Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? Fallout from the IPO Debacle & How It Affects YOU


One of the reasons WANA methods are so powerful is that WANA focuses on people and relationships, not technology. Here’s the thing. To say the Internet changes a lot is like saying that Lady GaGa is a tad eccentric. Everything changes so quickly we can’t keep up. But you know what never changes?


This is why we can still take a Shakespeare play, King Lear, set it on a farm in modern times and call it A Thousand Acres and it wins Academy Awards. Audiences can still relate. Humans are timeless. Thus, in a world where the technology changes faster than most of us can keep up, the only sure bet is people. Social platforms come and go, but humans remain.

So why am I bringing this up?

Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

We must be really careful how much power we give to any social platform. This is one of the reasons I am strongly against platforms that rely heavily on sheer numbers. It takes time and energy to build a following of 20,000 or 40,000 or even 100,000. Not only does it take time, but if something happens?


I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook. I mean, I like it and I participate, but even though I wrote about how to build a fan page, I dragged my feet building one of my own. I blame it on Navy training. My father was in military intelligence and so I tend to be a bit paranoid. I won’t sit with my back to a room, I don’t use my real name for store discount cards, and I don’t keep all my social media eggs in one basket.

I’m not willing to give anyone that much power over my platform.

Yes, I am a tad Orwellian. Sure they are using my Kroger card to track my purchases to send me coupons. Like I buy THAT story. Probably collecting my information so they can sell it to the CIA in case they wanted to kidnap me and put probes in my brain to read my thoughts.

I’ll stop.

Anyway, the only reason there is a MyWANA fan page is that one of my WANA peeps who ROCKS Facebook, offered to build it.

That is the WANA way…the whole chipping in thing. It is seriously awesome. Thank you Lisa Hall-Wilson! She is our Facebook expert at WANA International.

So What is the Problem with Fan Pages?

Fan pages are dangerous when we rely too much on the sheer volume of numbers. Anything that relies on numbers already has a depressing ROI (Return on Investment {about 3-5%}). It is this depressing ROI that causes people to need higher numbers. 

Think, mass mailings.

But there is another problem. As I said a second ago, building a fan page with these mega numbers takes time, energy and investment, but, if we aren’t careful, it makes us vulnerable.

For those of you who have fan page, I don’t know if you have noticed that there is a % sign that now appears under each of your posts showing how many of your fans you reached.

To quote Cinda Baxter of the 3/50 Project:

The number shown doesn’t represent the number of your fans online at the moment; it’s the abysmally small number Facebook bothered to publish in newsfeeds.

Yeah. You read that correctly. Most of your fans don’t receive your posts. At all. In any way, shape, or form. Facebook is only sharing them with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your page.

But after these % signs appeared, another button magically appeared as well, Promote. Yes, we now have to pay Facebook to reach the rest of our fans. Not to advertise, but to reach people who are already fans. Oh, and it isn’t as if this is a small number. When Cinda Baxter crunched the numbers, she calculated that every post, to reach her existing fan base that she’d built for the 3/50 Project, would be about $500 a post.

I’d actually received a phone call from an incensed fan page owner (a fellow writer) over the weekend who calculated she’d have to ante up $300 per post if she wanted to reach her fans.

What Happened?

Well, this is the problem with a private company going public. The same thing happened with MySpace. One day it was a lot of fun, and the next day we couldn’t go to a friend’s page without risking a computer crash from all the ads.

The second a company goes public, then revenue and shareholders start taking precedence. Facebook’s bloated IPO (Initial Public Offering) put them in a bind.

“How can we measure up to the shareholders’ expectations? We need to make money.”

To quote Steve Tobak of CBS Money Watch:

Even at yesterday’s close of $25.87, with a corresponding valuation of $55 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 66, Facebook’s stock is still overpriced. If this doesn’t wake up investors — institutional and retail — to the perils and pitfalls of an over-hyped tech company, whether the stock trades on a private exchange like SecondMarket or going public on the Nasdaq, I don’t know what will. 

Facebook is being called the bubble 2.0 and now it’s busting…BIG TIME. FB needs to make money in a bad way, and, sorry fan page owners, you are the cash cow. Facebook knows that you’ve put a lot into those fan pages and they are hoping that, by holding your numbers hostage, they can squeeze out some moooooo-lah.

Ba da bump *snare*. Yes, folks, I’m here all week. Drinks half price after five.

This is one of the reasons that focusing on people is paramount in the Digital Age. See, the mega companies like Coca Cola or Victoria’s Secrets won’t bat an eyelash at dropping that kind of cash to post. They probably spend that on stamps. Advertising has been making a shift to social media for the past decade anyway. The big companies can just take their print budget and pay Facebook.

But what about the little guy?

What about the author who relies on the fan page to connect with her audience? To let fans know about book releases and giveaways and other important events? What about the musicians? The artists? The photographers? What about all the creative professionals who rely on Facebook to help their businesses? Most of us don’t have $300 or $500 to shell out per post. Heck, as much as I post on social media, I’ve already spent the GNP of Jamaica just today.

