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The Trouble with Facebook

The fan page for Sweet Lucidity has almost reached 6000 fans. However, I have noticed a disturbing, and rather confusing, trend with how many of the nearly 6000 fans see what is posted to the page. Before I begin, let me be clear – I appreciate every fan of the series no matter where you are in the world, no matter what language you speak. I appreciate you whether you have read the series, or are waiting to for whatever reason (finishing another one, waiting to buy it in stories, waiting for it to be translated, etc.).

Facebook is very selective of the reach each post made to the page receives. Posts that include links will show up on an average of 50 out of 6000 Sweet Lucidity fan’s news feeds. If those posts include a photo, an average of 75 out of 6000 fans will see it on their news feed. A regular text post will show up on an average of 100 out of 6000 fan’s news feed. This very post will likely only be seen by 100 of you. Facebook only gives one option for all of you to see what is posted on this page, and that is for me to pay up. They give several options, the least expensive is $5 for a post to reach an average of 2000 of you. So, I tried it on the last post – a test to see what $5 would get me, and how many of you I could reach. What is confusing, it shows that 23K saw my last post. Though it received no likes or comments. However, on the statistics part of the page, I noticed the most popular city changed to a small city near the Rio Grande in Mexico. I don’t know if I should be surprised. Sweet Lucidity has many fans in Mexico, I know this because I have communicated with many from there (some with the almighty help of a translator). Many super fans of Sweet Lucidity have family in Mexico, and have shared the book with family there. I have received countless requests to have the series translated in Spanish (which I will do as soon as I find a way).

I looked at the breakdown of where all of you come from using the statistics Facebook provides page owners. Out of the 6000 fans of this page: 5102 are in the United States, 601 in Mexico, 440 in Canada, 334 in the U.K., 192 in Egypt, and the rest of you are scattered all over this great world. I have communicated with so many of you from all over. So, there is not a single country that seems out of place to me.

Now back to the post that was seen by 23K. 6% were from the US, and 94% were from Mexico. Of course, Jamaica Inn is not well known- if at all- in Mexico. I’m naive when it comes to advertising on Facebook, so I didn’t realize it was automatically set to reach fans in the U.S. OR Mexico. For all I know, when I post a link to where you can purchase a copy of Sweet Lucidity on Amazon, the 75 of 6000 fans that will see the post in their news feed might not even be able to order from Amazon. The only way to know for sure is to pay at least $5 to be able to access more detailed demographics. Likely another reason why fans in Mexico desperately want the series translated into their native language. Another issue after speaking with an author who is having trouble with her page, she suggested the the 75 who saw the post just might not even be fans of the page to begin with.

For the pages I have liked, I will go to the page to discover I have missed dozens of posts. The same is happening with this page. You will not see every post made to this page. You will miss out on special announcements, contests, giveaways, exclusive posts, and special fan only discounts on the series. The only way to make sure you are current on what’s happening with the series is to check the page, and check it often. I wish I could make it easier, but unfortunately I cannot.

  1. April 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Melissa, I just shared this to my page so my author friends would know what’s happening. I for one rarely get or see a post from the “Sweet Lucidity” page, and that just ticks me off so bad. You post the most Beautiful pictures and we your fans don’t get to see anything. One of my author friends was telling me a few days ago that when she asks for help or leaves a status, NO ONE REPLIES!!! So naturally she is sad. I am so happy you took the time to check this out Melissa, at least now I know you didn’t write “In Silent Requiem” and then run away. LOL Thanks for the Insight!

    • April 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      It’s frustrating, so very frustrating. The more fans that find and like Sweet Lucidity e-mail me to say they never see the posts, and ask how to fix it. When those e-mails started becoming more frequent, I looked into it and found that it’s not anything but Facebook limiting who sees each post to encourage page owners to pay outrageous advertising for posts to reach everyone. After I gave in and tried it on the post I mentioned, it was distributed mostly to users in Mexico instead of the U.S.. After noticing this, I tried it again for another $5 on another post, only this time I removed Mexico, but Facebook still only distributed the post to users in Mexico (97% to be exact). I’m going to write another blog entry to reveal my experience with Sweet Lucidity on Facebook to help other authors and fans.

      • April 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

        Hi Melissa, I just read your other post on “The Trouble with Facebook” and you are so right. I shared it to my page, and I had a lot of response from my Author Friends. So we were chatting back and forth and they were thanking me for putting up your post on my wall. Within 1hr of me putting up your post, Facebook locked me out completely. When I was finally able to get back on today, I had to answer 10 questions and one of them being “Do you know the Author of Sweet Lucidity”? OMG I was shocked to say the least, because now I know they are not only watching the Authors, they are watching us the fans. To say the least I am so pissed right now with Facebook, and just so you know every Author who commented has got the same problem you do. They did not know the reason for it but because of your post, they do now. Your biggest Fan-Margie.

      • April 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Unless Facebook makes the move to close the page, I’m still going to post updates to it for the sole purpose as a single source of information for fans on Facebook. Hopefully, Facebook will change their practice in how far a post reaches. Everyone who likes a page has the right to have current posts from that page show on their news feeds. Every single day I will have a fan(s) e-mail me to let me know they had no idea the series was available in paperback, wanting to know when the 3rd book will be released, even some who had no idea the series was even available! Knowing that behind every like is a real person who appreciates the series for whatever reason is what keeps me dedicated to maintaining the page. This issue is not talked about, and as far as my research took me – not even understood correctly, so please pass it on to other authors so they don’t lose hope, and to readers so that they know to check pages often.

        As for being locked out, hopefully Facebook doesn’t see me so much a threat that they would start harassing my readers. Let me know if you continue to have any issues.

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