Why I ditched my Facebook page

Why I ditched my Facebook page

I recently got rid of my Facebook page. I went back and forth about this for quite a while and in the end I decided to unpublish rather than fully delete the page, because you never know what he future holds (and I like having the URL containing my full name registered on Facebook, just in case).

The difference between a Facebook page and a personal profile

For anyone reading who isn’t familiar with the difference between Facebook pages and profiles, here’s a quick explanation. A personal profile is the one people can send friend requests to. A page is the one people can Like and are often used by businesses, charities, writers, artists etc.

Why I had a Facebook page

Having a Facebook page was useful when I a) was running a business, and b) people actually saw things I posted there.

Even after I closed my photography and studio hire business a few years ago, I kept the page because I could still share photos and other content there. Later, it was somewhere to share writing-related news with friends who I was connected with on Facebook, as well as other people who chose to Like and follow the page, even when I wasn’t actively using my personal profile (I drift in and out of Facebook for personal use).

When pages first became a thing, they were heralded as a wonderful solution for sharing information about, and  content from, your business, organisation or project without  having to  add people as friends. Also, as Facebook prohibits the use of personal profiles for business reasons, it was pretty much the only legit way to do non-personal stuff on the site.

Why I ditched my Facebook page

For a while, having a page was good. Or at least it didn’t suck. Then, because Facebook’s priority is making money through advertising, they started to limit the organic reach of content posted on pages. Without paying to ‘boost’ posts, they would reach about 10% of your page’s followers, if you were lucky.

If you’re wondering, yes, you can totally achieve a massive reach for your page’s posts without paying if you cultivate and nurture a large follower-base who immediately and actively engage with all your content. Everyone can probably think of some companies and already well-known individuals, as well as pages that share a lot of images and videos (some of which are original content, but a lot of which aren’t), who manage it consistently and successfully. It was something I did with a page I ran for a non-profit organisation, so I’m not saying Facebook pages are all pointless wastes of time. They can be genuinely useful, productive and awesome as part of a wider strategy.

I don’t actually have a problem with companies expecting businesses to pay to advertise on their site. There’s absolutely no reason why online marketing for a business should be free. My main issue is that Facebook moved the goalposts. Also, it wasn’t just companies who used pages. It was charities and non-profits as well as individuals who wanted to separate their creative work from their personal profiles (as pages were actually promoted for in the first place). So after all the “Get a page! Pages are exactly what you need to easily share your work with more people!” hype, it became “You have to pay if you want any of the people who have made an informed and conscious choice to follow you to see any of the content you post”.

So yeah, it wasn’t exactly doing anything for me in terms of sharing my writing, and something about making people pay to reach viewers who already wanted to see their posts rubbed me up the wrong way. I definitely wasn’t reaching a new audience with my Facebook page, or even being able to share things with my existing audience, and all it was doing was taking up time that would be better spent on platforms where I was actually connecting with readers and other writers (hi, Twitter!)

Although, at first, it felt really weird to no longer have an active Facebook page, it also felt good to shed that dead weight.

Do you need a Facebook page?

If you look for guidance online about whether writers or artists need a Facebook page, you’ll find very strong opinions in both directions as well as a lot of in-betweens.

My honest view right now is that if having a Facebook page is working for you, hang on to it. If you’re happy to pay to boost your posts and/or if you’re achieving a decent organic reach already and that’s translating into the results you’re seeking (traffic to your website, sales of your work, bookings and commissions, whatever), awesome. Keep going. But if your posts are only reaching a tiny fraction of your followers and you don’t feel that you’re getting anything out of the time and energy you put into maintaining your page, it might be worth considering letting it go and focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Do you have a Facebook page for your writing, art or business? How’s it working out for you? Have you had more success sharing and promoting your work elsewhere?

7 Replies to “Why I ditched my Facebook page”

  1. I have pages for my writing and my art. I find it really hard getting any engagement, and my reach is minimal. I keep the pages anyway because it doesn’t take much effort to update them, it’s where I expect new readers will look for a presence, and it’s an easy thing for people who are interested to click ‘follow’. However, I refuse to put money I don’t have into adverts that rarely work anyway and I have low expectations of it as a marketing tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the main things that put me off paying for adverts is that almost everyone I know, including myself, uses some kind of tool that stops them from seeing ads and the people who do see them have such a low opinion of boosted posts that they actively avoid clicking on them out of principle.

      If Facebook hadn’t gone hell for leather with treating users and the product and advertisers as the client, it might be a different situation. I feel like they’ve clearly defined themselves as something kind of gross and unappealing now.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I love Instagram. It’s going a wee bit the way of Facebook (since Facebook bought it) but I adore that it’s a purely visual platform. There are people I know on IG who I don’t share a language with but it doesn’t make it any less awesome to see each other’s pictures.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “Without paying to ‘boost’ posts, they would reach about 10% of your page’s followers, if you were lucky.”

    This is a huge problem I’m facing now. I am trying to build a new brand, and while I have a few really active followers, it rarely seems to hit everyone who actually follows things.

    I still find greater engagement on my personal posts than my page ones, as most of the time I post art stuff as public, so friends of friends of friends can comment if they so choose. It’s frustrating, because when pages first came out, I got one for my cosplay and it did so well at first. Then, it tapered off as Facebook decides people should pay for priority.

    The main difference being, I have physical goods. Writing seems to be very difficult to promote in Facebook – I have a friend who writes pulp noir who also ditched his page, because it was not very pretty when posting experts, and really wasn’t getting the engagement his blog or other writing platforms did. He was also worried that it was too much promotion, not enough “him.”

    I can definitely see why you did what you did!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had a good start on Facebook too but found that more recently most the engagement on my page posts was coming from people who I already had as friends on my personal profile, except fewer of them were seeing stuff on my page, so I may as well just post on my personal profile. I’ve started doing that it it’s actually working better for me. But yeah, I’m not selling actual objects so it’s a different kettle of fish.


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