Facebook was a way that we, the little guy, had to level the playing field. We didn’t need a big ad budget like Target or Slim Jim. We could just invest good old-fashioned sweat equity and run with the big boys.

Facebook Can Be Beaten at Their Own Game

Actually, from what I see of my numbers, this whole “charge you to reach your own fans” can be beaten. What Facebook is doing is basically making people pay to advertise. Yet, a fan page done properly, the WANA way, is a relationship. Remember, what Cinda said, Facebook is only sharing them with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your page.

Well, when you build a fan page using WANA methods, your fans will be doing all of those things. Lisa Hall-Wilson teaches Facebook the WANA way, so I recommend her class Own Your Own Stage: Using Facebook to build Your Author/Artist Brand.

Next week we will talk about some practical ways that WANA can help you keep your fan page connecting to your fans. In the meantime, I recommend checking out Cinda Baxter’s blog, Facebook Fans Aren’t Seeing Your Posts and How to Fix It. Cinda was kind enough to send her post to me and she has some suggestions to help navigate this new digital roadblock.

The Up Side and the Down Side

Remember, all of these social sites have pluses and minuses. The better the social site, the better the odds it will become a publicly traded company, and that’s when the bottom line and profit margins take center stage. Facebook is still awesome. Face it, it has almost like a billion members. Sheer volume makes it a worthwhile place to hang.

But we must be ever vigilant and guard our platforms. If we get lazy, it is too easy for our platform to be held hostage. People who’ve relied heavily on automation and spam and form letters are going to be the first to feel the hurt, and frankly, I am not too upset about that.

Make No Mistake, We Will Pay for Our Platform

We will either pay with money, or with our time and attention. But when we pay with money, the ROI is dismal and we have a lot less flexibility to move if we no longer like the site. When we invest in relationships, it still costs, but our platforms will remain in tact and will be more resilient to change. And, frankly, investing in people is a lot more fun and rewarding anyway.

So next week some tactics to help, but if you are just fed up with Facebook, hop on over to the new social site for creatives WANATribe. Here is an invitation. I built it and so I reign supreme and do not tolerate spam, ads, form-letters, trolls or bots. Our goal is to recreate the salons of Paris, a digital world where creatives can some together and network, make friends, collaborate, or just share Jell-O shot recipes.

The cool part is that you can customize your own page, kind of like MySpace before it went crazy, so it allows us to be a little more artsy (and there is no friend limit). Also, everywhere you turn you will meet creative people just like you. Hope to see you there! Also remember the WANA International kick-off party will be Friday at #WANAParty and we will be giving away all kinds of cool prizes.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Facebook should charge? Are they getting too greedy? Have they hurt your fan page following? Do you think Facebook has hurt their brand with these changes? Do you think Facebook going public is the beginning of the end? Or do you think they are too big to be adversely affected? Come on! We can all play armchair economist!

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of June I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.


11 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Well thought out post. I”m tweeting this and putting you in am following this blog list (on my blog).

  2. It’s not just fan pages that Facebook filters, but personal friends too. I’ve noticed that I don’t “see” friends in my newsfeed anymore unless I diligently like everything they post. Facebook also skews news from the newest friends you added. This means dear old friends are not seen unless I remember to go to their page and post a message. To me, it means too much time spent trying to get Facebook to show me my friends. Just because I don’t click “like” or comment, doesn’t mean I don’t want to see what’s going on. I much liked the old newsfeed where you can scroll, scroll, scroll. Sure, you don’t see everything, but at least you know you have more than the ten friends they show you these days.

    I think Facebook is ruined. I’m starting to build Google+ circles, but as in all things, the lesson learned is not to depend entirely on one social networking site or one vendor, for that matter. They can always change the rules for you.

    Good post, Kristen.

  3. I’ve never been comfortable with Facebook, and this new wrinkle makes things even worse. I hate it when I make a joke in a FB comment about Whac-a-Mole and the next day my email inbox is filled with ads from the Hasbro game people. Big Brother indeed. During the IPO hype I saw a tweet that said “People are noticing that every time they brush up against Facebook, their wallet and watch go missing.”

    Just joined the WANATribe!

  4. Thanks for the article! I haven’t gotten around to doing a FB page yet, I think because of my own FB paranoia, but me and a couple of friends are working on another platform and it factors in. Doing the pre-work (thinking about goals, brand, etcetera) is incredibly important because it gets you thinking about your social media goals as being part of a larger project that involves resources, time constraints, scope, value, and ROI.

  5. Ok, first of all, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s paranoid about handing out personal info. How lightly most people take it amazes me. ** removing my tinfoil hat ** As for the Facebook thing, I don’t belong to Facebook, b/c I have zero trust in their respect for people’s privacy. Suddenly charging for fan pages is just another example of them changing the rules whenever they feel like it. But we’d better get used to charges for everything, b/c that day is coming soon. Said the newspaper junkie (yep, me) who used to start the day with &, back when they were free. Ahhh, the good ol days … ;-}

  6. Thanks for the shout-out. 🙂 I’m interested to see what changes the IPO will bring to Facebook, and Facebook pages. I think that there will be some push-back from the big guys when their ads aren’t translating into sales the way it used to. People are more savvy on Facebook – it comes back to relationship not marketing. But that takes time, patience, and a lot of work.

