7 Ways To Work Around The Fact That Facebook Sucks Now


If you have a Facebook page for your blog or business you probably discovered a completely infuriating change in early December.  Instead of showing your updates to all (or most) of the people who have actively chosen to follow you, Mr. Zuckerberg and Co. now show your updates to about 10% of your followers.  And if you’d like everyone to see your stuff? Well, you’ll just have to pay up.  I did the math and I’d have to pay about $2,000 a month if I wanted my 3,700+ followers to see my posts!


So I’ve spent the last month experimenting with different ways to reach my readers since Facebook is now pretty much out of the question.   Here are seven things that I’ve tried - with some success.


1. Really commit to Twitter - and use the photo option
Twitter is much more egalitarian that Facebook and (fingers crossed) has not yet pulled any shifty algorithm changes, ala Facebook. You can connect directly with people,  friending the editor of that publication you like, rather than just liking the publication’s Facebook page.

Also!  Twitter has a relatively new option that allows you to add photos directly to your Twitter stream rather than linking to photos hosted elsewhere.  It makes a huuuuge difference in your traffic, especially if the thing you’re promoting is visually appealing.  If you want to be a level 10 tryhard, you can design images specifically for Twitter.   Here’s a super helpful post about how to optimize your images for Twitter Streams.  (P.S. Are we friends on Twitter?  We should be.)

2. Promote business-y stuff on LinkedIn
I know, I know.  You’re all “Uggggghhhhh. Who even uses LinkedIn?”  There are people there!  I swear!  A friend of mine got headhunted for a super cool editor job off of LinkedIn, so someone, somewhere is using it and reading it.  If you write about/consult about/work with business-y stuff, post your blog posts on your LinkedIn updates.  Can’t hurt, might help!

3. Share select stuff on your personal Facebook page
I usually limit my personal Facebook page to posting vacation photos and inviting people to stuff, but very occasionally, when I write something that I think other people might find useful, I’ll post it on the Yes and Yes Facebook page, and then ‘share’ it as Sarah Von Bargen.  Shares feed into the Facebook algorithm and show Facebook that your post is ‘worthwhile’ and then it’s more likely to be seen by others.

Use this method carefully.  Your ‘real’ Facebook friends will pretty quickly get annoyed if you’re constantly promoting your business when they’re just trying to chat with your about who’s bringing what to that baby shower.

4. Create an amazing newsletter opt in
You already know that you need an email newsletter, right?   It allows you to reach right into people’s inboxes and connect there, without the hubbub and distraction of the internet. Newsletters help you keep in touch with prospective clients, share important updates about your business, and build trust with your readers and followers.  AND Mark Zuckerberg can’t mess with your subscriber list!

One of the best ways to get newsletter subscribers is to create an irresistible opt-in - a free ebook that they get for signing up, a set of private videos, or access to tools and platforms that will help them.  When you sign up for my small business newsletter, you get my ebook 7 Tricks For A Polished + Impressive + Productive Online Life.  People who sign up for Yes and Yes’s newsletter get three (3!) ebooks: How To Charm Anyone. All The Time. Ever, Be Your Own Style Icon, and 29 Ways To Enjoy Winter.


5. Tell your Facebook people what’s going on
Use that ‘boost post’ option to tell everyone who follows you on Facebook about what’s going on. Let them know other ways they call follow/befriend you (newsletter, RSS feed, other social media platforms) and give them instructions on how to subscribe to your Facebook posts, if they really want to see your updates.  They can do that by hovering over the ‘liked’ button and choosing ‘get notifications’ from the drop down menu.

6. Dive into to a different social media platform
My personal policy for social media (and what I tell my clients) is “choose two, do them well.”  It’s better (and less overwhelming) to do two things well, rather than five things poorly.  If you’re not using them already, you could try out Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo or Vine.  I’m still sussing things out, but I might dip my toe back into Pinterest.  Or Youtube.

7. Occasionally suck it up and pay to promote
If you’ve spent years developing a following on Facebook, it’s a pity to let all that hard work go to waste and there will definitely be times (like launches) when you want to access everyone you can.  In those moments, just spent $20 so all of your followers (and maybe a few other people) will see your posts.  Track your incoming traffic to see if it was worth it and then lather, rinse, and repeat.

Have the Facebook changes affected you?  How are you working around them?

P.S. Want more super helpful advice like this?  Check out my Clever Sessions!  People love ’em - one client said “Honestly, I learned as much, if not more, in Sarah’s 90 minute Clever Session than I did in a two day blogging workshop that I paid $700 for. ”

photo (without text on top) by Ricky Lai




This is the most helpful post I’ve come across so far about Facebook’s changes. You have some awesome suggestions that I’m going to implement right now :)


This is helpful. I feel like I gave up on my Facebook page when this happened because I’m still in the beginning stages of growing my business, but this at least gives me a direction to start in. Thanks for your ever useful tips!


