When it comes to basketball, Old Taskmaster isn’t a fan of the Dallas Mavericks. However, after reading this article, I’ve certainly become a fan of a maverick from Dallas.
As most entrepreneurs will know by now, when you put a message or a photo on your company’s Facebook page, it doesn’t automatically appear on the news feeds of everyone who “likes” your Facebook page. Instead, you have to pay Facebook for the “privilege” of sending updates to your customers through a program called “promoted posts”.
This is in stark contrast to other services, such as Twitter, where all the customers following your account automatically receive all of your tweets.
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was incensed when the social media giant sent him a “special offer”: For $US3,000, the social media giant would allow a single update to go through to a million Mavericks fans who had already voluntarily “liked” the team.
If you support the Mavericks, being able to receive instant free updates about the team and then discussing those updates with friends could be a reason to pay Facebook a visit, with ads shown in the process. In effect, the social media giant is charging content producers to share the very content that makes their service attractive. It’s absurd.
Well, Cuban was fed up. He wasn’t going to take it anymore. The issue wasn’t the money – when you own a major league American sports team, it usually isn’t. The issue was the principle, and on principle Facebook had well and truly fouled against the Mavericks through their charging.
So Cuban took a screen capture of Facebook’s offer, posted it on rival social media site Twitter, with a caption announcing he was “considering moving to Tumblr or to [the] new MySpace as [the Maverick’s] new primary site”.
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Sure enough, he kept his word. While the Mavericks still maintain an official Facebook presence, the primary social media services for the team are now Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
In a free market, we all have a choice about how we communicate with our customers, which social media services we put effort into and which of those services we promote. This is an especially important decision for start-ups with limited resources.
If Facebook wants to charge you to send the messages to your customers and competitors like Twitter don’t; don’t just passively put up with it! It’s time to look at switching your resources away from Facebook to one of its competitors.
Get it done – today!