You can no longer rely on Facebook for marketing your photography business and here is why

Oct 25, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

You can no longer rely on Facebook for marketing your photography business and here is why

Oct 25, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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You don’t own your Facebook page. Yes, the page that you invested hundreds of hours to build, nourish and cultivate is not yours. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s. The new Facebook’s Explore Feed feature works differently in Serbia and a few other countries than in the rest of the world. This shows that, by building a photography page, you’re actually working for Mark. You have to either pay, or forget about Facebook for business promotion and growing your audience.

According to Tech Crunch, the Explore Feed feature is now officially rolled out globally, both on mobile and desktop. It’s aimed to help you discover new content, related to the posts from friends and Pages you already follow, and which show up on your regular News Feed. You may wonder why I consulted another source to learn how it works – well, it’s because it works differently here where I live. As Filip Struhárik writes, Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia have a different Explore Feed section than the rest of the world. In these countries, the friends’ posts are in the main News Feed, and all the posts from Pages are moved to the Explore Feed. If you manage a page and want your posts to appear in the main News Feed – you need to pay. So, Facebook is basically forcing you to sponsor your posts. This reduces the organic reach, and of course, takes more money out of your pocket.

According to Struhárik’s article on Medium, this change has caused a dramatic drop in organic reach for Facebook pages: “Reach of several asked Facebook pages fell on Thursday and Friday by two-thirds compared to previous days.” The interaction on the sixty largest Slovak media pages was 4 times lower. Judging from the tests, it was the same for Guatemala and Cambodia.

However, it seems this feature isn’t planned to go global. It’s just a regional experiment “that may take several months.” Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, writes that this is a test for improving the News feed and making it easier to see the posts from friends and family:

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further. There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention.”

Of course, it’s not clear how long this test will last. And although there is “no current plan” to develop this any further, I hope it won’t become the plan in the future to develop it after all.

As a page owner, a feature like this means your audience won’t reach your posts organically unless they scroll through the “Explore Feed.” If you want the people to reach your page, you’ll have to promote your content so it appears in the regular News Feed.

As a Facebook user from Serbia, I now see posts from my friends and a bunch of sponsored content from huge companies as I scroll down the News Feed. And the sponsored posts are in most cases not even relevant to me. I don’t see the post from the pages I’ve collected for years – new projects from photographers and other creatives, all kinds of useful or fun information, news, and so on. All of you photographers I’ve featured and whose pages I’ve “liked” on Facebook – I can’t see what you’re publishing unless I go to the Explore Feed. It may be a minor annoyance, but it’s still an annoyance for me as a user. And it’s harming all the page owners whose majority of the audience is situated in these countries.

As I mentioned, I do hope Facebook will bring everything back to normal. I hope this really is just a test that will finish soon, because it doesn’t work, and I’m not the only one complaining. And I definitely hope this won’t go global. Because if it does, it will make you pay more than you want (or can) to reach your audience.

[via Medium]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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30 responses to “You can no longer rely on Facebook for marketing your photography business and here is why”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I don’t think it is that dramatic or complicated. You can still publish yourself well through FB or any other social media by identifying yourself without spending a penny.

  2. LaurentD Avatar
    LaurentD

    I already experienced this behaviour in my Facebook news feed, in France, twice for several days: I got only my friends activity and had to go to “pages” activity to find my “official” news :(
    It p…ssed me off and hoped it was only adjustments… but if it becomes the normality, I think I’ll give up Facebook…

  3. Olivier Béaslas Avatar
    Olivier Béaslas

    Definitely can’t rely on FB for marketing small business. Not anymore and for quite some time already. But hei we are the product. Nothing new. Should be just one more tool among others, for marketing. Not the main one

  4. Adam Santino Avatar
    Adam Santino

    Sigh. Struggling as it is to start drumming up business. Gigsalad is yielding no response. I tried thumbtack, but dislike the idea that I have to pay to submit a quote. I’d be fine with it if always resulted in jobs, but what if it doesn’t? Not sure what else to try.

    1. Adam Sternberg Avatar
      Adam Sternberg

      That’s a cost of doing business. If you can’t spend 5 bucks on a lead then you are a hobbiest, not a business owner. If you want to succeed as a photographer, you need to change your outlook on things.

    2. Adam Sternberg Avatar
      Adam Sternberg

      Also keep in mind, that if you want to succeed with a photography business, you need to focus more on the business and less on the photography. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years professionally and I can tell you that the #1 reason most photographers fail is because they have little or no business sense and even worse sales and marketing skills.

