I know someone who has an issues-oriented Facebook page. They were plugging along with a couple of hundred followers and a few likes until they discovered how to use “memes” to be successful. For the record, “memes”, in social-media, are photographs, usually of people, with witty, often ironic captions.
Once the owner of this page started using memes, it took only a week to enjoy a 500% increase in followers and many, many more exposures via posting the meme to other relevant sites.
Commenting and overall involvement in the page skyrocketed.
It sounds like a small success story on Facebook. Facebook wants this.
Or do they?
Remember, Facebook made zero dollars on what I have described above.
It seemed at first a mystery that the ability for this page to post to other sites was suspended by Facebook for two weeks because others had reported it as “spam”. I know there was nothing mechanized nor unthinking about where the posts were put, so I know it did not fit the actual parameters of spam. I began to wonder how Facebook parses its data to figure out what is “spam” if such carefully orchestrated posting could seem that way. It is possible that some folks reported it to FB as spam but based on the content involved, I kind of doubt this.
Then came the offers from Facebook to the same suspended page-owner. “Do you want to buy ads?” was more or less their offer. In many ways, on different days, they repeated the same message: spend money with Facebook, dear “spammer”.
Does Facebook review its user base for very successful users who don’t spend money with them?
Do they then threaten them with being “spammers” until they start spending money with Facebook?
There’s no proof of course. And it’s very possible that the “watchdog” part of FB does not know what the “sales” part of FB is doing–quite conveniently!
But with mounting pressure on Facebook to make money, such abuses of their power over subscribers would hardly surprise me, should it turn out to be the case.