  7. I feel like all Facebook had to do to boost its ad funds and beat the mobile delima was offer pages the opportunity to have their posts show up on non-fans pages, like what twitter does. In an increasingly mobile environment, many companies would jump at the opportunity to advertise their pages for more fans. Seriouslt, how could they not expect an angry mob from their current actions? It’s not so much that the little guy has to work harder to be seen, but also that the average user won’t understand why their feed is so suddenly full of boring, advertisement posts from Target and Starbucks.

    1. I have NO IDEA who makes these decisions. What genius decided to load MySpace so full of ads and pop ups it crashed your computer? Yeah, that’s a way to make people just LOVE you. They like the golden eggs so they gut the goose. As I said in the intros…humans are timeless.

  8. Reblogged this on Amy Marden and commented:
    Kristen Lamb has her finger on the pulse of social media as usual, this time blogging about facebook’s new charges for fan pages. Thanks for helping creative people keep creating (without breaking the bank)!

  9. Hey there 😀 Back when I first started wanting to be a writer, I heard you loud and clear on building people not numbers. That’s what I did. I’m not good at the numbers game. So thanks 😉

    Also, tried to click on the invite and it just clicked back with an exclamation point! lol

  10. I love it! First, you get everyone’s attention by discussing a developing problem; one that most of us couldn’t have known or foreseen until it bit us in our circulation or pocket book, then show us how to deal with it. Keep up the good work! And by the way, I love WANAtribe and quickly joined my appropriate group.

  11. I’ve seen this happen in many industries. Unfortunately once a company goes public they seem to care far more about their shareholders than their client base. But keeping your clients happy should ultimately lead to a happy bottom line. Thanks, Kristen, for once again, using your SM savvy to create a platform that all authors can benefit from.

    • Plankfoot Halfsole (of the south Seminole Halfsoles) on June 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    • Reply

    I closed my Facebook page a week ago, not because of the problems discussed here, but because of my concern for security. I don’t trust the pimply-faced kids at Facebook with anything about me because everything they have is for sale to someone.

  12. I’m fairly new to FB (less than a year), and my page has less than 120 fans, but I’m upset about this because I love FB. At least, I DID love FB, simply because it’s the site where nearly everyone hangs out. I don’t know nearly as many people who use linkedin, twitter or google+. If I want to communicate with my fans, FB is the first place I turn, now I’m only reaching around 27% of my 100 followers. Blah! No fair. I’m new to the industry and have to practically draw blood to get a like on my page, now FB’s taking that away from me.

    1. Well, as I said. A lot of it will depend on your approach. There are ways to beat those numbers and not need to pay for exposure. I regularly reach over 50% with my posts and I don’t put that much energy into the fan page. It is in the “how” not the “how many.” I do recommend Lisa’s class. She’s a WANA and she will teach you how to make the most of what you’ve built and grow it. Facebook for now is a contender, so we just keep plugging but war wise not to place too much trust in it :D.

  13. Kristen, I’ve always had a very active author page, with lots of fun discussion and interactivity and good reach. Literally overnight, my solid reach has shrunk to zero – in facebook’s terminology. In the past 48 hours, my post have had zero outreach, where as three days ago I was reaching 1/4 – 1/3 of my followers. On my last post, I reached 4 people. How am I supposed to beat facebook at its own game and reach my followers? It doesn’t seem to matter what I post – it’s just not going out into feeds. Even my husband, who follows me faithfully and interacts, is not receiving my posts.

    1. Go to that blog. Cinda had some suggestions to help. Another thing you can do is pair with Twitter because then you are literally driving traffic to your page. We will go over some tactics next week. I know this has to be horrible, but the WANAs can help you through it. It might come down to artists having to mass defect to WANATribe. We have snacks and digital Jell-O shots :D.

      And frankly, it is probably the paranoid control freak in me. THIS is exactly why I built WANATribe. I didn’t trust any of the social platforms so I built my own. I control it so I am not at the mercy of the same forces.

  14. Like many others, I have always been distrustful of FB. I also noticed that when they changed to the newsfeed, I stopped seeing everything from friends on my personal page. I’ve dragged my feet on th author page, too, because I don’t trust them. I hate getting the ads and emails–what is personal about that?!?! I try to really connect with people rather than seem like a bot; a site that turns me into a bot is not my friend.

    I love WANA international, which feels more like me.

  15. For some reason, my McAfee software is blocking the WANATribe site. Until I can figure out how to undo that, I can’t respond to anybody’s friend requests or enter the site. Any idea how to unblock?

    1. That is really weird. I hate Norton and McAfee for that sort of nonsense. Blocks the stuff I want and ignores the Russian hacker.

      1. It let me in for one time when I registered, but when I tried to set up a page it locked me out and I can’t find any way to get back in. I’ve been trying to find the firewall history for a half hour and see how to unblock something but it’s way beyond me. It will take an expensive computer guy to take off the McAfee and put on another antivirus program. Big bucks and time I don’t have. Makes me sad.

