Yup. That's how it feels, but worse still, that has actually been my experience.
Having tried traditional advertising at various times in the course of my 30+ years in our little industry, I had come away with the equivalent of once bitten, twice shy. Early on I realized I had to be creative even in that area of my business and devised and implemented ways of marketing that were new and unique. And worked. I had never tried social media ads though and was curious. So after a long spell of deliberation, I decided to jump into the fray and try some FB advertising on my business page.
I am a strategist. While it might look like I am simply flying by the seat of my pants that is far from the case. I do a lot of analyzing before I jump and then I do a lot of experimenting to test my hypotheses. Instinctively I felt that the 'boost you page' option was not what I was looking for. I do not just want 'likes' for my page, I want to develop my community. I finally decided that I had to just jump in and thrash around for the last bit of the process and one evening I did my first 'boost post' promo. It was fun with all the usual encouragement that one gets from more 'likes' and 'people seeing this post' and I even got one order. It all seemed promising. But what I noticed over the weeks would change my mind. It actually seemed like when I wasn't boosting a post that my organic reach was considerably less than usual. Was this a scheme on the part of FB to force me to advertise to reach my followers?
And then my son sent me this link confirming my findings:
For years I have been slowly gathering followers and fans on my FB pages and have enjoyed the process and the interaction. Until a few weeks ago when FB changed their way of doing things. At first I tried to be a big girl and comfort myself by saying it can't be that bad and that they have a right to run their company the way they want, but I have to admit it has become increasing difficult to maintain a positive attitude.
I only have a few thousands followers (as compared to the fellow in the video), but I can clearly see the effects that he speaks of in my statistics. I don't think ignoring the situation is the answer, and I am too smart to cultivate a bazillion followers through advertising just to feed their monster!
Back to square one. And back to one of my favorite pastimes, figuring out another way to do something... :-)
Hi, Cornelia, I don’t believe in advertising on the internet and this confirms my feelings about it. Guess I am old-fashioned. I am not even sure if I am friended to you or following you but basically I would just prefer to be friended and hear about what is happening in your world, because you design interesting knits and I enjoy seeing them – and hopefully minimal coming-pattern-teasers and all that commercialism. You have been in the business for a long time and know how to design and I look up to you. Anyway I believe in things occurring organically. I think that it would be a tough nut to crack to try to build a business in the current knitting world. A small group of inexperienced pattern “designers” who cannot create a sweater design that fits and do not know how to write a pattern for a fitted sleeve have got a stranglehold on Ravelry and a huge following who only want to shop patterns from those few and only want to purchase “indie” yarns (which Trish Malcolm debunked nicely in a recent VK editorial). I feel the online knitting world is quite broken due to Rav and IG. Luckily the real world knitting world is alive and well even if it is not big business. Remember in the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” Loretta Lynn travels the country to promote her record on small local stations (ok well she was living in her car in order to do it…). I still think the best way to reach people is in person at LYS and larger meet-ups. Hoping you are doing another Noro book since I see that you are doing designs with Noro recently. Also there is success in self-publishing these days. Once I finish the PhD I have such a backlog of ideas I would like to explore and I think self-publishing would be the way to go.