Since Facebook went public, they have been under fire about the inability to sell enough ads to keep up with the increasing amount of users. Then there’s the issue of them trying to figure out how to monetize their mobile versions and apps. Top that off with large advertisers such as GM pulling multi-million dollar advertising budgets from Facebook and all of a sudden someone gets the Fonz on the phone and calls in a shark. Oh, no, wait…before that happens Facebook is trying something else…holding Facebook fans hostage!
Okay, so hostage may be an exaggeration…or is it?
Here’s what’s going down. When people setup “pages” on facebook for their business, band, knitting club, etc they accumulate what Facebook use to call “fans”. Now the term is “Like”. In the good ole days of facebook, a page admin could post something on their wall and, voila, all of their fans would see the post in their news feed. Brilliant, right? More like common sense in the yeahisntthatthewayitshouldwork sort of way. Somewhere along the way Facebook decided they knew what their users wanted more than…well…their users. They decided that posts from pages shouldn’t appear on the feeds of all of the pages’ fans. Say wha? They’re reasoning then was basically that they were trying to clean up feeds and keep pages from “spamming” feeds. Okay, so that appeased page owners to some degree as people tried to figure out “well, how do I get my posts to show up for more people”. Ah…well now Facebook has an answer!
Facebook is now showing page admins the number and percentage of people reached for each post that is made on a page’s wall. Okay, so that’s nifty…but right beside it is a “Promote” dropdown which becomes available for pages that have between 400-100,000 likes. If your page has that many likes, simply use facebook as your page and visit your page’s wall. Now, let’s see what that Promote button does……
Did you read that carefully? “Get more people who like your page to see this post”
RIGHT, so Facebook is basically saying “you built a page, got a bunch of likes, but you’re going to have to pay us if you want your fans who have personally LIKED you to see your posts”. Keep in mind this is not to display “ads” to people who do not already like your page. This is just so that your posts on your page’s wall appear for the people who already like you. They have various increments in pricing…the more you pay, the more of YOUR FANS will see your post.
Here’s some info straight from facebook:
Where do my promoted posts show on Facebook? What do they look like?
All promoted posts will show in the news feeds of the people who like your Page and, when they interact with the post, to their friends. These posts will be labeled as “Sponsored” in the news feed. Promoted posts will not be shown in the right-hand column of Facebook.
If I don’t promote my post, will the people who like my Page still see it?
Nothing has changed about how your posts are shared with the people who like your Page.
A lot of activity happens on Facebook and most people only see some of it in their news feeds. They may miss things when they’re not on Facebook, or they may have a lot of friends and Pages, which results in too much activity to show all of it in their news feed.
If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.
So, basically does this come down to Facebook holding fans hostage by saying, “You can’t talk to them unless you pay us”?
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is fair? Is there such a thing as “fair” on facebook? Does this make you reconsider your facebook page strategy?