        1. Let me call my tech people and see if I can find a solution. Just hold on! You are not alone 😛

  16. Yet another reason to dislike Facebook. I have tried to like it because I know most people are there, but *groan*, I hate it. And changes like this make it even more apparent why.

  17. That’s both scary & sad. Disheartening, too.

  18. Reblogged this on Deb E and commented:
    Frustrating for a “little guy”, to say the least. Is another network geared up to take Facebook’s place?

    1. Well, yes and no. I hope you will check out WANATribe but we don’t want to be Facebook. We are only for creative professionals. The upside is creatives can be themselves since likely mom and boss from the day job aren’t members too (spying). There is a link to an invitation in the body of the blog. Would love to have you!

      1. Thanks, Kristen. I’m there!

  19. Well – at least now I know why I’ve hesitated so long in putting up a Facebook Fan page!

    1. Yeah, my procrastination is finally paying off too! I knew it would…one day 😛

  20. Great use of duct tape!

  21. Kristen, I just signed up for WANATribe!

  22. Kristen, thank you so much for your ever diligent watchdogging so the rest of us “little guys” can be prepared for this kind of potential disaster. I’m heading over to WANAtribe too! I’m sick of FB ‘s ads, pop-ups, and disruption of my friends newsfeeds. 🙁

  23. I didn’t know about this information about fan pages, therefore, I appreciate all the information and links to additional info. What about Google+? I know that not everyone uses it and so I wouldn’t be able to reach all my fans. However, I can choose to whom I can send messages. I am not a big fan of FB, especially now that it is a corporation. Corporations, by definition, owe their allegience to their shareholders.

    I have shared this on all my other social platforms. Thanks gain Kristen for letting us know where the real dangers are and also to Lisa for offering the FB course!


  24. I’ve been resisting Facebook totally and if my publisher doesn’t force me to do it, I don’t think I’ll join. I know I’m missing out on a chunk of audience, but I’ve yet to hear really great things. I feel like I’d be wasting my time. And now you tell me this. I think I’ll stick with WANATribe for now 🙂

  25. Great post and thank you for letting us all know! I had a feeling that the IPO would be the beginning of the end. I’m sure it won’t be long until the businesses find someone who won’t filter their posts. I’ve only just created a Facebook Page so I’ll keep at it for now, but I think I’ll take a look at WANATribe too!

  26. I didn’t know your posts didn’t go to all fans on Facebook! Thanks, as always, for keeping us on the down low. Just joined the WANA tribe!

  27. Now I’m frustrated! Like most here, I’ve always been leery of FB, so I didn’t use it as much as I thought I should for social networking. Last week I finally jumped in and created my author page and now I’m wishing I’d waited. I’m going over to check out WANAtribe. Thanks for all the help, Kristen.

  28. I’ve been thinking of shutting down my FB entirely, even my personal page for family and friends. The only thing that has kept me there is that I can so easily stay in contact with folks who live far away – even see picture, etc. (My only sibling lives in Canada.) I started an author fan page a few weeks ago, but haven’t done much with it. I’m still wavering, and your article has just about made my mind up for me. Thanks for posting this, and thanks for the WANATribe invite. 🙂

    1. I still hang out on Facebook. Keep up with family, school friends, etc. I don’t think it is going to affect the regular user. I feel FB is wanting to capitalize off a lot of the big corporations using them for free advertising. They won’t have any interest messing with our regular pages…for now at least. The lesson is to not rely too heavily on any social platform.

  29. Man, you’re smart. So is Lisa. I can’t wait to take her class!

    I’m not a fan of over-relying on one platfo either, and remain cautious about what I post on Facebook in particular. Heard too many horror stories…

  30. This pretty much burst my FB bubble when I saw it, but it is what it is. Thanks for going in depth about it and for the invite to WANA Tribe! I’ve already picked a background and

  31. Reblogged this on Wine, Women & Wordplay and commented:
    If you’re a writer and you have a Facebook following, you need to read this! And follow Kristen, while you’re at it. She’s great value.

  32. A very interesting case study. For years industry has been trying to figure out how to “get at” all the potential buyers on FB. How to advertise to a group that no longer watches tv commercials? On the other hand, FB had to figure out how to keep itself going while maintaining it`s mission. The number of users has dropped while it should be growing. It will be very entertaining to see how it all shakes out in the end. LIke MySpace, your building of the WANA tribe, Google, I bet people eventually move to another platform that truly fits the need to stay connected with all their friends- and colleagues. The beauty of the internet. We`ll see.

  33. Reblogged this on Evangeline Warren and commented:
    Is anyone else in this predicament? I most certainly am… I think that I’ll keep my page open, but I’ll rely more heavily upon my twitter account (@Alinzar). This has some wonderful analysis, and I highly recommend reading it.


  34. Aw, Kristen, I was having such a good day in my little FB denial bubble and then you came along with your pin of reality. Just started using FB a month or so ago. I thought it was really cool at first, but then I found out that they are not putting everything you post, even on your personal page, on your friends’ feeds? What’s the point of posting if it’s all a crap shoot. Might as well send out a carrier pigeon.

