Are you ready for a little bit of tough love? Because we're ready to hand out some tough love. Now listen closely: stop complaining about pay to play. There, we said it. Pay to play is nothing to complain about. Yes, huge announcements came out this week and people are wondering how the changes coming to Facebook's algorithm affects direct sales. These questions have been asked.
“How can you trick the Facebook algorithm?” You can't, and you should really stop trying.
“How will Facebook's algorithm affect direct sales?” Like we said, it's becoming pay to play.
“Will these changes put me out of business?” They don't have to.
“Is it even worth it to be on Facebook anymore?” Yes!! Of course it is!!
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Facebook's Algorithm Affects Direct Sales
Facebook makes changes to its algorithm all the time, probably weekly. And most of the time no one even cares. The only reason people care this time around is that this time it feels like the changes will affect them directly. And you know what? It probably will. But that's okay.
Social media platforms, yes even Facebook, are businesses. And as a business, Facebook is absolutely within its rights to decide how you can use its platform. After years of having other businesses profit off of their audience, Facebook is finally putting its foot down and asking for its cut.
Paying to play is not a punishment. It's not a jab against small businesses, entrepreneurs, or direct sellers. It's a business model. Facebook is saying “we have over a billion people using our services. If you want your business to have access to some of that billion, then you need to pay.”
Molly Wood from Marketplace Tech said this week “you can't tell publishers that the warning signs were not there, loudly and frequently. The message was always, if you put all your eggs in this basket, it could be pushed off the branch.” So how do you get around this? That's easy: stop trying to trick the Facebook Algorithm, and instead build your own traffic. There are two places you can go to where the audience will be your own: your website/blog and your email list. As long as you continue to rely on Facebook for your online marketing and business growth, you remain on borrowed land.
If you own your audience, you set the terms. Want to use Facebook's audience? Then you have to agree to their terms. Facebook has always said its mission was to help people build connections. It's a place where people come to be social. So they are swinging back toward authentic connections with your friends and family. If you've been following the Suite, we've been saying it for years: use Facebook to build relationships, establish trust, and draw people to you because they want to hang out with you. If you want Facebook to work for you, then you need to be social. And when you want to get down to business, you need to remember that you are not entitled to use Facebook's audience for free simply because you want it to be.