers when facebook does their magical “insights.”   Our plan was to remove hundreds and hundreds of fake profiles [and in essence throwing thousands and thousands of dollars in the trash] until we could only get so far in the fans list….when we hit yet another roadblock by Facebook.  We could only scroll down before facebook wouldn’t let us click “see more” and prevented us from going any further on the list.  We got rid of 30-40 fake paces and couldn’t get any further to remove addition fake pages.  So, yet again we’re stuck at a roadblock we can’t solve.

So what could be do next??  The only thing we could think of was to block Egypt and Pakistan from viewing our page [two countries we have never had sales from in 4 years]  in an experiment to see if engagement changes.  It’s only been 2 days and our engagement hasn’t changed at this time but we shall see.  What did change is our fan count going down D-R-A-S-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y.  We didn’t expect this shock, in fact…when we saw it…we went a little insane trying to figure out what was wrong with our page.  Once we calmed down all we could figure out is that once we blocked those 2 countries Facebook takes the likes you got from those countries and removes them from your count.  After we saw this we decided to experiment again and remove the block on those two countries.  We’ll wait another couple days and see of our normal fan count comes back.

At the busiest time of the day on the busiest day of the week on facebook:  what do you think post counts should be on a page wtih 155K likes? Around [Seems reasonable to think]  20K views per post? [Get out!]  25K views?  {You’re kidding] 10K views? [Making crazy guesses] 7K??

Nooooo…Think again… try sometimes it’s 700 views!!  Sometimes it’s 4,000 and maybe 5,000 [which isn't as common!]

I’ve read every article I can find about algorithms and how facebook’s feed ‘views’ supposedly work and no matter what I read I still feel like no matter what I try I’m talking into the abyss sometimes.  People just don’t seem to be seeing our posts and even less see when we use the facebook “share” method.

All of this leaves me such a sad state.  I feel like my hands are tied and my pockets have been emptied by the social media giant [facebook] and I will never get ahead of them.  They gladly took thousands of dollars from me but in return gave me:  fake likes, less engagement, no customer service whatsoever, and feeling of desperation to find another way to keep our presence alive.

 

If you’re feeling similar to what I described…let’s all try something new, shall we?

We don’t have to abandon facebook by any means but we can try other avenues to be more involved in.  Admit it, social media has really brought our businesses to where they are now – I can tell you that I wouldn’t be where I am today with PPF&B had it not been fore facbook so I know I wouldn’t leave them.  But, what I suggest we do is better ‘well-round’ and engage ourselves in the realm of social media.  This will give us a broader presence and you never know….maybe facebook will realize that they are going to loose all of those advertisers who now see through what their “likes” or even “no likes” are the result of [and maybe they will change??]!

——————————————————————-

Update 2/22/15:  It’s been days since we added back the countries that we “hid” from seeing our page and we’re still down over 15,968 fans that have not come back.  So glad we paid Facebook for ads to generate fans!  :(

I’ve been enjoying the week over at Google+ and we have been seeing so many great articles about tips & tricks for using it effectively, along with How To’s.  I thought I would compile a list all in one place with all of the links I find and that way they are all in one place to reference:

 

A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing on Google Plus by gryffin media

Pure Actions for Photographers:

The Hows and Whys of Google Plus for Photographers by Pure Actions for Photographers 

Google+ How-to Part 3:  Getting started on Google+ from the ground up by Pure Actions for Photographers 

Part 2 of the Google+ for Photographers series by Pure Actions for Photographers 

Starting on Google+ from the ground up by Pure Actions for Photographers 

 

A Five-Item To-Do List to Get Started on Your Google Plus Page by MarketingProfs

A Google Plus Marketing Strategy for Success: Interview with Jesse Wojdylo by Social Media Today

Why You Can’t Ignore Google+ Any Longer by The Modern Tog

Why Google+ and how it BENEFITS vendors and photographers alike! by Tracy Joy (Prop Insanity)

5 Step Google Plus Checklist to Help You Create more Interaction by ReviewznTips.com

5 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Content to Combat Content Shock by Content Marketing Institute

 Scheduling Google+ Posts, The Complete Guide by The Social Media Hat

4 Tips to Help Format Text on Google+ [Infographic] by Social Times
Jen

Owner PPF&B

 

February 20, 2014 - 10:15 pm

lee - I hate Facebook. I’m waiting for the day that they fail just like MySpace did. Maybe Google with bring those geedy little buggers down. They don’t care about your business,they just cares about bottomless pockets. Billions are not enough for that greedy geek privacy invading company..

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