    I had a FB fan page that FB screwed up. Went in one day and everything was a jumble. Even computer-savvy hubby couldn’t figure it out so I deleted it. Now I’m not going to bother to rebuild it.

    Two questions about WANA International. Can’t wait to join and check it out, but what about all the groups we’ve joined, folks we’ve friended on the WANA Tribe site? Do we have to start over or is that going to be transferred in somehow?

    Second question: Actually probably more a suggestion for the future. Is there any way to set up a part of WANA International for the public, so that those who love the arts–which is really just about everybody when you think about it (music, reading, visual arts, movies: if you don’t love at least one of those, you need a life!)–can find the artists. Then we can tell FB to go…

    Just a thought!

  35. Dang, forgot to check the notify me of replies box.

  36. Wonderful and thank you for explaining. The best part was the picture of the duct tape baby. Joined WANAtribe. 🙂

    1. AWESOME! I had an actual picture of when we did that to my nephew, but I can’t for the scanner.

      …I be a technology expert :D.

      1. i reblogged (i think i understand what that means!) your post too. i appreciate all you do for we starving artists, Kristen Lamb.

  37. Reblogged this on Grass Oil and commented:
    If you are a writer or other artist, check out this post.

    • Tamara LeBlanc on June 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm
    • Reply

    Fascinating, truly, truly fascinating!
    I have a Facebook page,but not a fan page, so I can breathe a little easier. Your stats on FB’s downfall is an eye opener. Your blue highlighted text made me say, “WOW!” and I’m still saying wow.
    Wonderful post, Kristen!
    Oh, and I loved the pic of the duct taped baby…wonder if I can duct tape my 15 year old daughter to the wall in her room so she can’t come down stairs all summer and talk back to me.
    Thank you for your wisdom!!

    • Yvette Carol on June 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    • Reply

    Wow thank you for the heads-up Kristen! That was so interesting. I have yet to create a fan page. My two cents? Everything has a season, so this may be Facebook’s winter and indeed the sun may be setting on them. I’m not sure what it would take to topple a juggernaut like that, possibly a bigger juggernaut? LIke WANAtribe maybe??? I think it’s time…. 🙂
    Yvette Caro

  38. Very informative post. Ironic timing, too. Because earlier today I received an e-mail from Facebook that said something to the effect…We see you tried to enter an add but never completed the process. Now you can complete that ad for free with the following code for $50.00 off. Obviously they’re trying to reel me in…

    • Jason on June 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm
    • Reply

    Wow, I simply can’t believe that every single commenter here bought into this hook, line, and sinker. Here’s the thing none of you realized: having a Facebook page has ALWAYS been like this.

    The simple truth about social media is that you can’t reach people when they’re not sitting at their computers. If you make a post on your fan page, it will go into the newsfeeds of every one of your fans, but Facebook freely declares that on average only 16% of your fans will be around to see it.(Think that’s bad? Twitter is 5%.) For the rest, it will have trickled down by the time they came back. So what Facebook is offering here is the option to hold your post at the top of their newsfeeds until a certain percentage of your fans see it. It’s up to you if you think that’s worth it or not (I certainly don’t), but the key revelation here is that you’ve misunderstood how fan pages worked if you thought everyone was seeing everything, and this new information is only now making it more obvious.

    1. Well, all the more reason to be actively vested in your digital community. Followers will be active on your page, so you will appear in news feeds. And no, I know everyone wasn’t seeing everything, that’s why I recommend not relying on sheer numbers. It’s too much work. But you have to admit that the price tags is seriously steep.

  39. The more I learn about and do marketing, the more I am just as convinced as you are that the best way to do it is to build relationships. You need to nurture and construct them with fans, with customers and with other professionals (writers, small business owners etc.). The most powerful paid marketing cannot and never will hold a candle to the kind of benefits you can get by making friends and offering them stuff that will solve their problems. 🙂

  40. Thanks for that info. I was figuring that we’d be having to pay for them soon one way or another. I’d say it’s the beginning of the end of fb as a thriving place for artists and small businesses. The little guys won’t bother anymore and something else will take its place.

  41. It’s interesting also from the other side of this issue. As a fan and friend I get on facebook largely to see what everybody is up to. Sometimes it seems like FB fills my pages with posts from people I barely know and hides the posts I really want to see from my family and close friends. I have to search around to find out what is going on with them, and the same is true of fan pages I’ve liked. At least it still seems to prioritize posts from the groups I belong to. I hope it won’t start charging to join groups.

  42. Ever since I started using Facebook, I’ve had the sense that they’re not going to be around too much longer. It reminds me, in a way, of another company years back. It’s still around, but it’s not the same any more. It had a huge number of message boards, which it offered for free, and there was a thriving community on it. But they were losing money. So what did they do? They decided to have a free membership and a paid for membership, and they took away from the free membership — so essentially people were paying for what they’d received for free. So, if you had free membership, you’d get basic black text for posts and if you had paid membership, you could format them in different colors and fonts. A lot of people left very quickly. I hung around for a while and paid for membership, and eventually the company made the paid membership go away — but the message boards never recovered. They’re still there, and they don’t get a lot of interest. I suspect we’ll see something similar from FB — they’re start charging for something we received people and people will go away in droves.

