Facebook's Pay to Promote... Calm Down!!!

"Facebook is now starting to charge money to share my posts with my own fans! Go to my page and click "show in newsfeed" if you want to continue seeing my posts!!" - Every business/blogger on Facebook right now.

For the past couple of days, my Facebook feed has been inundated with posts from businesses and bloggers about Facebook's new "pay to promote" feature that has shown up on Facebook Pages. It's been driving me mad, so I'm here to tell you all to please, calm down!

First of all, Facebook is not trying to be sneaky and greedy by making you pay to reach a fanbase that you spent forever building up. They are not limiting your posts, or ruining your business/blog by any means.

To understand what this new Pay to Promote feature is, you need to understand how Facebook works, and realize that nothing has changed in regards to how your posts are displayed on your fans' newsfeeds.

The average "reach" of any given post by a Page is only 12%. That means that on average, only 12% of your fans actually see your Facebook post. It has always been this way. Facebook has had Page insights in place now for quite some time, which allows you to see how many people actually saw your posts. Now, they've simply brought it out into the open a little more, which seems to be causing a panic. This isn't new.

Why do people only see some of my posts, or not at all?
That depends on a bunch of factors. If you post something at 8am, and I login to Facebook at 9pm, chances are pretty great that I will not see your post. The newsfeed fills up throughout the entire day, and without scrolling through every single post since 8am, your update simply will not be seen. You also have to take into consideration that users may have "hidden" your posts from their newsfeed purposely.  There is absolutely no way that every single one of your fans will see your status update.

Another reason users may not see every post from Pages they like is due to Facebook's algorithm. Facebook, just like Google, uses their own algorithm which tells your newsfeed what to display and what not to display. Again, it has always been like this. They are an extremely high traffic site that needs to limit server usage somehow. If you "like", for example, 100 Pages, you most likely will not see updates from every single one of them. Interacting with Pages you are a fan of increases the likelihood that your will see that Page's posts. Facebook sees that you are interested in that content, so they push it out to you. Why would they want your newsfeed to be cluttered with updates from pages that you are seemingly not interested in?  Last time, this is not new.  It's also been the case for normal friend profiles (ever wonder why you always see the same friend's posts and not others?).  If you want to increase visibility of a Page you like in your newsfeed, stop lurking and start interacting! "Like" some of their posts, leave comments. Easy! 

What is this "Pay to Promote" feature then?
This new feature is simply an option that Facebook has given you. You can pay to have your post seen by even more of your fans. What this means, is that instead of risking your post being lost in your fan's newsfeeds like it normally would be (for reasons discussed above), you can choose to pay a fee to have it visible in their newsfeeds labeled "sponsored post" for 3 days. Basically, Facebook is increasing the visibility for you and making it more visible to friends of those fans who "like" the post or interact with it too. You can watch Facebook's video about this here. This is highly useful if you have something important you want to promote. Once again, it's totally optional. Frankly, I think it's a pretty good idea for businesses should they have something important to share. Should you choose not to utilize this feature, absolutely nothing will change.

Facebook is not making you pay to have your posts show up in the newsfeed as usual. Your posts will still continue to be seen by whoever sees them regularly, and they are not limiting the exposure just to force you to pay for something. So, CALM DOWN, (please)!

Why are they trying to make money from us now? 
Facebook is a business just like any other. They have stockholders, who buy stocks expecting a return for their money spent. Being that Facebook doesn't offer a unique product and hardly offers a paid service, they need to make money somewhere. Every time they introduce a new feature that you have to pay for, people get in an uproar. It's a little bit nuts, to tell you the truth! The thing is, they have always made it optional for you to pay anything. So stick with the free services if you like, but if you feel the desire to support a site that helps get your brand out there, and take advantage of their extra promotional features, then go ahead and try them out. Nobody is forcing you into paying for anything.

Hopefully this cleared up some confusion about this new feature. Now can we please stop encouraging negative status updates and spreading false information around the web?

