When Mouth by Southwest created its Facebook page back in 2010, the social media platform had a simple philosophy: If you “liked” a page, you got to see the posts from that page on your timeline.
Today, of course, Facebook operates much differently. It asks businesses to pay to reach their followers – the very people who’ve asked to see their posts.
According to various reports, an estimated 6% of a page’s followers are allowed to see any given post. That’s an average. For every popular post that – through sharing and other interaction – is seen by thousands, other posts are virtually invisible.
On MXSW’s page, which has nearly 3,000 followers, some posts “reach” fewer than 100 followers, according to Facebook’s own analytics. And recently the number seems to be shrinking even more.
This “throttling,” I should point out, only applies to Facebook business pages, not personal profile pages (for now, at least).
Declining value of Facebook pages
Facebook generously will “boost” MXSW posts to reach all the page’s followers – for $5 per post. Once MXSW adds another 300 followers, though, the cost becomes $20 per post.
As a news site, MXSW posts up to 10 times a day. There’s simply no budget to pay $1,000 or more per week to reach the people who want to follow MXSW on Facebook.
So, in an attempt to get local food and drink news out to more East Valley residents, I’ve launched the East Valley Food & Drink group on Facebook.
Unlike pages, groups allow members to see all its posts, if members choose, in their timelines. They also can set various notification options that aren’t available for pages.
In my experience, groups also provide a better forum for members to ask about and share food and drink information directly with other members. Plus, a group’s timeline is searchable, while a page’s isn’t.
So what can you expect?
The Facebook group will be one of my primary places to share local food and drink news, whether it’s news from MXSW, another website, or even just a press release.
Like MXSW, the main focus will be on the East Valley, although, also like MXSW, it’ll cover things in Phoenix and beyond that are of interest to East Valley residents.
I know some Facebook groups can get contentious or degrade into a morass of negativity. I only ask that if you choose to criticize something (or someone), you be fair, honest, and constructive.
(Another advantage of a group is offending members can be blocked from posting.)
Why didn’t I call this the Mouth by Southwest group? I want the page to be about more than MXSW posts, and I hope others will share their questions and knowledge about the local food and drink scene.
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