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Social Media: How Facebook Is Destroying The Creativity Of Self Marketing

INSCMagazine: Get Social!

Back in the day, Facebook was the start of the new wave of communication, advertisement and opportunity. But, along its way to three-plus billion dollars revenue in 2015 they lost their way.

Facebook forgot what it was like to be the little man, the one just starting out looking for someone to give them that shot. Remember how MySpace was with the ability to create your profile page with whatever you wanted?

Facebook took it a step further and let you be able to share your work on others pages and groups for free. But then, it became “popular”.

First it was the sharing of WorldStar videos, music clips, ESPN highlights, coupon ads for companies so Facebook started to notice that the majority of their users were going the independent route with sports sites, clothing lines, music labels and so forth. Owners were able to flock to Facebook and share their products with friends, family and complete strangers without paying for t-shirts, flyers or airtime.

Technology has taken over and there is nothing we can do about it, except embrace the change and ride the wave. You do have a choice. You can be like my brother and don’t have an account. I ask him why he doesn’t and he gives the best answer ever, “What the f*** for!”.

Nuff said.

If you’re like me, social media is a must have. I run a website that exists on the sole purpose of bringing attention to my site and what better place to advertise your articles or podcast than Facebook? You may have a few thousand friends, plus family and co workers then you can add on the people you interact with everyday which adds up to a nice size of potential viewers, or so you may think. Nothing ever goes as planned especially with social media.

Here is an example of how advertising goes on Facebook for privately owned sites like mine and others.

You write an article, record a podcast or wish to sell a merchandise and want to get the information and product out to the masses then social media is supposed to be the way to go since you probably can’t afford air or TV commercial time. You share your product on your page first hoping that your 1,000+ friends will take a look but then you start to realize that there are millions of other people on Facebook and you begin to share the info in groups and on pages hoping that someone takes a look.

But there are consequences that comes with this that Facebook never warns you about until it’s too late. Facebook has turned into a big business and that hurts the little guy like myself. When we share an article we are putting ourselves in the crossfire. Normally, it was being criticized from our peers on the subject but now Facebook has upped the ante.

If you share in too many groups or pages you will be banned from sharing for either a few days, weeks or possibly months.

This is a social media site and you want to ban us from getting our product out? What it boils down to is that Facebook wants you to pay to advertise, the company is trying to crack down on what they call free advertisement.

Let’s say you write an article on the Dallas Cowboys and want as many people to see it as possible. The Cowboys are one of the biggest sports franchises in the world and have roughly 15 or so Facebook groups dedicated to the team and countless other NFL or sports related groups that can easily reach anywhere from 100 to 100,000 people in one day. Hey, those are great numbers for potential readers, not just for a start-up site but for any site. But the more you tend to share the better chances you catch the ever watchful eye of the Facebook police.

In Facebook eyes what you are doing is labeled as “Spamming”. I honestly don’t think they really know what spamming is.

If I want to share my article or product in 20 groups tonight then that is considered spamming because I didn’t do it their way. If it’s a Breaking News piece and it needs to get out to the masses then putting it in one place does not guarantee any rate of success for my site but if I can get it in 20 groups in 5 minutes then I have a better chance of hitting the masses.

Now, here is the truth on how Facebook is destroying self marketing.

Facebook offers a “boost your post option”, for a price of course. For $20, they will get your product in front of 862-2.3k people. How is that not spamming? But because I am paying you it’s OK for you to share my article but when I put forth the effort, do all the leg work and leave you out it’s considered spamming and you want to ban my account.

Then they will hit you with the “well your article already has ads”, well yeah it does, this is how the sites make money. In all honesty, how is that even relevant when every profile, group or page on Facebook is cluttered with Facebook produced ads? Isn’t that how they make their money?

Think about this. Every time you sign in on Facebook they get paid. Every time you comment on a post they make money, every time you click on a link they make money, but yet they want to stop us from making money.

Sorry Mr. Zuckerberg, but you lost sight of why you created Facebook in the first place during your time at Harvard. Facebook was the little man, then became the big man and now looks down upon us like we are peasants in their kingdom. In essence, you’ve become as short-sighted and neurotic as Pied Piper CEO Richard Hendricks from HBO’s Silicon Valley!

It’s up to US–not you–to decide if this behavior is acceptable or not.

Remember, there is no Facebook without the faces.

You won’t let us be us but you want to know my family, friends, location, relationship status, birthday, employment, read my disagreements, my ups and downs in life but I cannot share my products to the millions of profiles you have across the network without paying?

Sometimes I just miss my MySpace friend Tom..lol

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com