Facebook Promoted Posts have been getting some not so welcoming reviews.
Especially from small business owners without deep pockets to spend in social media.
So, like, I have to pay to reach fans I was already reaching?
Notice, I didn't write I have to pay to reach all of my fans.
No page was ever reaching their entire fan base.
So the negative connotation surrounding the major change in the Edgerank algorithm is (a bit) misdirected.
The thing is though, across the board, more legitimate non-spammy businesses have reported major losses in reach. Up to 75% according to the varying reports.
And yes, these reports offer their stats pre this particular Egderank change and after.
So, is Facebook still worth the trouble if your already compartmentalized reach is cut by ¾?
Truth of Facebook Promoted Posts
Okay, there are three sides to this confusing story.
Facebook’s, the Facebook advocates, and the statistical truth.
What you were told happened by Facebook was that the news feed changes were in favor of user experience.
In lieu of users hiding and spamming posts, Edgerank was updated with a more intuitive selection process that does it for them.
All based on user activity of course.
So if you frequently hid or reported certain content from certain brands, now you wouldn't even see the brands posts, ergo no need to hide or spam them.
Makes sense right?
Problem with this logic is if that was the main reason for this news feed change then why separate updates from ALL the liked pages altogether?
Now, if you don’t consciously navigate to the “pages feed” in left navigation bar you won’t see updates from (almost) any of the pages you like. Whether you formally hid/spammed their posts or not.
What you were told happened via the affected brands was that Facebook is forcing brands to pay to reach the same amount of fans they were reaching BEFORE the change to news feed was made, via Facebook promoted posts.
Brands like Dangerous Minds publicly made a stink and published their drastic stats proving their point.
The problem here is that Facebook cannot force any page to promote a post.
Facebook promoted posts are a more convenient Facebook ad, essentially. So, just as you’d decide to pay to reach more Facebook users via traditional Facebook advertising, the same opportunity exists now.
The statistical truth is that on a broad perspective organic reach has declined across the board for most pages (that actually keep track).
Statistically only a fraction of all the active pages reported the dip.
So it’s fair to say that the accusation of organic reach drastically declining is only a fraction of the story.
But it is indeed a part of the story.
Getting around Facebook Promoted Posts
A lot of brands are beginning to focus heavily on Twitter and Google +.
Citing that at least their reach, whatever amount, isn’t being held hostage in an ad stunt.
Before I dive into Google + as a solution though, it’s only fair to tell how to get around Facebook Promoted Posts, within Facebook.
Your fans have work to do.
Some savvy Facebook Page owners published how-to’s on their blogs to teach their fans how to tweak news feed settings to get their page updates again.
Here’s the gist of it:
- Visit a page you already liked, hover over the “Liked” button to see the drop-down menu. Choose “Show In News Feed”.Now you can stop here but this feature is glitchy and doesn't usually give you the desired result. So you can move on to step 2.
- Hover back over the “Liked” button again and click New List. On the new screen choose the Pages link in the left-hand side. A list of the pages the user likes will show. Add the page to the new interest list.
- On the next screen name the list. And click done.
- Go back to the “home” page and under the section “Interest”s on the left hand side, choose the little pencil icon to the left of the new list name just created and choose add to favorites.
That’s it. Once your fans do this, they shouldn't miss any more of your page’s posts.
You've got to ask yourself though, are you willing to do this for all the pages you've liked?
If not, why would your fans be so inclined to take the time?
Time to change channels
The more favorable option is to focus your efforts on a different platform altogether.
No you shouldn't abandon Facebook entirely, but, if your reach declined drastically, you may need to cut your losses.
This is how I see it.
Google Plus has a heavy hand in Google’s organic search results.
Coupled with Google Authorship I've personally experienced quality page rankings for my content.
Better results than I've had with my Facebook efforts by far.
I've personally decided to change channels.
SEO, Social Search, Social Media
Facebook doesn't owe anyone anything.
Sure you already invested a ton of time and content into building your fan base. Maybe even some money purchasing social media services/consulting.
But Facebook has to balance out user experience and brand management.
Has the change hurt pages? Surveys say yes.
Has it helped clear the news feed of spammy offers? Surveys also say yes.
So as a brand, you have to decide what’s yielding the best results in reach, awareness and social SEO.
For my money, promoting my posts creates a higher than justifiable cost per acquisition rate for fans that I’ve already acquired.
I can’t justify paying twice.
Have you implemented Facebook Promoted Posts to reach more of your fan base?
How has it worked for you?
Share it in the comments!