  43. I don’t know how long FB will be around, but it’s human nature to assume that the world and things that are around you are permanent, when they’re actually only representative of a moment or at most a period in time. I think that as well as just being generally overvalued, this is part of the reason for the bad FB IPO – people recognize that just like kids today text rather than e-mail, in ten (five?) years there may (probably will) be a totally different trending social paradigm, and anyone interested in maintaining and building new relationships in that world will have to be ready to get on the board and surf. It’s okay to be to some extent reactive and not commit to the new (whatever form it takes) too quickly, but you have to be agile.

    And as a side comment, a big problem with FB is that people from what I’ve seen have zero loyalty to the brand: if something else manifested they’d ditch it without a second thought and start recruiting their friends to do the same.

  44. I wasn’t fussed by this, because I don’t have a page – but I’ve just realised facebook does the same WHEN I LINK TO MY BLOG ON MY PERSONAL PROFILE. Sorry for the allcaps, but WTF, facebook?

    1. LOL. Well, I hate to demonize anyone and when I get too annoyed? I remember…it is FREE. Get what we pay for, I suppose :P.

      1. ha, so true! I know, I was kinda sitting back going, “Wow, I never get worked up about facebook stuff!” But getting worked up occasionally is good for the heart 😉

  45. I’m am so grateful at your ability to pull back the curtain and explain things so clearly. What a gift you are. Thank you!

  46. Tnx for very helpful post. I don’t like Facebook fan pages because of the slick look. I get overloaded and don’t stay. Twitter is much more to my liking; I understand how to use it for my goals. I also like the simple joy of interaction (which I do not get often on FB, probably for not trying).

  47. I’ve never been a huge facebook ‘fan’. I was told by some authors I needed a page, so it was free and I created one. Networking and social media, for me, is making connections and friends. I’m not much of a ‘salesperson’ yet. Perhaps I will think differently once my book is published.

    • mwheelaghan on June 7, 2012 at 9:48 am
    • Reply

    Hi Kirsten
    Thanks for the heads up about changes in FB, as always,very thought provoking:) Have mentioned you and linked you in my blog

  48. Great information. I am hesitant to dive full on into social media like Facebook because of a training course that stirred up a sense of cautious paranoia. I am easing into the waters through WordPress and WanaTribes and your blog. I really appreciate your format and the topics you cover. Thank you very much.

  49. I had a feeling these changes were coming, especially after they really started to limit what group of messages you can even see on a page’s wall. And I’d noticed a huge change in what comes through my home feed.

    Thanks bunches for the scoop, Kristen!

  50. I’m all very new to this self publishing game, but I didn’t make a facebook fan page and I’m not sure I want to. I have one for another project I have, but it’s a mess. To be honest, I don’t feel like I want one either. I connect and promote through my blog, through Twitter and sometimes through Facebook, but apart from the blog, I’m not tied to any one platform.

    • lynnkelleyauthor on June 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm
    • Reply

    I noticed that my posts only go to certain people. I’ve been trying to figure its system out for months now because I’m not getting posts from some of my closest FB friends as often as I used to, even though they’re posting. And I notice the same with my posts. This makes me so glad I never set up a fan page.

    I LOVE the new WANATribe site. Lots of wonderful peeps sharing their knowledge, experience, and just hanging out and getting to know each other better. Great timing for the launch, Kristen! See you at the Twitter party tomorrow. Cheers!

  51. One thing people never should forget when they use any “free” social media site–unless you are the provider of the actual service, you are the product they are selling.

    It’s not a nice thing to think about, but it’s true. Once Facebook needed to supply its own servers and maintain its own databases and hires employees it needed to start making money. And it’s been allowing advertisers to gather information about its user pretty much since it started. The sales started out with adds that were easy to ignore and block off, then people started ignoring them and blocking them off… The add became more subtle; people in companies started running dataminers to analyze profile information; so people started hiding or deleting pieces of profile information….

    It never ends unless you stop using social media. And that isn’t going to happen. It shouldn’t have to happen… Just as we grew up in the television generation and learned how to ignore the demands that we “go cuckoo for” certain cereals, we can learn how to ignore the advertising that companies buy on social media as well. Or we can learn as couponers do, to let the advertising work in our favor and profit.

    Likely it will be a mixture of both and all and none of the above depending on the individual.

  52. Was feeling all this “pressure” (probably where my “pressure usually comes from: from within my own pea-headed self) to create an Author Page – so I did one and it lasted about 5 minutes *laughing* – not only did I read your post, but, I was immediately bored with it. Lawd! T’anky!

  53. Facebook has left me squicky for a while. After someone posted a link accusing FB of using their technology to scan private texts on our phones for Ad information I removed their apps from all of my mobile devices.

    I have a Facebook account and a fan page. It hasn’t helped me much. I did have some wonderful conversations with fans a few months ago but they dropped off. And then reading the news recently that only active users on your page receive any of your updates let me know that myself and a handful of author friends who ‘liked’ me were the only ones seeing what I wrote.

