Deadweight audiences are bad for you

It’s not uncommon to see competitions in which an entry requirement is to like a Page on Facebook. In fact, some people spend money encouraging social media influencers to sign up and like their Page.

This is often a bad idea that can harm your Facebook success.

Facebook very seriously limits the number of people who see posts. I have one blog with 300+ Facebook followers where, on average, only about 2 people are even shown link updates that include a full-width image. In other words; that’s the preferred and recommended Facebook posting style, with about 0.6% of followers seeing the post.

That particular blog is in that situation because many of the 300 followers came from a competition. This is a lesson I’ve learnt the hard way.

The situation is worse than a chunk of people not seeing the updates. They hurt everyone else. Facebook’s current algorithm sees a Page that tends to get low user engagement. The result of that poor performance, for everyone competition earned or natural fans, is reduced news feed exposure.

Deadweight audiences are bad for you.

Facebook say on their help page;

The best way to have your posts show up in News Feed for the people who like your Page is to post things you think your audience will like, comment on, or share with their friends. Use your Page Insights to learn more about the types of posts that your audience is most interested in.

Once that realisation settles in, it becomes easy to see where another dead weight comes from and worry about it. Invite your friends to follow the Page? I’d rather not, not unless I was sure they might interact.

This is a concern for many; last month, Facebook admitted that organic reach is dropping. AdAge reported;

The drop-off in organic reach continues to be a touchy subject for brands — especially those who invested in growing their fan bases. And it’s going to oblige them to up their content creation game in order to emerge organically from the morass of stories eligible to enter users’ news feeds, according to Digitas VP-Social Marketing Alex Jacobs.

Facebook is very important to content publishers. It’s the social network that moves the needle when it comes to traffic, far higher than Pinterest, Twitter or Google+.

In a world where we’re all publishers and the role of the agent or publisher, a “gatekeeper of quality” has been sidestepped, we’ll see the platforms like Facebook step up to fill the gap. The challenge platforms have isn’t only about discovery serendipity but also determined obfuscation.

This post migrated from Zebra Eclipse, where it was first published in 2014, to here in 2023. 

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