Facebook has become quite the beast. It isn’t what it once was, not by a long shot.
Not terribly long ago, promoting something on Facebook worked something like this: Let’s say you had something to sell. Say you made an independent horror movie and you wanted to tell the world about it but had a tiny amount of money to do it with. Well, Facebook was a huge help. You made a page dedicated to your movie and then started posting stuff nonstop about it. And everyone who subscribed or “liked” your page saw your posts.
It was a great tool. It allowed hard working but cash-strapped content creators to narrow the gap between themselves and big budget operations. What a content creator lacked in money he could make up in elbow grease.
Unfortunately that’s not the case anymore. Facebook has largely stripped content creators of this capability. Oh, sure, you can still create a page dedicated to your creation, but Facebook has hamstrung you — whatever you post organically (i.e., for free) is shown only to a tiny fraction of the people who have liked your page.
So, for example, if 100 people have liked your page and you post, say, a video to it, Facebook is only going to publish your video to the timelines of maybe five of your 100 likes.
At that point, your video faces a race against time. If those five people immediately react to your video by liking it or commenting on it, its life is extended — Facebook shows it to, say, five more people and the race against the clock starts again. But if those original five do nothing, your video dies on the vine.
Needless to say, this is a terrible way to get something new, something with no audience, off the ground. After all, who’s going to comment or like something they know nothing about?
Why did Facebook so this? Admittedly I see why — because before they did, Facebook was quickly becoming a cesspool of spam for knockoff Viagra and homegrown adult films. They had to prevent themselves from becoming MySpace.
No one else does, either.
So what’s Facebook’s solution to this circular problem of undiscovered content not getting noticed?
You guessed it — cold, hard cash.
If you have something that you want to get seen on Facebook, you need to pay to “boost” posts. Boosting a post effectively is like buying ad space on TV or radio.
And what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing.
Nothing, that is, if you have a big, fat advertising budget.
But if you’re like me, a middle class guy trying to get his TV show discovered through hard work, word of mouth, and elbow grease, Facebook isn’t going to do you any favors or work you any miracles.
So what to do?
Well, that’s when you bend some rules and possibly annoy some people.
It’s called carnival barking, otherwise known as joining as many discussion groups as you can and then “sharing” your posts to each of them.
Please don’t hate me.
I know. I’m a rat for it.
A dirty rat.
I am guilty of the crime of posting an occasional promotional video or graphic to Facebook discussion groups for my TV show, a show the members of said discussion groups just might actually enjoy.
But if you heard some of the things the moderators of some of these boards have said to me for it, you’d think I was advocating doing away with child labor laws or something.
“How dare you!” one guy all caps shouted at me.
To which I said, “What?”
And he said, “Spam the members of this group like this! This group is to discuss serial sci fi movies from the 1940s, not your TV show that just so happens to feature clips from said sci fi serial movies from the 1940s! You knave!”
I’m guilty. What can I say?
Guilty as charged.
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