While my use of LinkedIn pretty much revolves around my day job and coworkers right now, I do find some interesting articles and get a tiny bit go engagement there. I’ve also just started using Google+ more than I have before, am discovering thriving communities, and good engagement there.


I’ve had a few conversations about the FB/Twitter efficiency recently. My husband has quite a bit to do with the SM for local govt, and apparently there is still a lot of interaction going on there, but for small business it seems close to dead.
My website stats generally show me a pretty instant effect for links from twitter, and much slower (although a longer tail) from Facebook.
A couple of months before the changes, FB tried to hook us (at my other business) into a scheme where they’d teach us to work FB to it’s best potential… we just had to commit for 30 days of advertising that would cost us most of our annual advertising budget! Given that our previous experience of paid advertising (that we did target with their tools) netted us fewer likes per day than we were getting before we tried it, I decided it probably wasn’t worth the money at this point. We may revisit it in future, but at the moment it just seems like they’re trying to make it as hard as possible, instead of making gradual changes that would show us the value in spending a *reasonable* amount on paid advertising.


Thank you for this post. It is truly helpful. I have noticed the ‘reach’ on FB has went down dramatically in the past two months. All that hard work. I guess that is what happens when you give a kid a few billion dollars, tries to get another few. Anyway, I will definitely subscribe to your mail and Twitter and such. I am glad you are out there to pave the way for us newbies. Cheers.


I rarely use Facebook anyway, but there are certain people in my life who don’t have Instagram or Twitter (like my parents) so I’ve been trying to update there. I don’t have a personal profile either, just a page. I didn’t even know about these changes, actually, and I’m really glad I stumbled upon this post!

Alison Chino

This is super helpful. And freeing. I have been giving FB too much energy with so little return for the better part of a year, and I feel like this just might be the permission I need to take my energy elsewhere. :)


Absolutely! I’m so inspired by your gorgeous Instagram feed I think I’m going to dip my toe in there!


This is super-helpful! I am kinda bummed out about Facebook being like that, but now with the image option in Twitter and all - maybe there’s hope after all. 😉

Ashlee Chu

Great tips, Sarah! I was definitely disappointed to see a drop in my Facebook reach simply because Facebook wants an increase in advertising sales.


Hi Sarah,
I’m so adverse to Twitter..not ever really tried to utilize it in my personal life.. and because i’m not as young as the 20somethings who are big into startups, etc, I just automatically started with FB and halfheartedly w Pinterest. My website, TheDatingGurus.com is def growing, through organic searches for online dating site reviews and general dating topics, but I know we could be doing wayyyy better. Do you you think Twitter is the only way I can truly accomplish this?
Sharon from http://www.thedatinggurus.com


Hi Sharon!
That’s a good question. You don’t HAVE to use any form of social media you don’t want to, but I’d encourage you to give Twitter a real try for a month or two and then decide. It’s actually pretty similar to a Facebook status update!


nice article.
my response would be to say that i have tried each and every avenue you have discussed, and still facebook, even with it’s faults, has sill come out ahead. dont get me wrong, i am as frustrated as the next person, but i think that working around the problem is the solution, not abandoning ship. i will say, i have all my fb post also tweet for me…killing 2 birds with one stone, and i do instagram , but nothing else gets the response (for me) like facebook. (although i do with all my likers got to see what i post, …. i think perhaps about 6% of them is about my nearest guess are seeing them. !

Karrie Smith

FB has been that way for over a year with Pages-blogs/businesses. If you want people to get every post you write, encourage them to visit your page, hover over the Like button, and check the Notification option. I have that checked for a lot of things I don’t want to miss, because I’m not on FB a lot anymore. But when I sign on, I spend 2 minutes scrolling through my notifications, and out of 100, there is at least 10 messages that I did not want to miss. I love to sew. I follow almost 1000 quilters and seamstresses on Instagram. I HATE twitter. None of my real friends use it, so I am never on it.. I’m on IG all the time, because at least there is something to look at. Same with Linkedin. I don’t follow people I don’t know in real life, because if they had a damaged reputation, I don’t want to be “linked” to it. A lot of quilters find that snapping a couple pics of what they are doing is a lot easier than coming up with a blog post 5x/week. My blog reading has really decreased since Google Reader has died. I follow over 10K blogs, but the ones that I don’t want to miss are emailed to me. So I spend most of my time going through 400 emails a day. There isn’t really a great system for maximizing blog traffic right now. But these are my opinions, and I can see how people might not agree.

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