RIP Facebook

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If I was to start a website where artists could share their work with the world, would you join?  Sounds good right?  What if I were to tell you that I’d control what the people who are interested in your work would see?  Even better!  Now, how about if I tell you that you could pay me to make sure more people see your work, the very people who want to follow you in the first place?  Outstanding!  I’ll create this website, charge people and control the visibility of your work even though there are multiple sites out there already that are free and don’t limit visibility.  Perfect.  Where do I sign up?

Facebook-Thumbs-Down

Of course I’m being sarcastic and how having a photography page on Facebook goes against everything that I’d want as an artist.  There are many schools of thought about what art actually is but at the end of the day, it’s nothing unless others see it.  As artists, we strive to share our work with others and without a doubt, social media has allowed more artists to connect with interested people than ever before.  With the click of a few buttons, your masterpiece can be shared worldwide.  People can discover artists based on their particular interests, share what they see with people they know and artists can engage with their admirers in a very powerful way.

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I started my first photography page as my own, Eric E Photo, and quickly found my same engaged audience was through people I know.  I was aiming to break past this and reach out to others through the actual images and not by association.  After some time, I deleted this page and took a new approach.  I started a page called Park City Outdoors and hoped to engage with people based upon their interest in Park City.  To some extent, it worked.  I was gaining followers and even had a few business referrals directly from that site.  For that, I have no complaints and I’m actually quite surprised by this.  Maybe I think too much about it but something was bothering me.  My images I posted of work I liked got little recognition or engagement.  Classic sunset and sunrise pictures got widespread attention.   I don’t consider sunsets and sunrises the type of photography I’m interested in though.

I’m not interested in photography to gather likes but rather for people to see what I choose to share.  Posting images on Facebook turned into a popularity contest and people wouldn’t even get to see what I posted unless it was an eye catching sunrise or sunset!  So in order for people to actually see what I posted, and have a choice what they liked and didn’t, it would have to be full of red, yellow or orange.  As an artist, should you share what others want to see or what you want others to see?  This is the question I kept coming back to and I think you can guess my answer.

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With multiple other platforms out there to share my work, that don’t limit what others see (like WordPress), why should I waste my time and let Facebook control MY work?  I shouldn’t and I don’t.  There are many artists out there that have some success at sharing their work via Facebook but a quick look at followers vs engagement reveals a very low percentage.  For an artist (business owner), engagement is king and when your followers (customers) don’t even see your work, you lose.  My solution to this is to completely remove my Facebook page presence and post images directly to my personal timeline.  I can then promote sales to my friends and family (can’t do that with a Facebook page, they’ll find you, trust me) and have a much higher engagement with the SAME people that followed my page in the first place!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you have or manage a Facebook page.  I know I’m not the only one out there with frustrations about Facebook and this has been an ongoing struggle for quite some time.  To wrap it up, I’ll be posting solely on my other social media outlets that don’t limit what you see.  Thank you for reading and commenting:)  EE

Instagram: @ericephoto (mobile only)

Twitter: @ericephoto

Tumblr: ericephoto.tumblr

www.ericephoto.com

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23 thoughts on “RIP Facebook

  1. I made a facebook page just to chat with a girl XP
    Sadly with so many feedback from the internet there is no much time except to what is perceived as outstanding, I search for honesty, if I don’t feel that the author is engaged with his/her photography, stories, poems, painting, etcetera, then I couldn’t follow that author.
    I think a part of my readers, even in WordPress, for being following hundreds or thousands of blogs have also that facebook behavior of followers without possibility of engagement, I mean that probably there is the usual behavior to just scroll in the reader page a pair of seconds and click the like button. I’ve just a a bit more of two hundred blogs that I follow but I take my time to read them, and never comment automatic or typical commentaries but I explain my reasons.
    But also is true that my blog is more a diary, it hasn’t professional goals, is just a hobby. Kind regards.

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  2. I agree with you and the only website I post pjctures on is WordPress. As WordPress permit a distribution on several other social medias, my work is spreaded around and several persons that like or may like my photographs can see them.

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  3. I love your work and although I am still using FB and I posted this page to my front page, I totally understand what you are saying. For me, as a writer, I am still discovering all manner of interesting thoughts, articles, works and people in my field on FB not to mention old friends I haven’t seen in decades and decades. For me, it is a way to feel connected as my world currently is small and quite isolated. My Gen X children have all left FB and gone to Instagram in protest when they discovered os many of us oldsters jumping on! How ageist! I am so fed up to here with ageism! Plus Instagram just doesn’t do it for me–I am a wordsmith and I love talking, relating and reading people’s thoughts and ideas. I also am very visual as a novelist and screenwriter and I totally love your work as a result. Good luck with everything!

