Christopher Murray of Tampa, FL metal band Illuminate Me has launched a petition for Facebook to stop charging bands to reach their fans. Murray alleges that he has paid upwards of $3,000 to Facebook to be able to get the amount of likes for his band up to nearly 25k. He then adds that he has to pay Facebook about $150 anytime he wants to ensure all of his fans read the post, adding…
Facebook has raised its rates on bands and small business's promoting themselves through their website several times over the last few years, asking to pay even more money to simply reach the audience the band or small business has already acquired. It's getting to a point where it's blatant greed and is unjustifiable. Bands like us for example, (especially the unsigned ones) pay Facebook a hefty amount of money for an ad, just to get potential new fans to visit our page. On top of that now, we must pay a LARGE fee to talk to the fans already subscribed to our page. So we're paying double on a service that we heavily rely on. It's an exploitation of what bands need the most: communication with their fan base. [..]
I urge every single musician or small business owner to share this petition around and sign it. If you have a photo of the ridiculous fee that Facebook is making you pay to "boost a post" then please post it as well. I have used social media to promote my bands in the past before, I've never had to pay anything let alone this much money just to talk to the people that love our music. Enough is enough, let's fight back.
We want Facebook to remove having to pay to reach fans and followers. We are not money making machines, we are people
As of this writing, over 35,000 people have signed the petition and the goal is to reach 50,000. What happens when 50k is reached? Most likely nothing.
The problem with this whole petition is the massive sense of entitlement here. Nobody forced Chris to spend upwards of $3k to get new fans on Facebook and nobody is forcing Chris to pay an extra $150 every time he wants to blast his fans with news of a tour or whatever. You don't just have to be on Facebook. Cultivate an audience on Twitter or Instagram, or even better on Tumblr. Nobody is cut out there. Start a mailing list, ensuring your message hits your fans directly in their inbox. And hey, bands existed before Facebook right? You'll say "yes, there was Myspace." I'm talking even before then when bands had to go to shows and hand out flyers. People made it then!
The problem is, as Facebook points out themselves, that the site is so huge now there is too much activity in the news feed for Facebook to be able to show everything to a reader. So Facebook decides on what the most pertinent information is and displays it. Sure, a lot of websites and media entities get the shaft here. Our site's Facebook page has certainly seen a decline in reach, but we are still doing just fine. Because, we don't solely rely on Facebook to generate traffic for us.
Also, perhaps the issue is that the posts you are trying to send to your readers are just spammy ads anyway. Facebook recently changed its algorithm to cut down on posts that seem like a blatant ad anyway. Perhaps the issue is you should get a bit more creative with how you announce your tour dates. Rather than just some text and a link, create a fun video to ensure your fans see it. Make sure they can understand what's happening in the video without having their audio on, as that is how a good amount of Facebook viewers watch video.
Basically, with a little research and creativity, there are plenty of ways to get more reach out of Facebook. Starting a petition is likely not one of them.