Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Is It Worth Having a Facebook Page For Your Blog Now?

As Facebook grew popular, more and more bloggers created Facebook pages for their blog, to give their blog readers an easy way to follow their blog updates. But, the last few years has seen a constant decline in the organic reach of Facebook pages, so much so that it's time bloggers finally ask themselves whether it is even worth having a Facebook Page for their blog.



Facebook Pages' Declining Reach: Case Study


It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to maintain a Facebook Page properly. And for the past couple of months, I have been seriously considering whether it's worth it. Without wasting any time in idle chit-chat, I will get into the Math straightaway. (And this isn't the kind of Math used in Rocket Science!)

I participated in the A-to-Z Challenge in April this year. And even though I didn't complete the challenge, I still managed to publish 20 posts in April. At that time, roughly 650 people "followed" the Facebook page for this blog. (I say "followed" because you can "like" a page but then "unfollow" it.)

Naturally, I shared all 20 of those posts on the Facebook page for this blog, but do you know how many of my "followers" got to see those "shares"?

Only about 42 to 48 of them on an average!

Out of a following of 650, that is roughly 7%.

And that's when each one of those page updates was re-shared by my personal profile on FB too!

Occasionally, my sister liked/shared my page updates through her FB profile. Then the post visibility (a.k.a. "post reach") shot up to roughly 95, because some of her friends also got to see those posts then. (And she has a LOT of friends on Facebook!)

But this was only the "post visibility", i.e. Facebook showed a particular page update to so many people. It doesn't mean that all those people actually clicked on the link and read the post.

In fact, the highest number of "Post Clicks" I've had this year on any of the link updates on my Facebook page, is... hold your breath!... 9. Yupp. NINE. And only FOUR out of those 9 were "Link Clicks". Take a look at this screenshot of the insights for that particular post...



Which leads me to the conclusion that either these insights are wrong, or Facebook Pages are now a complete waste of time for bloggers.

Here are 5 reasons why I think that it is not worth having a Facebook page for your blog now.


5 Reasons Why It Is Not Worth Having a Facebook Page Now For Your Blog


  1. The base organic reach is dismal.


    If you did the Math above, you must have figured this out by yourself. Hardly 7% visibility... to people who have liked your page because they WANT to get your blog updates!

    Let's assume an average click-through rate of 10% (unless you've shared a link-bait kind of post). So 10% of 7%... that is 0.7% traffic to your blog! Which means that in order to get a 100 page views, you will need a follower base of over 14 thousand!

    Is it even worth the time invested in maintaining the page? And what about your followers, who think they'll get all your blog updates via that page?

  2. The extended organic reach has little worth.


    I have heard so many people say that the advantage of having a Facebook page for your blog is the extra visibility (or exposure) you get when someone likes/shares your update. Yes, the visibility does increase if you get a few interactions on your updates, but does that extended reach necessarily translate into more traffic for your blog?

    We have friends, family and colleagues in our Facebook friend list. It is a diverse list. And naturally, all of them do not share our exact same interests. For example, I'm interested in blogging. But hardly any of my Facebook friends are interested in it. So if I like/share a post from a blogging related Facebook page, will they even look at it? No.

    There are very few topics that work well (i.e. "go viral") on Facebook.... things that are of mass interest.

  3. Facebook is turning into a control-freak.


    Today, the Facebook algorithm controls what kind of content it will show to its users. It doesn't control the "quality", mind you, (like Google does) but the "kind". And at the time of writing this post, it favors videos. If you post videos on Facebook, they get maximum reach. And not just on FB pages, but on your personal FB profiles too!

    So, for example, if my best friend posts a link from her personal blog, with her own life updates, Facebook won't show that to me. But, if the same friend happens to hit "like" on a birthday video of her neighbor's one-year-old baby (who is not even acquainted to me), I will get to see that video, just because that neighbor didn't have the commonsense to change Facebook's default privacy settings of "public"! Go figure!

    But that's as a user. As a blogger, I find it even more disconcerting to be forced into sharing a type of content that I don't want to otherwise. My expertise is writing. And that's what I want to share. Not videos created by paid freelancers on my behalf. I feel that it's a bit restrictive of Facebook, forcing us into creating the kind of content it wants to show to its users, manipulating the natural flow of content on the internet.

  4. Facebook wants money to send traffic to your blog.


    Yupp. They want you to pay them for getting more followers to your page, AND pay them again for showing your blog updates to those same followers (as well as non-followers). And they want you to keep doing this for ALL your Facebook posts that contain any outside link, because they don't want their users to "step out of" Facebook unless you pay for it.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong in their wanting this. They aren't here to do free social service forever. They're here to make money. After all, we bloggers also charge money for giving links to other websites and sending traffic their way!

    So, if you have big pockets... great! You could empty them out to Facebook... or you could instead use that money to run Google Adwords campaigns, which, I think, have a higher click-through rate than Facebook promotion.

