The Facebook Free Ride is Just About Over for TV Stations

TV stations across the country have been trying to get viewers to "like" them on Facebook. Stations have resorted to giving away free iPads, gas, trips and even cars to try and get viewers to like their page on Facebook.

A couple of days ago FTVLive told you about a station in Mobile. AL that had their anchor do the news while wearing a camouflage outfit, because the station 50,000 likes on Facebook.

Well, we have some bad news for all the stations that have resorted to stupid antics to get "Likes". 

It's about to cost your station money to keep reaching those viewers.

A source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, tells Valleywag that the social network is "in the process of" slashing "organic page reach" down to 1 or 2 percent.

This would affect "all brands"—meaning that stations that spent a great deal of internet effort collecting Facebook likes, would only be able to reach a fraction of those people when it pushes out a post. 

In other words, if your station has 50,000 "Likes" and you send out a post promoting a story in your newscast, your post will only reach 1 or 2 percent of the 50,000.

If you want to reach more, your station is going to have to pay Facebook for that to happen. 

Valleywag writes that if you want an audience beyond a measly one or two percent, you'll have to pay money—perhaps a lot of money, if you're a big business.

The change was described by a source as a cataclysm for businesses, something Facebook is calling the extreme throttling a "strategy pivot" they're slowly telling brands one by one so as not to start a panic. It might be too late. Reports of "crashing" engagement numbers have been floating around for a little while, but this is the first time we've heard it drift out of Facebook proper.

So all the fans your station has attracted will be pushed behind a curtain, only to be pulled back now and then when cash is on hand.

I hope all those contests and free giveaways were worth it. 

Stay tuned.....