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    • Allison, thanks for your comment. I love reading blogs as much as I enjoy looking at the images. For me, there is more to photography (and art) than just the images themselves. I want to hear the thoughts, the reasons, the story behind the images and hear from the person. As for Instagram, I can understand that it isn’t for everyone. I personally enjoy Instagram and have made many connections with people through that simple little app:) Photography is as much branding as taking pictures and I find that IG and WordPress both create this brand in strong, and different ways. Thank you again for your thoughts and I wish you the best as well! Eric

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  4. I would spend hours promoting previous FB pages to draw people to follow previous blogs with not a whole lot of success. With my current blog, I’ve learned I would rather people follow me because they truly enjoy what I’m writing. Now, I write my articles here on WordPress and copy and paste the same articles on FB and Instagram and I am gaining more followers and engagement for each platform individually with less effort than I would be posting links trying to get people to follow my blog on WordPress alone. I definitely get a lot more positive feedback this way and I now have more time to write. I think everyone just needs to test the waters and see what works for them; it’s definitely trial and error.

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    • Nessa, you make a great point! It is very easy to post content in one place (WordPress) and share it across other platforms and outlets. This doesn’t work in my experience either. I find that creating unique content for each outlet generates more engagement. Respecting the individual medium shows engagement on your part too and I’d say half of wanting people to interact with you and your content is what you give it. A simple picture really isn’t an engaging blog post and an essay on Instagram is too consuming for mobile. I think understanding each outlet and actively engaging with others is key to social media recognition. There’s a great video from Chase Jarvis that might be of interest to you. It’s long but better than TV:) Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT_vv5moEm8 Hope this helps a little. Thank you again, Eric

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    • Hanne, thank you for your comment and many people feel this way. It has it’s uses and is undoubtedly widespread. I just feel as an artist I can’t justify the limitations when so many other platforms don’t limit what your audience wants to see.

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    • There’s many people who aren’t on Facebook, just as there are many who only use one or two other social media platforms. Mike touched on this in his comment below and I have a few things to say on this as well. I can honestly say I tried several times with Facebook and it doesn’t work for what I do either. Oh well…Eric

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  5. I feel your frustration Eric but do not agree… I use FB just as it uses my posts. I only post a link to my blog in order for another faction of readers can be exposed to my work… even if it just reaches 10 to 25%, thats a percentage that would have never seen my work and possibly interact. Are you finding that the people that interact on FB only are not worth it just because FB scrambles and mixes up and I could go on and on. You care about your work… I get it and feel your passion in your words and we have never met!!! I am an old school guy who gets a real feel from the people I meet Face to face … this social media is new but it also expands my presence and to some degree no matter how small… someone IS seeing it on FB.
    Peace brother… I will still find a way to see your work whatever decision you make.

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    • Mike, firstly I appreciate your comment! You bring up the point that is the hardest for me to come to terms with. I completely feel the same way that at least someone is seeing what I posted there. It may not be everyone but some is better than none. I had some success with generating leads/business from Facebook and turning away from that is difficult. I really just have a hard time with the fact that people who wanted to see my page weren’t seeing it unless I payed for it. I referred my followers to my other outlets many times and tried to show why the other places were better and easier to follow. Those that were genuinely interested in my work followed me elsewhere. The others who didn’t see anything else were the ones who weren’t engaged anyway. For me, it keeps coming back to engagement and I find that Facebook wasn’t working for me. Thank you again for your comment and for reading, listening and following along on my journey. Your words mean a lot to me! Happy holidays to you and your family:) Eric

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  6. Hey Eric,
    Facebook newsfeeds are a pain, they decide what’s on it–I don’t think many people realize that. I always have to search out the Facebook pages I want to see. I enjoy seeing you on Facebook. Your work make my day a little brighter. 🙂 I guess someday I’ll get a different social media account, but I there is only so much data I want Big Brother to have on me. 😉

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    • Laura, Thank you and that is the toughest part for me. I know you, and others, enjoy seeing my images on FB. I’m changing to posting images here instead so if you subscribe via email, or just check back here, you’ll see everything just as you would on FB. The quality will be better, you can still share, you won’t miss anything and you’ll easily be able to see links to my other work. You don’t have to have multiple social media accounts, just a simple email subscription:) Thanks for reading, following and being genuinely interested! And yes, a good rant is a great way to close out FB!!! Eric

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  7. Yea, FB……I just hope everyone would get over it soon. But currently, it’s still the leading platform, people check them everyday, just to hit a couple of likes. I have to link my blog to FB, so that people would know I’ve updated my blog. *sigh*

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    • Thanks for the comment, I hear ya! People also check other sites daily and, in my experience, tend to be more engaged elsewhere. Content on blogs, Instagram, Twitter, etc can be very focused so its easier to stay interested in something specific rather than the content that gets put on FB. I’m over it, no regrets and feel much better about it! I just share links on my personal FB page so people I know can see what I’m up to if they want. The actual content lives elsewhere and isn’t limited:) Thanks again!

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  8. Pingback: Top 10 of 2015: 8 | Eric E Photo

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