This whole Facebook trying to get me to promote my posts to my existing likers of my Facebook page by shrinking the reach, continues to irk me. For a start, the ‘option’ of promoting your posts is only available to selected pages. That means that essentially, you pouring energy into your Facebook page and having a certain level of engagement makes you a target. They then throttle your audience so that you notice a change in the reach and then feel compelled to put your hand in your pocket.

It reminds me of the dial-up days where upgrades in speed came thick and fast with new packages becoming available. How do you get someone to upgrade if you’re a shady ISP? Throttle the speed so that you want the better service.

Facebook is under the misguided impression that my ego and my ‘marketing plan’ is so desperate to ‘get back’ the hidden audience, that I’ll spend money to access them. It’s a bit of an insult really.

But let’s imagine that I wanted to spend money on promoting a post…

When I take a closer look at the pricing and the so-called reach I would get, it’s an open and shut case of crazy-making. It just doesn’t make sense.

First up, they’ve added a little box that appears when you hover over the percentage of people reached, to remind you that they’re screwing you over:

Facebook promotion screenshot
“Dear Natalie, just so you know, this is a visual representation of how we have hidden your audience from you. If you would like to get some of these back for three days, at a price, please click promote.”
So I click promote and I’m ‘offered’ the opportunity to spend $15 to reach 3300, which is just under a 1000 more people than I’ve already reached, and then it goes up in incremental amounts until you get to $50 where I can reach 11,000. Woah! Hold up a frickin second? I don’t have 11K people on that page.
Interestingly, after $30 where you get 6,600 readers, you don’t have the option to reach the rest of the audience before the phantom additional people kick in.

This sh*te still just doesn’t make sense.

You see, there’s no point going for the first option, because it’s just another way of Facebook making you pay to reach something you’ve already reached or were going to reach anyway. On top of this, every single person I know that’s tried so far, says that it makes little to no difference spending the money, or certainly not enough to justify the spend.
Facebook isn’t guaranteeing that they can reach these people – they just claim that they’re putting you in front of some of the current unreachables. But who’s to say that you are? Isn’t it all a bit Emperor’s New Clothes?
And where are Facebook getting the extra people from? Woah! Is it possible that Facebook also want you to pay for the possibility that some of your likers might share your post? Are they going to run some ads to make your page show up elsewhere?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to say “You’ve reached 24% and if you pay $15, you’ll reach another 3300 people in your audience, which will be 60%”? Oh yes, that’s right – Facebook want part of the payment to cover people you’ve already reached. Er, OK then. I should point out, that I still wouldn’t spend the money, but at least I could wrap my head around that option.
There’s one thing that Facebook forgets here – they’ve long been squirrelling away our audiences.
They even do it on personal pages, hence why you don’t see updates from all of your friends. Basically, they’re always meddling. We’ve never been able to reach all of the audience because they hope by controlling supply, that you might shell out (ads) for more and more people, or work harder to add more people to increase your reach (and likes on individual posts), and then in turn they’ll jack some more of the audience from you, which means the cycle of chasing reach starts again. When we weren’t doing enough of that, they strangled the page audiences further so that some of us might finally cough up – welcome to ‘promote’.
I’m assuming that pay-per-click wasn’t an option because then the numbers really wouldn’t make sense….plus it would probably cost less and be under our control.
Facebook want us to spend money promoting posts but there is a lack of sense and transparency from them about how the hell they come up with these numbers in the first place. All of this crazy-making doesn’t encourage spend – it makes you reevaluate your options. In an era where there has been so much talk about how ‘measurable’ online is, it’s incredulous that Facebook have such a convoluted way of communicating what they claim is reach.
I’ve even noticed another bit of shadiness – On a post they say I’ve reached 32% of my audience which they claim is 5104. By my calculations, that would mean my audience is 15,950, which it isn’t. Facebook not only want me to pay to reach the people who already liked my page, but to also pay for the imaginary eyes that might see it on the off chance.
I also still don’t ‘get’ the concept – Why would I pay Facebook to reach an audience that already liked my page and essentially requested to hear from me, but that they’ve hidden a significant portion?
I find Facebook very tiresome.
 

Facebook and the case of the missing Likers.

Ever been in a shady relationship with someone who keeps changing the terms and conditions (often without telling you or burying it deep in a whole load of guff that distracts you), who keeps shifting the goalposts, and who has no shame in jacking you? That’s how I feel about Facebook.

Now, after accumulating over 9.5K ‘fans’ or ‘likers’ for my site Baggage Reclaim, all organically, none purchased, and just by posting consistent tips and inspiration, Facebook has decided to ‘hide’ the majority of these people from me. This means that when I post something to the page, instead of having the potential to reach all of them, they’ll shave off as much as 70 or even more percent.

I’m sorry, but that’s just pure f*ckery.

So they ‘withdraw’ the people and then sell them back to you by offering you the ‘opportunity’ to promote a post to them. Hold up a second now: So I go and get the ‘likers’, who incidentally have liked the page so that they can hear from me and on occasion engage with me, and then Facebook, who I must point out didn’t exactly do anything to contribute these people, comes along, hides the information from their feeds and then expects me to pay for it?

