"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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