Facebook can be a great tool for businesses of any size to build community and reach their customers and clients. What many people don’t realize is that it’s constantly changing. Yes, every so often the site undergoes a major face-lift which is usually ill-received at first, yet the outcry is just as loud once the next update hits. But more often than these major overhauls, little things are changing all of the time.
Since Facebook went public, their main goal has been to further monetize the site beyond the sidebar advertisements. Right now you can even give gifts to your friends on their birthdays, from your profile to their door. The update that has caused the biggest stir, however, is the “Promote” feature.
There are lots of people on Facebook, with lots of information vying for their attention. Under the old system, it was up to you, the content creator, to make a post worthy of their attention. That’s still the ultimate goal, but recently Facebook has decided to throw their hat in the ring and help decide who gets to see what.
Instead of featuring everything in the newsfeed, some stories get hidden, or skipped. In order for you to get that information in front of your following, you have to ‘promote’ your post or put in clearer terms… you have to pay.
That’s right, despite all of your hard work to grow your Facebook network with digital blood, sweat and tears, you now have to pay to get your message to them. Somewhat more ridiculous is the fact that even personal accounts are subject to these new terms. As a normal user, my usage of Facebook in no way brings me money (like a business might build contacts) but they still try to make me pay money in order to “promote” my posts.
According to most reports, the visibility of each post ranges from 6–12% depending on the size of the audience. The secret is EdgeRank, and algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what is seen and what isn’t. Unless someone is constantly clicking, sharing, commenting, and liking your posts, the frequency with which they appear in their newsfeed slowly diminishes, eventually to zero.
It’s not ideal, but there is a workaround. The reason it’s not ideal is because it’s nothing you can do yourself – it relies on some action by your fans. You can put the word out with a post on Facebook which, ironically, won’t be seen by all of your fans anyways.
If you navigate to a page that you’ve previously liked, click on the settings ‘gear’ under the cover photo on the right side of the page and select the first option, “Add to Interest Lists…” If you don’t already have a list created you can create one, and add as many or as few pages to it as you wish. If you name your new list “My Favorite Pages” you’ll see that title in the left sidebar of your newsfeed page under the INTERESTS section.
There’s no silver bullet – for now there’s no way to make sure that each of your posts are seen. While creating an interest list still requires fans to click to see all of your posts, the customization allows them to add multiple pages they like, meaning they can create a feed that they actually want to follow without having to click to each page.
No matter who sees (or doesn’t see) your posts, the best thing you can do is still to create awesome posts that encourage sharing and interaction. The more that happens, the less visibility will really matter!
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