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Nat Lue Frustrated Copyright Nat Lue 2012 All Rights Reserved

Get up early and force yourself out of bed. When the alarm goes off for Yet Another Frickin School Run, tempting as it is to turn over and keep saying five more minutes, it’s best to get my arse up, at the very least by the cut off point of 7.10. Being ready on time means that when you’re halfway to school and realise all the kids are wearing sports gear (and yours isn’t), you have enough time to turn back and get your child changed. As it is, I had to drop off, nip home, leg it back to school, and back home again as I didn’t want her looking like she’d raided the lost property box….

Must.Stop. Procrastinating. When you keep remembering that you should go to the dentist but put it off, book the appointment. Three fillings later and a mouth that was going in two different directions, plus a choking incident from a numb mouth full of toast, and I shall be attending appointments punctually.

When it rains, it pours. After wearing myself out with two school runs, I came home to the news that one of my sites has had a malware attack. Cue a volley of Samuel L Jackson style swearing, panic, calm, more panic, calm and winging my way through a load of technical guff. Basically replace WordPress files, change all passwords, delete old plugins and themes, install a malware plugin (I installed GOTMLS -very good- as the first one I installed said that there was no problem…), run it until you’ve cleaned up everything, resubmit to Google Webmaster, force yourself to leave the house so that you stop refreshing…

When you have a casual conversation about a playdate, it turns out that it’s a date. It’s like being single all over again with all of this bleedin’ playground etiquette! Now I feel like I have to clean the house – agh!

It’s probably easier to clean my own home even though there are better things I could do with my time. Honestly, my cleaners have been lovely but they’re flaky, which means I get left in the lurch, which sort of defeats the purpose of me trying to avoid spending a huge chunk of time grimacing my way around the house. They clean in three hours, whereas it takes me all day or even all weekend, which admittedly is because I keep stopping for tea, to check Twitter/Facebook/wordpress comments or to read… Hmm, there’s that procrastination again…

Never have late night conversations with the boyf about something he’s ‘worried’ about. He’ll be snoring by the time he’s finished the sentence and I’ll be lying there with my busy little mind.

Four Rooms on Channel 4 is a brilliant sleeping pill. I cannot stay awake through an entire episode.

 

frustrated woman wondering why she gets email notifications

On an average week, I can receive at least 1400 comment notifications for my site Baggage Reclaim. Now imagine that popping up on my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop. Ping, ping, ping, all day long.

Frustrated with my ever swelling inbox a few weeks ago and intent on reducing my distractions, I turned off comment notifications, which in hindsight I now recognise as the obvious thing to do. I think when I first started out blogging almost 8 years ago, it was exciting to see emails about comments, but really, my ego doesn’t need that much of a stroking, not least because all it takes is for me to refresh the WordPress app on my phone or go on the laptop to achieve exactly the same thing. When you throw in the fact that these are all comments awaiting moderation, notifications are redundant for me.

The change has been dramatic. I feel lighter and more focused.

I can actually see important emails, but what I have found has been the biggest change, is that I hardly check my email and sometimes I forget to check if any comments have come through for several hours – it’s wonderful!

Just like I don’t need to read and reply to emails as soon as they come in (to be fair I tend to read and put replying on the long finger as I get distracted or convince myself it needs more than a couple of minutes of my attention – that’s a whole other post), I don’t need to read and approve comments as they come in either.

Getting comment notifications is unnecessary doubling up. Or in my case tripling.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that have a big effect.

I’m also turning off other notifications including Twitter and form submissions. And…..breathe.

 

It all started with a bad date and seven years after typing my first line “I am fed up with men, and quite frankly, I’m actually a bit fed up with myself”, I’m still going strong and have managed to turn my prior bad taste in men, my observations on relationships, and getting knocked up a couple of times into a career.

Blogging was still ‘new’ back then, even though it had been around a few years and you literally only had the option of commenting on one another’s blogs and signing up to various directories (remember those?!). Now you have Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and far too many things to speak of plus it’s very ‘dramatic’ with Dynasty levels of drama coming in swings and roundabouts.

And yet I still love blogging. Really. OK while there are some days when it gets a bit Samuel L Jackson in here with prolific use of the ‘m’ word, I wouldn’t be doing anything else, although I could do with some more time on my hands.

As it’s my anniversary, I felt it couldn’t pass by without sharing my thoughts on some lessons I’ve learned that keep me sane and on the straight and narrow so I can continue doing what I enjoy – writing, sharing, creating, and connecting.

1. I live by the I Don’t Give a Eff principle and it keeps me out of a lot of trouble and ensures that I don’t internalise other people’s drama. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about anything or anyone, but what I don’t lose sleep over is trying to get ‘everyone’ to like me, trying to fit into stupid stereotypes or cliques, or courting the opinions of all and sundry because I would go mad. Between motherhood and blogging, everyone from the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker has something to say – hold onto the useful, productive stuff and bade farewell to the rest of the noise.

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