Is Facebook Dead For Life Coaches?

A year or more ago I started to notice a drop off in how many people were seeing things that I was posting on the A Daring Adventure Facebook page.

If you have a business Facebook page you will know that you can see how many people had any one post show in their timeline

It didn’t really make any sense because my subscriber levels were rising steadily and whereas I wasn’t putting hours into supplying high quality content, I was active on a daily basis.

I didn’t really know what to make of it until I stumbled on an article that talked about recent changes (at that time) to Facebooks algorithm (previously called EdgeRank).

When Is A Facebook Subscriber, Not A Facebook Subscriber?

Apparently Facebook had decided that only a quarter (or less) of the people who had subscribed to your page would actually see anything you post in their timeline.

It would then metaphorically take a step back and wait to see if people got involved by sharing, liking and/or commenting.

There’s actually a modicum of sense in doing this, presuming that is you don’t think it’s just Facebooks way of earning more money by getting people to pay to ‘boost’ their posts or advertise.

Note; It is estimated that Facebook will earn a staggering $10 billion this year in advertising revenue.

Theoretically it meant good content that generated high levels of interest would be rewarded with more subscribers seeing it appear in their timeline, but poor content, or even content that didn’t get responded to quickly, would get buried.

I now realized why some pages I subscribed to very rarely turned up in my timeline. I had incorrectly assumed they weren’t posting often when in some cases that wasn’t the case.

They were posting, but Facebook was choosing not to allow me to see what I had subscribed to. Unless of course something really took off and it expanded the exposure, or I wanted to visit their main page.

All of a sudden making Facebook work well for a one person business got a whole lot harder because the majority of people who wanted to read what you had to say, weren’t being allowed to.

That meant posting more high quality content and supporting content on other Facebook pages via commenting or sharing. In other words it meant spending a lot more time for the same return.

But things are going to get harder, much harder.

Is Facebook Dead For Life Coaches?

I think every Life Coach should have a Facebook page purely from a credibility standpoint, but whether it has the same business value as it once did, is open to debate.

Well, I say it’s open to debate, I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. Unless that is you are an expert in Facebook advertising or can afford to hire an expert and then throw a few hundred dollars or more at getting it right.*

And the reason I’m not sure is that 20-25% is dropping to 1 or 2%.

Yep, that’s what I said, 1 or 2%!

The new changes to Facebooks algorithm mean that unless you are prepared to allocate a budget for reaching your potential clients on Facebook, then you probably aren’t going to be able to.

As I said, Facebook isn’t a major investment in time and energy for me and as such I’m not sure it will effect me that much, other than I may just stop posting to Facebook.

However,  if you’re a Life Coach and you rely on it to bring you clients, you may need to reassess your approach because the time you have invested in building up a following to date will not yield the same results over the coming months.

What’s your take? is Facebook important to you and if so, how will you deal with the changes?

Note: One other thing Facebook is changing that I think is possibly for the better, is asking for likes. Moving forward, asking for likes from your posts my actually penalize, not help you.

*You do need to know what you’re doing with Facebook advertising otherwise you can lose a lot of money.

It’s not a gravy train as I have been told several times recently. The moment people start talking about advertising like that is the moment to move on and look for the next opportunity because that one just disappeared.

Comments

  1. Tim,

    Great article. Yes, I noticed a huge drop off with my page too. I notice that the people who visit and interact with my site often get my updates, but those who don’t don’t see it as often. I heard it said well when they said that Facebook traffic is difficult to manage anyway because it’s a stream. Your just fishing and whatever happens to see your shiny lure will stop by and interact. Hopefully we have something to keep them engaged so they follow us!

    Is more and more difficult to attract new followers because only a small percentage of people actually see what you’re posting.

    One thing I saw which totally contradicts what you and I are observing is that Facebook is becoming more Fan Page friendly. One clever “trick” is to post something on your page, but then immediately post something within the comments of that post (increasing engagement artificially to take advantage of the algorithm). I’ve tried this with mixed results. Kinda looks like you’re doing some funny business with your posts. We’ll seee what the future holds!

    Thanks Tim!

    • And, when I said “Kinda looks like you’re doing some funny business with your posts,” When I said “you,” I wasn’t referring to you personally Tim. I was trying to say that when people are you posting and then commenting as suggested by the people who are trying to take advantage of the algorithm, it can appear to readers that the poster and commentor is engaged in funny business. 🙂 Just making that clear…

      • Tim Brownson

        LOL, no worries Victor I knew what you meant.

        If the work around you mention actually works Facebook will be all over it very quickly and start penalizing people who try and manipulate their algorithm.

  2. The investment in Facebook, or any other platform, really depends on the return gained from it. I’ve decided against a Facebook page as the interaction with my audience comes from either the website directly or on email.

    I’m a fan of private FB groups though, as you receive a notification directly for any updates – I’ll definitely be creating one of those for my upcoming course.

    It’s the same argument with FB, Google, and any other platform that filters search results – don’t rely on it for your business as the second they change their algorithms, your business feels the pain. Outsourcing danger !

  3. Tim Brownson

    I agree in principal although I rely on SEO and short of doing offline marketing it’s tough not to.

    I guess it’s all about spreading your exposure so that any one change isn’t going to bring the walls crashing down.