Ditch Facebook and go direct: www.scone.com.au

Filed in Feature, Just In by February 18, 2021

TODAY we woke to find Facebook had banned many Australian news sites, even scone.com.au, as they continue to fight with our government.

They have even banned pages such as Rural Fire Services and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Honestly, we’re not surprised!

Facebook and Google are multinational billion dollar organisations, of course their only agenda is profit.

If you want to read local news it’s time to cut out the fat profit-hungry overseas-owned middle-men of Facebook and Google and go direct to local news sources: www.scone.com.au.

If you rely on Facebook to tell you what is local news now, you will be fed a steady stream of advertisements as they try and starve Australian homegrown media to death.

Here’s what you need to know as local readers and business owners:

Facebook has changed your feed:

For a while now our readers have noticed our stories are not coming up in their Facebook news feeds, that’s because Facebook changed their algorithm and are blocking our posts from coming up in the news feeds of our followers.

They are now forcing people to advertise if they want their posts to be seen by their followers, basically the feed has changed from a “news feed” to an “advertising feed”.

The stories you are getting now on Facebook are increasingly advertisements, not posts from the pages you have liked.

And it’s not just news businesses Facebook has been doing this to, it’s every business.

Just because you have 500 followers on your Facebook page, doesn’t mean when you publish a post to your page that those 500 people will see your post. Increasingly Facebook are restricting your post reach, so you have to take out an advertisement with them to reach your customers.

Be warned about the fine print…

If you do decide to take out an advertisement with Facebook and Google, be sure to read the fine print!

Recently we tested out their advertising in the local area and here is what we found:

Facebook: We took out an advertisement exclusively for the Singleton area. The target we gave campaign was 3,000 local people. The fine print states that if there aren’t enough Facebook users in the area, they will send the ad out of area. But there are definitely more than 3,000 people on Facebook in Singleton, so felt assured it would reach our intended audience. Wrong. The most engagement we received was from men of Indian decent living in Melbourne! While Facebook can give you lots of metrics…they don’t give you the metrics for where they sent your ad…and no wonder! You also need to be careful of your advertising budget as they have increased costs without people realising. 

Google: We also took out an advertisement with Google to boost our new website in Singleton. We set the circle around Singleton, stretching up to the edge of Muswellbrook and the edge of Newcastle and guess how many people Google said our advertisement had the potential to reach in that area….more than 900,000 people! Sure it could!

Bottom line:

There was a time when Facebook didn’t exist, when Google didn’t exist, there was also a time when the Commodore 64 was state of the art, but things keep evolving and new social media platforms like tik-tok are constantly emerging.

What has been a constant is local people wanting locally produced news of their town; that has outlasted the town-crier, newspapers and it will outlast a social media platform.

If you want local news ditch Facebook and go direct to an Australian news site.

And if you run a business, think carefully if you want to rely on an overseas company to reach your clients. 



Elizabeth Flaherty

Editor, scone.com.au





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