For a number of months I have been offering up our readers a veritable cornucopia of Social Networking posts here in our our sites blog and speaking in relation as to how we were using them to better generate attention to the PiercingMetal.com brand identity. Since site launch back in 2005, I’ve seen networks come and go and while some have even remained active all this time, their own reach and considered impact on the larger geography has waned while others took the reigns and rose to new heights. MySpace in particular was one that is no longer deemed relevant by a large faction of Net savvy people. On the other hand, Facebook is now without question one of the most popular, if not THE most popular and powerful Social Network that is currently online. It seems that everyone you encounter in your travels has a Facebook page and while people used to ask for telephone numbers, I now hear “can I add you on Facebook” much more. Not long after I created my own personal account, I learned of being able to create a focused page that could be dedicated to my website and this community page was limited in its quantification and use to the readership. That left me with some serious doubts about its benefit.
Hopefully you already know by now how the Fan Pages work out but if you don’t, all you have to do as a user on Facebook is go to the page for the resource you enjoy and click “Like”. As time goes on, the various visitors to the page see how many people “Like” the page and perhaps are encouraged to click that button themselves. I took a snap when our official page reached “2112″ because we are Rush fans over here at the PiercingMetal Command HQ, and also because our reaching a Metal “666″ happened too fast and was gone before I thought to screen capture the visual. For the longest time I was only using it sparingly and certainly not as much as my Metal Media peers were. I was instead opting to keep my head focused on as much content creation as possible more than tinkering about on these external mediums.
That being said the Official Pages were initially not something that I was 100% behind because I was not viewing it as effective for our site efforts and instead I opted to create a Group Page, which soon became a nightmare. I didn’t delete the old Fan Page but it went unmaintained for the longest time. Eventually I was able to quantify what it actually was and was able to list PiercingMetal as an entertainment website and get a better description in there. It seemed as though Facebook was learning how to make this angle worthwhile. The problem was now I had two separate things on Facebook relating to PiercingMetal.com and it was time to fix the mistake by dumping one of them. In the end I decided that the Group needed to be dismantled and this was the best choice as many reports around the web said how Groups were best for a small amount of controlled members and not something that a band, celebrity or online magazine resource was best served by. I mass emailed the Group Members and encouraged them to come over and “Like” the now very active Official Page and while a few hundred did, there were dozens upon dozens who didn’t. Oh well, you win some you lose some. I now officially love having the Fan Page and have even made sure to not only implement some cool places on the site to make you aware of our existence in the medium, but I also helped get some good Metal friends active on their own Pages like The Heavy Metal Mayhem Radio Show and the Sea Of Tranquility. Numerically the growth is slow but steady for the page and its fun to watch being used by the sites fans as time marches on. So where am I going with this you might be asking? Well, the answer is simple. Below you see a typical posting that an admin would make on the page to alert their readers about something related to the website. In this case I was announcing some pending giveaways for a venue in the Big Apple.
You might have noticed the numbers on the bottom of the post and this one stated how we reached “133 People” or “6%” and I was at first unsure of what this meant. Simply put, this meant that I only reached 133 of the Site Page Fans or 6% of them. That’s not too good when your current fan demographic has surpassed 2K fans. There was also another box visible and this said “Promote”. Essentially, Facebook said that for $5 I could reach about 1100 of our Fans as opposed to the 133 that did see this.
If I wanted to reach 2200 of them, the fee for this particular post would be $10. Wowza. This changes the game and effectiveness of Fan Pages like this considerably. We’re a DIY enterprise over here at the site and while a nominal advertising budget could be worked out for something with deep value, it certainly does not make any sense for us to pay per posting on our Official Facebook page. The downside of this initiative, which Facebook is entirely allowed to implement, is that it will really knock down the effectiveness of numerous DIY Pages. I know that I will do my best with the page just the same to keep our readers engaged and interested in our core site and blog content, but we surely cannot compete with a VH1 Classic Page when they want you to know what they are up to on a regular basis.
The writers over at the Blog World Expo, oops, “New Media Expo” have advised that their Page Fans click “All Updates” on the pages that they like so they as fans will see everything that gets posted in their stream. I guess all I can suggest is that our fans do the same thing so they don’t miss out on our happenings. This might work for the time being or until the next drastic change happens in the medium. Who is to say that Facebook will not eventually institute a pay to keep the fan page in existence mechanism for those pages whose admins have never paid a dime to push any posts out into the larger group of fans. Only time will tell. I guess another idea is to regularly check the pages that you like to see what is happening. At least once or twice a week to be sure that you are logged as an interested participant in their happenings according to Facebook. I certainly don’t mind having you drop by a couple of times a week as opposed to once or twice a month. You will miss too much of what we are sharing if you did that. Alright, that is all I have for now. I just wanted to speak to this as a fan of many pages myself as well as the admin for the official PiercingMetal page.
Since I started penning this particular post, I noticed how my Official Twitter posts were no longer going to the Fan Page in Facebook. Having made no change or adjustment I am thinking that this feed has also been shut down. I will keep monitoring it for good measure but you folks at home who might want to follow our Twitter page can just click the “Follow” icon on the side of this blog posting. We’ve made it nice and easy for you thanks to some nifty plug ins.
Thanks for listening as always.