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Why I gave up on my Facebook business page and deleted it

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I’ve found myself having several conversations recently about Facebook pages for business, and it’s often a topic that pops up in networking hours.  Many are also curious to know why I deleted my business page.  I went ahead and made the perhaps drastic decision to totally delete my entire Facebook account, including my business page, a couple of years ago.  You can read my personal reasons by clicking here.  In this blog post I’ll explain why I chose to delete my business page from a business point of view.

When I started my business, making handmade cards and selling them as a hobby almost four years ago, I set up an Etsy shop.  At the time I had a personal Facebook, so set up a business page to promote it.  I’d never even seen small business pages so entered a whole world unbeknown to me.  I quickly got hooked on networking pages and loved promoting my business this way.  My card hobby was just that – a hobby rather than a great business idea as I’m really no artist and sales only really took off when I started selling fashion accessories.  My business turned into fashion accessories only and my Facebook page started booming.  I was getting daily sales and so much interaction.  I was selling a few items a day and things were great.

Then Facebook started changing.  Changing their rules and algorithm thingies.  Constantly.

I started selling my handmade items in August 2012 as a hobby.  My new fashion accessories business officially launched in December 2012.  By April 2013 I decided to set up my website and began my Twitter mission, as things were really starting to nosedive on Facebook.  They weren’t terribly bad, but sales had slowed right down and reach was getting low.  A few months later and reach was awful!  This is when Facebook were really trying to get business pages to pay for posts to be seen, so organic reach tumbled.  They also changed the way people’s timelines worked so the most popular posts were shown or posts by users they regularly interacted with instead of a chronological order.  This massively affected my reach again.

Here are the main reasons I ended up having enough of Facebook and deleting my business page:

  • My business page had over 6000 likes when I deleted it, but an organic reach of sometimes only 10 (!!) by the end.  I figured this pathetic reach wasn’t worth my time.  I may as well have knocked on 10 random doors and told them about my business.  It would have had the same effect. 
  • Why do I think my reach dropped so much?  Because I stupidly paid to ‘boost’ my posts.  As soon as I started to pay for posts to be ‘seen’ I noticed unpaid for posts had literally no reach at all.  Like overnight, the reach totally dropped.  I was convinced it was because I paid for some, so perhaps Facebook assumed I was a sucker and would pay for more if they didn’t show my other posts to a soul.  I stupidly did pay for a few more and not surprisingly my reach dropped even more.
  • So my organic reach dropped, but what about the paid for reach?  This was questionable too.  An organic post could be shown to say 200 people and I’d get some likes and comments, the engagement that is so important.  The paid for posts, on the other hand, would be shown to say 2000 people and not one person would like or comment.  Something definitely didn’t seem right.  It made no sense.
  • Facebook’s ever changing rules also baffled me.  As if the fact they were forever tweaking the interface wasn't annoying enough (just when you’d got used to the last recent change, they'd change it again), they were always changing their minds about page rules.   You can’t run a giveaway.  Yes you can run a giveaway.  Users can share the post to enter. Users can’t share the post to enter.  We’ll close your page down if you break the rules.  But then we’ll change the rules next week.  You can like a page from a business page and it counts.  Nope, now it doesn’t count.  Make your minds up!
  • Networking pages worked really well at first as all posts by the page and others would show on the page wall in one big feed, if you like, so you can see everyone’s sales posts and requests.  Then Facebook, not surprisingly, changed this layout so you could only see the page’s posts and had to click through to elsewhere to see other user’s posts.  This really stopped these types of pages being so useful to me and sales reduced when this was implemented.
  • Comments on photos would only come through for one month.  Once a photo was more than a month old I wasn’t notified about any comments.  This meant I could be ignoring customer requests because I didn’t know about them, so lost sales.  I could have deleted and re uploaded 200 photos a month and rewritten all the price/dispatch info again for each picture, but how time consuming!
  • You can only like 5000 pages.  Sounds a lot, but once you get there then you hit a brick wall.  Most other pages like for a like.  So if you don’t return a like, they unlike you.  Not everyone, but most in my experience.  Once I couldn’t like any more pages my likes stopped increasing so rapidly.  Or people would ask for a like back and not understand why I couldn’t.  It’s Facebook, not me!
  • My reach % was huge when I had a few hundred likes, but by a few thousand likes it was tiny.  Perhaps they thought I had more money to boost posts now I had a larger following.  Surely the reach by % should have been more consistent.
  • At the beginning I had 100% of sales from Facebook and these were daily.  By the end I was lucky to get one per week from Facebook and I had barely any website traffic from there.  So it was of no benefit to my business anymore.

So there you go!  The main reasons I gave up on my Facebook business page.  I know lots of others feel the same way from probably 50 or so conversations I’ve had about it since.  I appreciate FB is a business and needs to make money and that’s fine, if you know what you’re signing up for.  But the platform I signed up for was very different to the one I left.  The older Facebook pages were amazing for small businesses and my business probably wouldn’t be here without that first business page.  So I can thank FB for getting me going, but sadly not for maintaining anything.  It just wasn’t the same platform I’d started out using.  Today, if there were a platform where I’d have to pay for every status to be seen, I wouldn’t sign up.  I simply can’t afford it.  Especially not when there are so many other amazing free platforms with much greater reach, interaction and more stability.

If you're thinking of paying for posts on Facebook, watch this YouTube video first