You might have noticed more and more items on your Facebook news feed exhorting you to like and share posts from brands. The post usually says that this is to make sure Facebook continues to surface them in your feed.
However in April Facebook moved to clean up what it terms as news feed spam. It aimed to reduce posts explicitly asking to like, comment and share posts to get "additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive”.
Facebook has been keeping posts from users in its attempts to bring you relevant content in your feed. But posts on brand’s Facebook Pages only go to a small fraction of brand fans.
We have an average of 130 friends and like an average of 80 Pages, groups and events according to Statistic Brain. If you do not ‘like’ or share posts of interest then posts that you have not interacted with will gradually disappear from your feed.
You will be left with a feed filled with posts only from people you engage with on a regular basis.
Facebook has already said that it expected "organic distribution of an individual Page’s posts to "gradually decline over time". But some brands have not decided to wait as their readership erodes.
Eat24 announced in March that it would be deleting its Facebook Page at the start of April 2014. Many initially thought that it was an April Fools prank or marketing stunt.
It posted about life after Facebook one month later. Eat24 had spent $1 million with Facebook in 2013 so the comment from Brandon McCormick, Director of Communications at Facebook appeared dismissive about Facebook’s losing that amount of revenue.
However, one month on the brand has noticed a difference. Its open rate for its email newsletter has increased from 20 to 40 percent. It has also received more replies to its newsletter and seen an increase in sign ups.
The week after it announced that it was leaving Facebook its app installs were up 1.75 times more than its installs throughout its paid Facebook campaigns.
British brand Bloke Toys sells sex toys for men. (Warning, the site is not safe for work). It announced on its Facebook page that it was stepping away from Facebook urging its readers to sign up for its newsletter or follow it on Twitter instead.
Perhaps a Facebook Page selling sex toys for men might not have the same level of engagement that a fast food Page would have but the results are the same.
Facebook is throttling reach for brands. And brands are noticing.
Game developers are also turning away from Facebook. Earlier this month the game Triple Town announced that it would be shutting down the Facebook edition of the game on June 16th 2014.
The Facebook edition of the game has "not been financially successful for many years".
Makers Disney Playdom and Spry Fox found that its efforts to support and maintain it were "detracting from our efforts to make new games for you".
Some brands do not aim for likes and shares. Australian home site The Whoot makes sure its Facebook followers see each message it posts.
Most posts encourage fans to go to its website instead and sign up for its newsletter on each post. The Whoot knows that it can control the message frequency and visibility if it knows subscriber email addresses.
You could put a lot of time, money and effort into getting Facebook fan likes, shares and links but it is Facebook itself that has overall control over your fans. You, the brand have no say whatsoever.