I’ve seen posts by several people today who are concerned about Facebook charging people/businesses to get their posts seen by more people. Here’s my take.
I love Facebook. I use it to keep in touch with friends and family, plus I have Pages for this blog and another blog I occasionally still write on.
The Page for this blog allows me to have people Like TechnoEarthMama and then be notified via their Facebook news feeds when I post something new. And sometimes I post other links and comments to my TechnoEarthMama Page if I have something I want to share with readers.
Why don’t I just have people friend me on my personal Facebook account? Well, I want to keep it just that — personal. I do have Facebook friends whom I’ve never met in person, but in those cases we do have some kind of ongoing connection such that I’m OK with sharing family photos and personal updates with them.The Page allows me to have people I don’t really know just follow my blog.
Anyway, I’ve realized all along that when I post something, either via personal account or Page, not everyone on my friends/fans list will read it. Facebook says that on average, only 16% of your Page fans are actually seeing any given post. On my stats page for TechnoEarthMama, I see figures anywhere from 12-21%.
Why? There are a variety of reasons. First of all, it depends on how a user’s news feed is sorted. I keep mine sorted by Most Recent, which I feel allows me to see more posts. I don’t want Facebook to decide what my Top Stories should be, which is what you get if you leave your news feed sort on Top Stories. They have some kind of algorithm based on who/what you interact with the most that decides what to put at the top of your feed. And sometimes when I log in, my news feed just says “Sort” at the top – it doesn’t say whether it’s sorted by Top Stories or Most Recent – so I’m not sure which is in effect. It’s gotten better about staying on Most Recent for me lately.
So, if you’re letting Facebook choose for you, you’re not necessarily seeing everything from all of your friends and all of the Pages you’ve Liked.
However, even if you have selected Most Recent, you probably don’t go back and read every single post since the last time you logged in. So that’s another reason why any given post only reaches about 16% of people — it’s just the timing. They didn’t read the news feed all the way back to wherever your post was.
And finally, even if a person is your friend or fan, they can choose to hide some or all of your posts from their news feed, and you will never know about it. That accounts for some of the non-views.
SO. The point here is that each and every one of your friends/fans does not necessarily see each and every one of your posts. It’s always been that way. It’s the same on Twitter, and even in e-mail. People won’t necessarily read all of your emails, especially if they are promotional in some way.
Facebook is now offering to help some Pages with this. People managing Pages with over 400 Likes have been seeing a message asking them to pay extra to get that post in front of more viewers.
Facebook is NOT saying that you have to pay or they will restrict your views. They’re just offering to to put your post in a promoted position or in a rotation or something so that more people will see it. Everything else remains the same as it always has been.
Some people have alternate suggestions for making sure fans see your posts. For instance, if someone likes or comments on your posts fairly often, they are more likely to see your posts in their newsfeed.
The other suggestion is to ask fans to check their settings for your page to make sure posts will show up in their newsfeeds. Here’s how that works:
- Go to the Facebook Page you want to follow (for instance, TechnoEarthMama!).
- Hover the mouse over the button that says “Liked.” Most likely, nothing will happen.
- Move the mouse away and then hover over the button again. You should hopefully now see a menu with the options New List, Show In News Feed, and Unlike.
- Make sure that there is a check mark next to Show In News Feed. If there is no check mark, clicking should put one there.
The problem with these suggestions? First, you have to depend on your fans to do this themselves. Second, you can’t really tell them over Facebook to do this, because the people you need to tell are probably not seeing your posts! So you need to find another way to let them know.
Personally, I’ve had no issues with getting the updates I want to see. Today I checked several pages that I Liked recently (at the top of your profile/Timeline page, look for the word “Likes” and click on it) and they were all set to Show In News Feed already (I also found several pages in the list that I had NOT, in fact, Liked, but that’s another story). Your account may be the same. Or not.
Sources/For More Information
How To Make Sure You See My Facebook Posts by MeiLin Miranda
ADDED 6/6/12: Great post from Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom with examples of fuzzy/voodoo math used by Facebook.