  5. Do people really pay attention on Facebook anymore?


    I know I don't. I have set aside a limited time per day to check my Facebook feed. And I scroll through it at full speed, pausing only when something really catches my attention. I'm sure majority of Facebook users are doing the same. Some maybe be spending as little as five minutes per day on Facebook. And some might not even login daily.

    The thing is that there is just too much information on Facebook now. Information that I'm not necessarily interested in. Makeup tips that my sister "likes", exercise routines that my fitness-freak friends "like", Hindi shayari that I don't remember who in my friend-list "likes", even Kananda posts (or maybe Telugu or Tamil, I can't really tell the difference) that some of my South-Indian friends "like"! Also, let's not forget all the "sponsored" posts that Facebook pushes in our timeline, that are usually of little relevance to us. (At this very moment, I see posts on counseling, celebrity kids, real estate, footwear, some men's magazine... REALLY? Men's magazine? On my timeline?)

    Do I really have the time to sift through ALL of this crap, in search of stuff I actually want to see? (Posts from Pages I have followed. Updates from people in my friend-list.) What in the world is Facebook thinking?

Based on the above 5 reasons, I really don't think that it is worth having a Facebook page for your blog anymore, unless you are selling actual products/services through your blog, worth a decent sum of money. (Like say an ebook worth $149. Or a course worth $209.) And, even then, you might want to consider creating a Facebook group instead of a Page, because that lets you create an interactive community, where REAL conversations take place, instead of you simply buying paid "likes"!

Well... I, for one, have had enough of Facebook. I can't delete my personal profile at the moment, because I have joined some good blogging groups where I'm learning a lot of new stuff. But, I am definitely going to delete the Facebook page for this blog.

Facebook groups are quite good at the moment. So much better than Facebook pages. If I were to start working on one of my niche blogs now, I would make a Facebook group for it, instead of a page. But even that could be short term. Social media websites just can't be trusted, can they?

That is why, I have finally started my Weekly Email Newsletter. (I should have done this long ago!)

I think Email Subscriptions are, by far, the best and most reliable option now, for following blogs that you like. And I personally invite you all to sign-up for mine, so that you never miss another post from me, AND get FREE Bonus content every month too!

P.S. - You will not get more than one email in a week. Your email ID will be safe with me. You can unsubscribe any time you wish to.


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14 comments:

Ls said...

FB does have a dismal reach. Instead of sharing links, they want us to post directly onto FB. That increases the reach but again, it is dismally low. Very good analysis

Chicky Kadambari said...

That's true, Lata. Thanks :)

Rajlakshmi said...

I have the same sentiments. I get better traffic if I post in a blogger group then on a page. Like facebook, even instagram I feel is becoming controlling. They changed their algorithms too.

Shilpa Garg said...

Oh, this gave a lot of insights. I dont think I have understood all, but yes, it gave some food for thought. Thanks for sharing and enlightening, Kadambari!

Debbie D. said...

I think the proverbial "bloom" has been "off the rose" with Facebook for some time, already. Thanks for this insightful post, Kaddu. I actually have 3 Facebook pages (one is dedicated to music), but don't really do much to promote them anymore.

Shailaja Vishwanath said...

I do agree with all your points. FB isn't here to help us reach out to our followers. But having said that, I use my FB page not just to share my blog posts but snippets of my life, conversations with my daughter and images or photos from my life. Ever since I've done that I've noticed that the interaction has increased, the page is visible to more people and they also click through to read my blog. So the key is to use FB pages as you would your personal profile. To share things people are interested in AND your posts. I've noticed that definitely helps. So I won't personally delete my page just yet. Plus I doubt most people read newsletters. This is what I personally discovered recently.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chicky - I've never got to that point of getting FB page, and hardly do FB at all ... but am glad you posted this for us ... cheers Hilary

Chicky Kadambari said...

That was to be expected, Raji. Instagram is linked with Facebook.

Chicky Kadambari said...

You're welcome, Shilpa

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Debbie. It's not worth it, I guess.

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Shailaja. Everybody doesn't read all the newsletters they subscribe to. But, at least they will get to know that the blog has been updated. After that, it's naturally their choice.

I personally don't like updating stuff on Facebook, because there is no way to access the archives. Those posts just get lost eventually. I'd rather save my special moments where I can revisit them.

Chicky Kadambari said...

You saved yourself a LOT of time, Hilary! Very sensible!

Uma C said...

Completely agree, Kadambari. I feel it's too much work to get Social Media working for you. I update my FB page and then share on my personal profile once, more as a customary habit than anything else. At times, I see a spike in likes and most other times, the posts are lost in a void. Only when I add the link within the blogger group, does it get any visibility. Since I'm not really spending any extra time or money for my page, I'll just let it be :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Uma. But I will delete the page. I have noticed that if people have an option of following your blog through social media, they don't bother typing their email ID. It is easier to just click "Like", isn't it?

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