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  1. I wasn't too worried, but I was wondering what it was all about. Thank you for this post, and all of the information that you have provided :)

  2. This is good info. I thought that it was something along these lines, but wasn't sure, and the clarification definitely helped a sista out!

  3. Thank you, thank you for laying it all out! It's so annoying when people assume the worst & start posting before they have the facts.

  4. Thanks for clearing that up...I saw a few posts all hysterical like about that yesterday, and I wondered what in the world was going on!

  5. Thanks for this. I saw all those posts yesterday and was a little annoyed too :).

  6. Well that clears up the hysteria in my newsfeed yesterday!! Thanks for clarifying. :)

  7. Well that all makes complete sense now! Thanks for clearing it up! I wasn't in panic mode, just could not figure out what was going on. You're the best Dana !

  8. Thank you so much for this! Everything makes sense now. :) Sharing!


  9. I do not even have FB but it seems like people stopped selling on blogs and shops and opened a FB page for all their goods. I never really thought that was the best way.

  10. Thank goodness you explained this!!! This is perfect Dana <3 I've been wanting to blog all this, but haven't had time. Share on my page as well :)

  11. So funny, I didnt even notice that you could promote your facebook post. Thanks for keeping us informed!!


  12. Thank you! I was ready to unlike every blog/business that was freaking out about this! Ha, not really, but the hysterics over nothing was getting annoying. Glad you cleared it up!

    1. Me too! I even started commenting to bloggers to please stop whining hysterically to their readers!

  13. I totally agree. I understand why small business owners are afraid to lose the readership they worked so hard to build up, but I wish people would think and/or do research before writing dramatic, hysterical posts. It has always been ironic to me that people are constantly posting about the next "evil" move facebook has taken... on facebook.

    Like you said, facebook has never forced anyone to pay for anything. Alienating business owners would be a very dumb and completely illogical move on their part. Thanks for posting this - hopefully people read this and chill out!

  14. I agree...these are great points. Thanks for shining some light for those who were freaking out unnecessarily!

  15. Nice perspective. Very well said. :)


  16. My sentiments exactly. I find it quite rude to blow up over changes made by a free service anyway.

    Thank you for a objective and well put blog post.

  17. That actually does sound like a pretty good idea.

  18. Thanks for the information. This is the first time I have heard of this.

  19. i love you and your blog 1000million percent more now! thanks for this information.
    i rarely have time for the "techy" and social media stuff regarding my blog and crafts (sad, i know) but i DO read your blog nearly daily, so thanks for the insight.

  20. Thanks for clearing that up! I almost re-posted it but I figured it wasn't as dramatic as people were making it seem.

  21. Doesn't even sound that bad after all, thanks for clearing it up! :)

  22. Thank you for writing this! I was getting sick of everyone freaking out about it! People forget to do the research before they repost things like this on Facebook. It's almost funny at times.

  23. Thank you thank you thank you!!! This has been driving me nuts!! People are completely freaking out.

  24. Facebook has been making too much money without this one. One of the example can be found in a NYtimes article below.


  25. lol... i love the way you set it straight. i saw a bunch of my blogger friends posting about this and it just didn't make any logical sense to me. every time there is a change in facebook people go freaking wild... i'll never understand.

  26. this is so helpful!! i totally have felt the same way all week haha! people need to calm down :) thanks for the facts! xo

  27. Thanks for the great explanation..I'm new to Facebook and was confused about this whole issue.

  28. Thank you for you explanation, it was really informative. I don't know if you'll even see this comment so long after your post, but I have a question for you. I've been struggling with the Facebook sponsoring (with not a dram of hysteria!) and while your post put a finer shine on percentages, potential missed & gained, etc., I still am not able to get any stats on posts I've promoted. When I hover over one I've sponsored (about 24 hours after posting) I see a pop up with my name, but I don't see where I'm to get access to the data & what I've paid for!
    Can you help me with this please?

    Take care,
    Et Alia Design


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