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Is Edge Rank Killing Facebook Pages?

Good question…

book Pages losing views

Facebook Pages losing views

Most people who run a Facebook page will have noticed in the last few months that the amount of fans who have actually seen one of their page posts has shrunk by about two thirds. This is an fairly acurate observation, although there has not been any official word from Facebook (there never is..) this reduction of views occured around the same time as “Promoted posts” for Pages was released by Facebook.

Paying For Views

“Promoted posts” are Facebook posts where you pay a fee to Facebook to have that post reach a higher amount of your fans than you would with a free post, or the other option, you can pay to have your post reach more of your fans and the friends of your fans. Promoted posts as of this date can only be targeted to location and language no other demographics as you can with Facebook advertising.

Many social media pundits are screaming “bait and switch“. You’ve worked damn hard to get your fans, and now you have to pay to have your fans actually see your post???

The broken record….

I’ve said it before, and I will now say it again…sorry to be a smarty pants but…Facebook ain’t yours! We suckers users are a commodity/product, we are not clients and not owners (even if you do have shares).  We don’t “own” our pages, and as such Facebook can do whatever they like to the platform, and you need to know that, before investing any time or money on Facebook or any social media. Don’t over invest in any social media. Do invest in what you own, your website for example, and your mailing list.

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Oh Dear, I Bought Thousands Of Fans!!!

The larger your fan base on your Facebook page, the more you have to pay to get your posts onto their walls. This recent dampening down of Page posts is going to be a big and costly problem for folks that “bought” fans. Sadly many of the fans they bought are NOT real fans, they may have been bought to make the business look more popular than it actually was. Unfortunately a lot of people thought they were buying real fans…..

Page owners who bought fans, are not going to be happy to pay to post…because “phoney” or “BOT” accounts won’t give you any R.O.I at all….it’s money down the proverbial. It was recently discovered that Lady Gaga’s Facebook Page, had 65,000 fake fans. Imagine if her social media manager paid to have a post promoted to all those fakes…That’s a LOT of money going nowhere.

Note: Facebook have been deleting some fake profiles lately, as per the above post via link, but they haven’t deleted all of them.

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So How Effective Are Promoted Posts? How Do You Judge The Effectiveness?

Although Facebook promise that if you pay to promote your post you will get your posts out to a larger percentage of your fans, I’ve found through my own efforts, that the amount you actually reach is a lot less than promised usually. The only way you are going to know if promoted posts works is if you get a larger amount of likes on those posts and some real leads.

Question: What were you trying to achieve? Were you selling something, or advertising something? Did you get some real leads and sales?

Does Adding A Page To An Interest List Work?

A recent post doing the rounds of Facebook which suggests adding your favourite Pages to a interest list (left side bar of your home page) so that, those pages posts show up more on your wall, unfortunately is not really any better than just liking a post from that page to see that pages posts more. Edgerank  also targets the pages in interest lists. I have had an interest list of Cyber Safety pages for about a year, and I only ever see one page from that list on my wall, probably because I “liked” a post from them a few times. Unless I go to the list and look at the posts within it, which is how lists is meant to be used, I just don’t see them.  And from what I’ve heard anecdotally most people just don’t look at the lists, they forget….So if you are going to promote your Page to your fans and suggest that they add it to an interest list, be sure to emphasis to your fans that they have to visit the actual list to see all the pages posts there. (oh and…you might have to pay to promote that message)

There’s Just Too Much Traffic!

Facebook Over saturatedTaking into account that Facebook is incredibly over saturated now, and with Facebook filtering more of our posts, it’s not easy to get your post in front of your fans. If you don’t want to pay to have your posts actually seen by all your fans, is it actually worth maintaining a facebook page? I guess you have to compare it to other forms of marketing. Print advertising is not doing so well lately, and it costs a lot more than promoting posts by comparison. Email marketing is also very difficult, open rates are dropping as peoples inboxes are getting loaded up with group buying newsletters and all sorts of other marketing.

What about advertising?

Advertising on Facebook still works, but as more and more people are viewing Facebook on a mobile devices, sidebar advertising is being seen by less and less users. Promoted posts will be more effective in the longer term, until Facebook introduce advertising within wall posts…which is being trialed.

Then How Do I Get My Posts Seen By More Of My Fans?

Either bite the bullet and pay or….

1. Content: If you can get people to share or like your posts you will get more of a viral spread, the content of your posts is now more than ever going to be vital! Pictures, video, great content!

2. Be judicious about the amount of time you spend working on your page, automate some posts to keep your edgerank up, but do it within Facebook using the timed posts option.

3. Use the promoted posts option for posts where you are advertising an event or a special offer. And watch your stats to see how each post is going. Be careful about using promote to fans and their friends because although it will show up on more peoples walls, you won’t be targeting your market as specifically so its more likely to be a wasted view and wasted money.

4. Time your posts, get them out at the optimum time for your target audience! Find out when they are likely to be online!

5. Cull those bots! Get rid of useless fans or fake profiles that are NOT in your target market, you don’t want to have to pay to get a post to them (no you can’t choose who your paid posts go to…) Just go to your Fan list in Admin.

How do you spot a phoney profile? Check out their profile, do they have pictures is it fully filled out? Do they have friends? There are a LOT of fake profiles from the middle east and the Philippines, that are used for spam and for fan fillers.

Lastly Keep an eye out for Targeted posts when it’s released.

Update:

According to some reports, Facebook may be rolling out Page Notifications option: So that you can opt in to receive notifications from a page, similer to what you can get with close friends now on your profile, not an ideal solution as it will need to be known about by the liker, who may like a page from a widget, and then have to go to the page, and activate it.. See more here:

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About Leonie Smith

Leonie Smith is a Social Media Consultant and Cyber Safety Expert who gives expert advice to business on social media and online marketing. Digital Breezes is a fully integrated Social Media consultancy. From set up, design, content creation and training we cover it all. Her clients benefit by receiving the latest training on Social Media marketing, whilst learning how to keep their and their employees online personal data separate. Leonie consults with business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and more. Leonie is also known as "The Cyber Safety Lady" http://www.thecybersafetylady.com www.twitter.com/_LeonieGSmith Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeonieGabrielleSmith