Facebook has rolled out a lot of changes over the past few months, in part because Facebook is always changing in order to stay competitive and provide the user with what Facebook thinks will be a more beneficial environment for the user. The other part is Facebook’s tragic IPO opening and plunge thereafter. A large reason for the plunge of stock prices is Facebook’s lack of revenue, or ability to propose a stable plan for generating revenue in the future. So a lot of the new changes Facebook has made are changes meant to address this issue.
To me the most annoying change Facebook has made recently is the promote post section that has been added to business and fan pages. Companies have spent a large amount of time and money obtaining fans for the purpose that if someone ‘likes’ your page, they will get updates from your company in their personal news feed. With promote post, this has changed; now only a small percentage of fans will see when you create a post on your page. If you want more of your fans to see the post, you will have to pay Facebook by promoting the post. So far, I have refused to use promote post on any pages, so I cannot speak to the overall cost of the service or its effectiveness. I am however, very frustrated by the change. On a page with nearly 3,000 fans, a post (or advertisement) will only be seen by about 800 people, so less than one third of the page’s fans find out about the post. If I want the rest of my fans to know I will have to pay.
This is also frustrating to me from a user standpoint. When I was coaxed into pushing the ‘Like’ button on a business page, I did so believing I would be able to keep up with the recent news and sales a company would have to offer. Now there is no guarantee I will see those posts or updates by companies I ‘Liked’. Unless of course that company pays to promote its advertisement, or I as a user consciously remember to go to that company’s timeline each day to see what the latest news is.
Mark Zuckerberg recently had a tech conference in San Francisco where he touted Facebook’s popularity on mobile devices. This hurts businesses who do not promote their posts to even less reachable audiences. When checking Facebook on a mobile device, it is easy to see your news feed or to update your profile, etc. Looking up other pages on Facebook is a bit more complex than just checking your own news feed. Instead of just logging in and scrolling up and down to see what the latest things are on the news feed, you will have to use a keyboard and search, then find the page you want to visit. This may not be much of a problem when you are at home on a tablet, but for people checking their phones on break or lunch at work, it really is not user-friendly.
After users have ‘Liked’ your page, they can click on an options box to add your page to their favorites list. They can also start an interest list which will enable them to add your business to the list. When fans do this, it’s more likely they will see your posts. Facebook does not promise this anywhere, but the process is similar to adding a friend to your favorites which does guarantee you will see more, if not all of that friend’s posts. The interest list is new, and I don’t expect very many fans to be familiar with the process just yet. It adds further instruction on how to keep up with a page; users will have to complete several steps to get all of a page’s posts rather than just click the ‘Like’ button.
For now, depending on your budget, it is most likely easiest and most worthwhile to just spend money and promote posts. You can set budgets and spend $5.00 or however much you want. You can also promote any post not more than a few days old. If you decide to spend the money and promote a post, make sure you use the Pin to Top option to ensure it stays at the top of your timeline.
Beyond spending money to promote posts, here are some things you can do for free to make sure your posts reach as many people as possible: First, make sure your content is interesting and engaging. The more people you can get to ‘Like’ your post or comment on it, the more viral reach you will get. Also be sure to post more often. If less than one third of fans see each post, you will need to post three times more often. Make your page fun and informative. Give users the incentive to take the extra steps and/or time to see your content on a daily basis, offer up free advice, helpful hints in your industry, or the latest news; even daily jokes or polls can help drive traffic. Also if you have a very special sale or promotion, rather than creating a post on your page, you can create an event. When you create an event, you not only get the post on your page, but you can invite whomever you want to invite.
Facebook will continue to change for as long as it exists. There is nothing any of us can do about it. Even when changes are made that are frustrating for a business or a user, the best we can do is adapt to them.
Source: Skynet Solutions
By: Ryan Williams