A couple weeks ago, there was a bit of an Internet freak-out when Facebook announced it was, yet again, reducing the number of fans Facebook Pages are able to reach organically. Facebook's reasoning was simple: It's a public company that needs to make money, and charging Pages to reach their own fans is an easy way to do it. Some Page managers, who had spent years organically building up their Facebook followings, were understandably frustrated.
But here's the thing: There's no ownership of Facebook fans, and the access to them is owned by Facebook. If you admin a Facebook Page, it's kind of like you've been running a free campsite for years on Facebook's property, and now they're telling you that if people want to get in, they have to pay. It's not an unreasonable move.
If anything, Facebook's latest algorithm tweak should be a wake-up call to Page managers who should've known better in the first place. Whatever, though—there are a few social media axioms worth reiterating now, because another tweak will surely happen again, and again, and again....
1. Social media is earned, not owned. Even if you own and operate your own social network, you don't "own" your followers. You have to earn their attention every time you post, so make sure you're invested in a good content strategy.
2. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you're feeling burned by Facebook, it might be because that's where your entire fan base is. Well, why'd you do that? Treat your social footprint like your financial investments, and diversify. Establish a strong following on multiple networks, and that way, if an algorithm gets switched or the network goes the way of MySpace, you won't be left with nothing.
3. Make quality content your No. 1 focus. This should actually be the first point. Look, you can have a Facebook following of zero, and as long as you make good content that people want to share, it will find its way to Facebook. Social media isn't some magic thing that makes your content interesting. What it can be is jet fuel that takes already good content and amplifies it on an exponential scale.
One last thing: If you need some help reacting to this specific change, Marketing Land put together a great five-point list of tactics. Happy posting.