    I’m going to delete it soon.

    BTW: LOVE the photo at the top. That is one happy child. My question, what did the duck do to get duct tape garroted?


  54. *sighs* Oh my, yet another Facebook change. I really need Lisa’s class. Thanks for keeping us updated, Kristen.

    But I have to say that I like the change in my personal Facebook feed. Now I again see stuff mainly from the people who really matter to me.

  55. Very interesting. This is the reason — platforms can crash — that the #amwriting Twitter hashtag has an independent website. Johanna Harness, who invented the hashtag, didn’t want this huge community of writers to disappear if Twitter did.

  56. Kristen, normally I love reading your blog. I loved the “Pants of Shame” photo. I appreciate your wit.

    This? A baby duct-taped to a wall? I find incredibly tasteless. I’m disappointed.

    1. Sorry to disappoint. I used the word “hostage” in the title and I felt a picture of a hostage would be truly tasteless. I remembered this picture floating around FB and thought it added levity. Many agreed, so can’t please everyone. Sorry *shrugs*

      1. One woman’s levity is another’s abuse. To each her own.

  57. Thanks for this. I was wondering about the percent sign, thought perhaps it was about who had seen it yet, but I get it now. Sometimes my husband will get posts I don’t get even though it is from something we both “like.”

    I put off FB and finally caved and did a fan page only to find that I could not converse with anyone. Felt like standing in a room talking to myself. I have kept the author page, but I have resigned myself to having a personal page that is, in reality, more for business.

  58. This is very helpful! Thank you.

    Bella and DiDi

  59. I’ve noticed I barely see anything my friends post on Facebook, and I don’t want to favorite every single friend (I get enough email already). The three or so I have starred end up sending me phone notifications every time they update their statuses. I don’t like where Facebook has gone. It’s quite frustrating.

    Great post, Kristen — thanks for explaining WHY our FB platforms are in the realm of mucho de crickets.

    • B. Murphy on June 10, 2012 at 7:55 am
    • Reply

    The begining of the end for Facebook occured when they stopped listening (if they ever did) to customers. Sure it is a free service, but people will tolerate many things if they feel like they have choices. Forcing folks to timeline was the begining of the end. The number one rule for any business is to keep customers happy. Your may not have the best product but you can always have the best service. I think that Facebook thought it was too big to fail. Thank you Kristen for a great post. I love the WANATribe network, thank you for that too.

  60. I often wonder how much that is posted by friends ends up in my feed. I vacillate between wanting to know everything people are up to and being completely overwhelmed. That being said, Facebook is a platform that millions of people are using for free. Yes, we have to endure sponsored advertising (their business model is based on profit, as most companies are).
    If you want a website hosted, you have to pay for bandwidth and storage. But Facebook allows people to have fan pages/corporate pages, and no one pays.

    Access to social media isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. I feel like a curmudgeon for writing this. From the small business perspective, you are working hard to cultivate an audience, yes, but there are costs to being an entrepreneur and why should Facebook bear them? What’s in it for them? Yes, our personal information is being sold to make Facebook a profit. We’re constantly bombarded by social game requests (and my husband works for Zynga, I know how much $ they make!), and fan/company pages are being encouraged to spend money to better reach their audience. That latter bit seems a bit like extortion, though.

    I listen to Pandora, for free. And I get irritated by the advertising. I’m strongly leaning towards paying for an ad-free player because I enjoy the service they offer. I’m willing to pay for what is of value to me.

    I feel like I’m ranting, so that’s my cue to STFU.

    1. I actually don’t have a problem with Facebook charging. I have a BIG problem with them gouging. $300 and $500 a post is insanity and greedy and a formula to tick people off. Sorry. I don’t have any problem with a business making money but I do draw the line at getting taken to the cleaners. Sort of like e-books. I don’t mind paying $9.99 or even $10.99 for an e-book, but if you charge me the same for an e-book as for the hardback? Then I won’t buy.

      1. It definitely smacks of extortion. We’re on the same page there.

        BTW, I meant to add to my previous post, thanks for writing this great article.

  61. My brain is exploding right now. I sipped on a cup of coffee while I read this and went back over it a second time. I will be back tomorrow with a sponge so I can absorb everything. This was some good stuff!

  62. I figured if I waited long enough, Facebook would cease to be an issue. Still waiting *tap tap tap* but not much longer now. It seems for those of us who have been building reader relationships in other ways, we really don’t need to be bothering with a Facebook fan page now. One of the things to realize about Twitter, for example, is that you can show up in searches — searches, people! — and it is not necessarily all about your followers seeing your posts or having retweets. Those things are crucial but they’re not the whole story. Using strategies like the prince of strategies, the Twitter Hashtag, we can employ more tools outside of Facebook to magnetize our darling readers and get them into our EMAIL OPT-IN LISTS, where they are truly part of our family. (And then treat them like the precious sweethearts they are, of course.) One of the biggest dangers with Facebook is that people have bent their brains to that sort of connection as if it is the end-all be-all. It’s not. It’s time to burst into ever more creative collaborations through, for example, WANATribe! Go, people! You’re free!
    Suzanna Stinnett 🙂

  63. Posted today on George Takei’s FB Timeline:

    George Takei
    FB used to allow fans to elect to see ALL posts by selecting “All Updates” from the right hand corner of a post. For community pages such as this, though, FB recently decided that only certain fans will see certain posts, and it plans to ask me to pay for more fan views.

