Social Business
Nov 15, 2012

Is Facebook Really Out To Get Mark Cuban?

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Mark Cuban is livid with Facebook, but does he have a point?

Mark Cuban says that Facebook is scamming him, but is Facebook really scamming him?

It is often said that there are three sides to a story: the accuser’s side, the defendant’s side, and the truth. Mark Cuban, the accuser, says that Facebook is deliberately burying brand posts in news feeds in order to milk extra money out of them with the new “promotions” option. Facebook, the defendant, cites a third-party study that shows brands with over 1,000,000 fans usually only engage with roughly one-third of their base anyway (you’ll recall a stat suggesting that millions of likes are actually fake, or bots).

The truth: For that, we turn to Mashable for some help.

They did a good round-up of third-party studies that corroborate Facebook’s claim that a brand status update only reaches about 16% of their fan base.

Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban, celebrity and actor George Takei, and many others still believe that Facebook is playing an active role in suppressing brand and celebrity engagement. While Takei found that the introduction of “promotion” was eerily timed, Cuban has vowed to move the Mavericks and 70 other companies off of Facebook in favor of Tumblr and the new MySpace.

The truth? Big pages on Facebook have a smaller reach (in relative terms) than your average user. Though Cuban’s cries of conspiracy will carry on and Facebook will continue to suggest that nothing has changed, the social media giant is at least trying to extend the olive branch to their brands with the recent “pages feed” option.

We admit there is indeed some suspicious timing at work here, but the stats are on Facebook’s side for now. Guys like Cuban and Takei may have a point, but we’re ruling out conspiracy and intentional brand suppression on the part of Facebook. They key is the recent “pages feed.” That seems to be Facebook saying “Here’s a new way to engage that might help,” though whether the new option is successful remains to be seen.

Furthermore, as my colleague Mike Stenger pointed out, if Mark Cuban is able to reach even a fraction of the audience the Mavs have built on Facebook (for free) then it’s worth sticking to the social media giant, even if you have to pay to promote a post once in a while.

Here are some charts from PageLever. Otherwise you can head to Mashable for a deeper analysis of the subject. Do you think that Facebook is out to get brands and milk them for all they’re worth?