Time to Change Your FB Tactics: Your Fans Aren’t Seeing Your Posts

Thanks to collegehumor.com for the image.I’ve always talked about Facebook like fan pages were the ultimate way you could reach people for free, as though it was going to be an equalizer small businesses, a guaranteed way to have your customers or potential customers opt in to your news feed and maybe have them sign up for your newsletters, which is where the REAL magic happens.

Well poop. Maybe I’m late to the party on this one, but those numbers you’re seeing in your admin page (___ people reached, ___%) are new and they forebode a necessary change of tactics on your part if you’re using Facebook pages to promote your business, non profit, club, or if you’re like me, your adventures. I thought they were click-through numbers, so I was excited. Nope.

According to Cinda Baxter, who felt the way I did, those numbers you’re seeing on your fan pages are being candid about your new Facebook-administered abysmal results. Even though your fans opted in and want to hear from you, Facebook’s new tactic is that they decide who gets to see your posts, basically showing your posts only to people who actively look at your page on a regular basis.

This means that some of your fans might be clicking ‘like’ and then never hearing from you again. You can PAY to have them see you, even though they opted in and want to hear from you anyhow. This seems grossly unfair (especially for pages like mine which have an audience made up mostly of our friends or for pages of nonprofits), but instead of kvetching about it, I suppose we should all come up with a strategy to make sure our hard work is seen.

If you ask me, this will take the wind out of the sails for Facebook. The less effective it is for the users, the less magic it has for everyone, and the less intrinsic value it has. Maybe the new investors won’t be able to see that, and maybe this trend toward making Facebook more profitable will leave people in the cold. The very people who made it worth anything in the first place.

Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them. Spread the word and have a look at the article below.

Here’s her helpful post on the subject. I was having trouble visiting the site, so here’s the text:

Isn’t Facebook supposed to be the magical tool that levels the playing field for small business, non-profits, and grass roots movements? Once upon a time, maybe…but not so much now.

Last week, an interesting (and by “interesting” I mean “stunning“) tidbit began appearing at the bottom of status updates posted by page admins, visible only to them—the number of people each post reached, accompanied by the percentage of their total fan base it represented.

The number shown doesn’t represent the number of your fans online at the moment; it’s the abysmally small number Facebook bothered to publish in newsfeeds.

Yeah. You read that correctly. Most of your fans don’t receive your posts. At all. In any way, shape, or form. Facebook is only sharing them with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your page.

In other words, the minority.

The following day, another tidbit appeared, just to the right of the scary percentage—a “Promote” button. Tap that, and you’re asked to pay for the rest of your fans to see the post.

Uh huh. Read that one correctly too. Pay to post.

Not to advertise—to reach the fans you already have. The ones who thought clicking “like” added you to their newsfeeds.

Out of sheer curiosity, I clicked Promote, then began crunching numbers. If I want a post to reach all 90,600 fans of The 3/50 Project, I need to pony up more than $500.

Per post.

Which simply isn’t going to happen.

So how do we work around the roadblock? There’s a back door solution, but we can’t make it easily visible, since we’re barred from putting “calls to action” in the Cover photo or a pinned post.

Which is why I’m pinning this blog post, once it posts to the Project’s FB page (legit, by Facebook standards).

Click image to view larger version

For Fans: How to keep receiving posts from FB pages you’ve “Liked”

1. Find a page you’ve “liked.”

2. Hover you mouse over the “Liked” button. Which may or may not work.

3. Try clicking the “Liked” button. That also may or may not work.

4. After clicking “Liked,” try hovering over it again. This may or may not work.

(Sensing a theme? Access isn’t consistent…nor intended to be easy, I have a feeling. Please keep trying.)

5. Once you (finally) get a drop down menu, confirm “Show in News Feed” is selected.

In theory, this should put all more posts from the page back in your newsfeed.

Or not.

Hard to know, since the only way to test it is to keep visiting every page you’ve “liked” to compare their posts to your newsfeed.

(Which no one has time to do. We understand.)

Facebook’s new pay-to-post format is obviously intended to increase revenue, now that shareholders are involved. Sadly, it’s also a killer for their most fervent users—non-profits and grass roots movements who have built a significant following. Pages with deep pockets and corporate backing will be able to buy their way into newsfeeds, but those of us without endless cash reserves are already invisible, thanks to this new twist.

And by “new” I mean [fill in your favorite expletive].

9 thoughts on “Time to Change Your FB Tactics: Your Fans Aren’t Seeing Your Posts

  1. This problem actually started some months ago, around the time that FB starting pushing the Timeline.

    Users have to make a greater effort to actually see the content they have asked for from various fan pages or other profiles. Clearly, they need to have a revenue strategy, but they’ll have to choose more reasonable pricing than they have thus far.

    Be sure to evaluate your subscriptions on a regular basis to ensure that you are getting the content you care about, and seeing less of the chaff that you don’t care about.

    -ASB: http://XeeMe.com/AndrewBaker

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Andrew. Does this mess with Edgerank numbers? In other words, does Edgerank still matter if some people can pay to increase their visibility?

      Good tips, re: evaluate and reviewing subscriptions.

  2. Loved the old fb. Bring it back, bring it back, dont take away from me!!! Bring it back!!! Bring it back to me because you dont know what you took from ME!!!…

  3. I”m also a small biz owner (my spouse and I own J-Bar Ranch Center for Experiential Learning). I, too, am trying to use FB as a way to increase the number of people we reach. I’ve been reading the marketing tips from n umbrella site for animal rescue groups and animal shelters.,the page is called rescuedismyfavoritebreed. They have a good series of tips for dealing with the new FB. I’m trying some of them and have had luck increasing numbers on tge dreaded admin line, some of the time.

  4. I have a personal and business FB site.. I am only getting abut 20-25% of over 1300 fans reached.. When I try to hover over the Liked button on pages that I like, the ONLY menu shown in the drop down is ‘unsubscribe’ This sucks.. good thing I dont pay for fans..

    • I’m glad you brought that up, Rob. Paying for fans is for the birds anyhow. The very purpose of having people follow you in these social media venues is so that someday they become your customers. I’d rather have 15 living, breathing fans with wallets who like what I do than 10,000 fake fans that never give feedback, that don’t ask questions, and that don’t (by their sheer numbers) increase my viability as a business.

      As for your facebook pages, be sure to study up on Edgerank. It’s not all bad news, and I’m finding since posting this that many people are getting better reach numbers by doing some simple things.

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