  5. Casey Braunger Avatar
    Casey Braunger

    If you live in Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia…

    1. Dunja Djudjic Avatar
      Dunja Djudjic

      I do live in Serbia. :) Although, my audience is mostly from the USA so this still doesn’t affect my organic reach.
      Still, this feature might go global at some point. Even if not, I believe Facebook will still find the ways to make you pay more if you want to reach the audience – no matter where you live.

    2. Casey Braunger Avatar
      Casey Braunger

      I know Dunja, just wanted to point that out for those who panic without reading the article.

  6. Nick Dunlap Avatar
    Nick Dunlap

    Unless you do paid advertising*

  7. Hugh Mobley Avatar
    Hugh Mobley

    I found out the hard way, Facebook ads with a business page are pretty much a scam to get your money and produce NO RESULTS

    1. Dunja Djudjic Avatar
      Dunja Djudjic

      From my experience (my boyfriend had a business page we both managed), it really seems like a scam. They lure you to pay for the promotion, but as soon as you don’t renew it, your page traffic dies.We eventually gave it up completely.

    2. Hugh Mobley Avatar
      Hugh Mobley

      My business page became an annoyance! just deleted it completely, its not needed, Facebook only does things when you pay dearly!!

    3. Brian Lovelace Avatar
      Brian Lovelace

      Well that’s because you need to find your target audience and use actual marketing to segment out, A:B test, and grow your platform that way. The fact of the matter is that it’s not 2009 anymore and FB knows what they’re doing in terms of helping businesses target potential customers. Instead of throwing your hands up, I suggest you look up the Facebook Blueprint program which are free classes dedicated to helping you learn how to buy advertising and how to target markets that best suit your business.

  8. Roy Bridgewood Avatar
    Roy Bridgewood

    For those of us with pages thr ‘Promote’ appears too often. I have noticed a significant drap in traffic to my page over the past few months whist at the same time a huge increase in ‘Promote’ notifications. My page is not listed as a business and I do not earn money from it so I am not going to pay fees I have had to find some work arounds just to get my posts seen. Last night I posted an image that should generate huge interest Within an hour it had reached 1000 people after two hours 1500 people. The post has not yet reached 3000 people. I had an expectancy of between 5000-6000 reach within 24 hours. So what do we do?

    1. Dunja Djudjic Avatar
      Dunja Djudjic

      I also don’t make money from my page, so I don’t promote it, and most likely never will.
      The Facebook homepage says “It’s free and always will be.” But we all know there’s no such thing as free lunch – and this is one of the major ways to pay for it.

  9. Adam Sternberg Avatar
    Adam Sternberg

    The only thing I use FB for is occasional posts on my fan page so people see I’m active and that’s about it. Sometimes I find models through local groups too, but as for getting me business, pretty much zero.

  10. Hert Niks Avatar
    Hert Niks

    No shit.

  11. Jovan Čavić Avatar
    Jovan Čavić

    I’m from Serbia, and I think that this is awesome change. I don’t have to watch mixed posts/photos of new babies, drunk friends and the ones that are truly interesting and important. Just one click and babies are gone :D

    1. Petar Maksimovic Avatar
      Petar Maksimovic

      Kralju! :D

      1. Jovan Čavić Avatar
        Jovan Čavić

        ???

    2. dusnoki Avatar
      dusnoki

      I agree. Explore feed is way more interesting than the regular feed now.

  12. Toby Vandevelde Avatar
    Toby Vandevelde

    Crock of. I’ve never thought Facebook would get me anything for free

  13. Ed van der Veer Avatar
    Ed van der Veer

    The way I do it (until they block this too) is to write an article on my website first and then to share it to my FB fan page. After that, I share from my fan page to my own timeline. That way you might still get some organic reach I suppose

  14. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    LOL! Have you to pay for advertising. Didn’t you know? You can’t expect something for nothing.

  15. Victoria Rowland Avatar
    Victoria Rowland

    Facebook is killing itself

  16. Jacqui Estrada Avatar
    Jacqui Estrada

    Unless you go through word of mouth and your photography page is just what you use to show examples of your work…I’m not in it for the ‘likes’.

    1. jeffmcc Avatar
      jeffmcc

      Now a days if clients see you have hardly and likes they won’t want to hire you.

  17. Daniel Shortt Avatar
    Daniel Shortt

    welcome to 2 years ago.

  18. Richard Doktor Avatar
    Richard Doktor

    I can’t believe that anyone is still dumb enough to believe in asocial networks instead of their own brain and hands.
    Nothing is free. So instead of paying in time and effort (and still money sooner or later), pay right away into a personal homepage from a professional. No hassle, you are the owner of your own content and there are no unlucky surprises in displaying your stuff. No one needs Fakebook or others of those kinds. Use your valuable time and money for yourself and not for others.