When I launched my website, Dragaholic.com, in March 2014, I started out by doing some hardcore promotion for the Facebook page and I even buy old Facebook accounts to keep increasing the promotions online. I even advertised to get more followers, spending almost $1,000. However, the major problem with increasing the followers was that once I hit over 10,000 likes I immediately noticed that the reach and engagement of my posts had dropped significantly.
Prior to reaching 10,000 followers, my posts would reach a good portion of my fans. Before I hit 10,000 followers in July, for example, one photo I shared received over 400 likes and reached about 1/3 of my followers.
In late July, when the page hit over 10,000 likes, I noticed that almost immediately my reach and engagement dropped – it didn’t just drop, it plummeted. With the exception of one post in early August, I have yet to receive more than 100 likes on any of my posts.
The big problem with this drop in reach, aside from the fact that I poured money into the site, is that this change is significantly impacting my website’s traffic. In the month leading up to the 10,000 follower milestone, my site was receiving an average of 25,000 referrals from Facebook every week. This accounted for more than 46% of all of my website’s referral traffic.
Now, in the two and a half weeks since the Facebook page surpassed 10,000 likes, I have received just over 25,000 referrals in total. This only accounts for about 31% of referrals to the site. Although this is still a significant amount, the referrals continue to diminish each week. Take a look for yourself…
The first week, after I hit the big 10,000, I received a little over 15,000 referrals. The next week, 10,000. And this week, after only two days, an embarrassing 437 referrals have come from Facebook. 437? WTF! That’s an average of not even 220 referrals a day. Talk about a HUGE and significant decrease from the 3,500 a day I was receiving before the page hit 10,000 likes!
I don’t know what Facebook is up to, or if they changed something in their algorithm in late July, but this drastic change has made me really sour towards this social network. Why did I spend $1,000 to advertise and gain followers if I can’t even reach them? Am I now supposed to pay to promote my posts, and spend even more money, to get the fans I already paid for to see the content that they decided they wanted to see when they hit ‘Like’? Seriously Facebook?
So what next?
Well, first of all, I immediately stopped advertising on Facebook and have moved my advertising dollars to Twitter – I want to see if that’ll be a better investment. I’m also reducing the amount of time I seem to be wasting promoting my content on Facebook.
Now, instead of Facebook, I will be moving to more opportunistic networks. I’ve even been considering increasing the presence on Google+ (though I’m still not sure how successful that’ll be). Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+ will now all play larger roles in my social media marketing efforts, and my newsletter needs to also become a bigger part as well.
I’m still deeply saddened by this change that Facebook has made, especially since it was without warning, but I’ve got to move on or I’ll fall behind and fail. I am, however, thankful for the brand exposure that Facebook has allowed my site to get in the last four months…. I just hope that the brand recall remains high enough that traffic won’t be significantly impacted in the long run. I’m crossing my fingers, throwing a quarter in the wishing well, and praying that this dip in traffic will pass quickly and that the site will continue to grow.