Love it or hate it Facebook has become a huge part or many of our lives from keeping in touch with friends to finding out about products, brands and events and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the way Facebook does things.
One of the main reasons I wanted to start this site was to get away from the dependence on Facebook for promoting British Subculture events or products, I’d also like to point out that I have never charged or demanded payment of any sort for doing this. It was my belief that with social media people could find out more about the things that interested them and that could help small businesses and new music break through.
Over the last few years we have seen Facebook grow and, though it is a free to use service, we have also seen a lot of changed pushed on us. At one point if a person chose to ‘like’ a page they would receive updates and posts from them. Then Facebook realised it could make a lot of money by changing the way it did things.
All of a sudden we were not seeing the posts of all the pages we had liked. There were ways of changing settings on pages but you couldn’t expect someone to do this for all the pages so the people that run the pages saw interaction and page reach drop. Facebook now gives people the option to ‘Boost’ a post that is to pay for people that have already liked your page to actually see your posts. Below is an example of actual cost.
How successful this feature can be is debateable and I was interested to see this video on YouTube – click here – that seems to indicate that the interaction you get from these boosts could be false. I wouldn’t like to speculate on this but it is an interesting video.
The reason that I am talking about this is because so many people can rely on their Facebook pages of a way of interacting with their market from business to entertainment and this moving of the goal posts seems unfair.
Over the last few years I had built up a network of pages that supported other Subculture related pages such as new music, businesses and brands. In particular one page, Skinhead – A Way of Life, was very popular. I took a lot of time and effort to maintain the page which stated that no politics and or offensive behaviour or posts would be tolerated. I had to take down a few posts and ban people but not that many, occasionally someone would post something ignorant about Skinhead culture and I would try to explain the page and background which, 90% of the time, worked.
I had on a couple of occasions boosted posts from this page to see how well it worked and was initially told the post was not approved. On one occasion it was the picture below, I still can’t imagine why it was seen as offensive. After appealing the realised there was nothing offensive in the post and allowed the post to go through. To make that clear, FACEBOOK TOOK MONEY TO PROMOTE THIS PAGE.
Then this week the page was unpublished by Facebook for not following the Facebook terms. I appealed the decision thinking it would go the same way as the boosted posts, that when they took a step beyond their ignorance they would realise that this was a page that promoted a Subculture that has been the victim of lazy journalism for years.
This morning I found out that the page has been deleted and I have been personally banned from posting on Facebook for 12 hours. In the grand scheme of thing there are far worse things happening in the world but to be labelled a racist would be hard enough without being punished for it too.
It is frustrating and offensive to be treated in this way at the best of times but when you look at the time and effort put into this page it is deeply frustrating. From a marketing point of view can you imagine the cost if you asked a company to build you a Facebook page with a specific, targeted audience of 65,000 with great interaction?
I will continue to use Facebook which is undeniably hypocritical but I don’t want to cut off my nose to spite my face. It is still a useful tool to have both from a marketing and personal perspective but just be careful. It would seem Facebook have the right to delete your page and punish you with no actual reason.
This post will undoubtedly make no difference whatsoever to Facebook, it is a drop in the water to them but I just wanted you all to be aware of the way that they conduct themselves and to look at different ways of promoting whatever you have to offer.