    I understand that FB has to make money, especially now that it is public, but in my view this development turns the notion of “fans” on its head. So I encourage all friends and fans to visit my page regularly to make sure they share in all the fun.


    • Wolf on June 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    • Reply

    I expect that Facebook may sink itself from the burden of hundreds of well-deserved lawsuits. Then, they’ll sell the vast data mining treasure trove to another company and/or the government. Zuckerburg is arrogant and that culture trickles down. He deserves to be taken down a few pegs.

  64. Reblogged this on ittybittybee and commented:
    I am interested in learning more of this alternative option called WANA.

    1. Well you should join the WANA social site, WANATribe. Here is an invitation:

  65. I knew I wouldn’t have to look too far to find a fellow Texan around here. Found you through my FB and writing buddy, Toby Neal. Love the blog and what you have to say. I’ve linked this back to my FB page, and will try to bump this up in my own blog,, soonest! Thanks for being here for us!

    • JD on June 22, 2012 at 6:30 am
    • Reply

    Please sign the petition I started to Mark Z. asking him to change this and allow all fans of a Page to see that Page’s posts on their news feeds without the Page owner having to pay: If enough people sign, he may do something to change it. He has done so in the past.

  66. So is this the end of Facebook, the behmoth?
    And what is the point of having a fan page on WANA? Isn’t it just for artists (not that artists aren’t also readers)? I’m looking for a way to reach readers who aren’t also writers. Already nearly all of my followers on Twitter are writers. My blog is directed at writers (so I’m shooting myself in the foot with that) as well. Facebook seems to be the only place where I can reach readers who aren’t writers.
    Thank you for this great post (and all your other posts as well, I always learn something here). I’ve linked to it on my website and my FB page. 🙂

  67. just thought I’d mention that I have liked several fan pages that do not advertise and that I do not click to regularly and they appear in my feed every day. I also get all my family – I know this because I usually click on the Family button to be sure and yep, already saw them in my feed. Lord knows I get all kinds of posts from people I friended that I’m not actually friends with (for instance, high school/college folks with whom I share nothing except that history). Not sure why I’m the only one out there getting all the posts all the time. I have to agree with Jason above – it seems this isn’t a change, it’s just a reality check. “you can’t reach people when they’re not sitting at their computers.” I might add “logged into Facebook” to his line.

  68. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

    • melindatodd on October 1, 2013 at 11:35 am
    • Reply

    It is SO frustrating. To take all that time to build a small fan page and now, I’m lucky if a few actually see it. Off to read the other articles. I’m trying to build relationships with my readers and fans but Facebook wants me to pay for it. No.

    1. You don’t need to pay to promote with the right content. If you can swing it, get a copy of my new book and it will help you A LOT.

        • melindatodd on October 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm
        • Reply

        I looked all over your site and I can’t find your book. Do you have a link or a title I can look at? Thanks 🙂

        1. BAD SALESPERSON! Now you know why I write :D. It’s “Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World.” There’s a ten-step walk-thru in the third section and the fourth section is all how to successfully blog in a way that connects to readers.

            • melindatodd on October 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

            LOL Well, if I hadn’t been lazy, I could have googled it or looked on amazon under your name 🙂 Thanks!

  1. […] Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage Fallout from the IPO […]

  2. […] you heard about the changes with Facebook fan pages? If not or if you find it confusing, check out Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage by Kristen Lamb. She makes the whole situation very easy to understand and has some ideas on what […]

  3. […] Author Kristen Lamb’s Blog, Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? […]

  4. […] Kristen Lamb : Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? Fallout from the IPO Debacle & How It Affects YOU […]

  5. […] Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? by Kristen Lamb. Must read post! […]

  6. 14 Cool Business Card Designs, business card designs, business card…

    […]Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? Fallout from the IPO Debacle & How It Affects YOU « Kristen Lamb's Blog[…]…

  7. […] post, “Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage” by Kristen Lamb may lend credence to the fears expressed by some as referenced above, but the […]

  8. […] Now that I’m done graduate school I can turn my writing efforts towards topics that don’t involve dead writers and technical writing. Not to say there is nothing wrong with dead writers or technical writing, in fact I love them both! Well technical writing especially, which will be something I will examine a lot in future blog posts. For now, I am directing this Monday evening post towards a blog post I noticed on the excellent Austalian blog Wine Women and Wordplay, who in turn reblogged it from the equally amazing blog of Kristen Lamb. […]

  9. […] week we talked about some changes with Facebook. Can they now hold our fan pages hostage? Now that the giant is a publicly traded company, we just should expect that they are going to look […]

  10. […] Kristen Lamb talks about the shrinking reach of Facebook pages (and […]

I LOVE hearing your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.