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Is Radio Wasting Effort on Facebook?

Based on stats released by Facebook last year, only about 16% of Facebook fans receive the posts of the pages they “like.” This is Facebook’s effort to maintain the “quality” of the feed whether or not a consumer has opted-in to connect to it.

While Facebook continues to send lots of traffic to lots of brands, publishers are beginning to sour on the platform, and Facebook’s solution to the problem is to charge publishers to reach the same folks they used to reach for free.  While this is a fair transfer of value for value, it’s not the same promise as “free.”

From Digiday:

“Facebook throttles any one of our social post’s reach to 20 percent of the audience who raised their hand and said they want to hear from us,” said one publisher on the condition of anonymity as to not upset Facebook. “We are less than happy about this restriction and kind of offended that their proposed solution is to pay them ad revenue to message to the users who opted in.”

For many radio broadcasters Facebook is more of a personality’s vanity play than a legitimate branding resource.  Indeed, many of the pages personalities “push” listeners to are branded for the personality, not the station.  While it can certainly be argued that deepening relationships with a personality via Facebook echoes back on the radio brand and its various assets, this is less true in the presence of Facebook’s impression-throttling, and it enhances the notion that what these personalities and your brand are really doing is providing free promotion for Facebook (not that they need it).

There are two ways to grow traffic and engagement via Facebook:  Pay for it or create content so compelling that growth happens organically.  For most broadcasters, the former is laughable, while the latter requires resources that even major brands may not devote, since Facebook is only one of many digital assets – and it’s one they don’t own.

So by all means use Facebook, but keep that usage in perspective.

When I work with a client on social media strategy, it’s about more than posting on Facebook.  It’s about what, where, how, and when you publish and who you publish it for.

Including what you publish on the air.

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