- Created on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 01:46
- Published Date
The following post has been circulating around Facebook:
“Facebook now requires page administrators to pay to promote their updates if we want our content to be seen. If we do not pay to promote our posts, only about 10% of you receive the updates on the Facebook home page feed.
To keep RECEIVING ALL POSTS FROM US you have to open our page, hover the mouse on the "Like" button near the gear symbol. In the pop-up select "ADD TO THE INTEREST LISTS". Then create an interest list (Make a Name for your sites). Then when you select that interest list you will see ALL of our posts and you won't miss anything important!
We recommend that you follow the above instructions for ANY Facebook page you care about, so you can continue seeing all the posts from the pages you love.”
So let’s break this down and talk about how much of this is true.
“Facebook now requires page administrators to pay to promote their updates if we want our content to be seen. If we do not pay to promote our posts, only about 10% of you receive the updates on the Facebook home page feed.”
There is some truth to this, but it may not be what you think. This statement that Facebook “requires” administrators to pay is a bit misleading. There is no “requirement” to post on Facebook, and I imagine there will never be a fee to post. But most of us page administrators do know that with the introduction of time line, things did change as far as our interactions with our fans is concerned. When I first saw this post, I eagerly shared it, but when its validity was questioned I did a little research.
At any given moment there are thousands and thousands of people posting to Facebook and there is no way for us to process all of those posts. It used to be that posts would appear chronologically, but Facebook realized there was some value to users to if they vetted the information that appears closer to the top of your stream, as well as an opportunity for them to monetize.
Facebook uses and algorithm called Edgerank to determine where your page posts appear within your fans’ News Feeds. I found this great site that explains EdgeRank a bit more in depth : http://edgerank.net/
Basically, in order to achieve a better EdgeRank, and subsequently appear closer to the top of your fans’ News Feed, Facebook looks at things like: how much that user and his/her friends has interacted with your page in the past, how many users have interacted with your post, and how long ago the post was added. And a post/page's EdgeRank will be unique to each user. If a user visits your page often, posts comments and shares your posts, your rank with them will be higher, and consequently your posts stand a pretty good chance of showing up near the top of their News Feed. If however, like many of us, we "like" a page , and never return to that page or post comments, their EdgeRank with us goes down, and so does the chance of us seeing their posts in our News Feed.
An interesting quote from that website: "The numbers on this are frightening. In 2007, a Facebook engineer said in an interview that only about 0.2% of eligible stories make it into a user's newsfeed. That means that your status update is competing with 499 other stories for a single slot in a user's newsfeed."
So, the higher your EdgeRank "score" is, the better chance that your fans will see your post. Of course this leads us to a chicken before the egg conundrum. How do you increase your EdgeRank score by getting your fans to engage with your page if fans can't see your posts? And how can fans see your post if you have a low EdgeRank?
Facebook also offers page administrators an option to pay to promote their posts. Meaning, they don’t have to worry about EdgeRank, they can instead pay Facebook to place their posts higher up in their fans’ News Feeds. Just keep in mind, that even paying to promote won’t mean all of your fans see your post, especially if you have a lot of them. The more money you spend on promoting a post, the greater the “reach”, or number of people who will see it.
Now for the rest:
“To keep RECEIVING ALL POSTS FROM US you have to open our page, hover the mouse on the "Like" button near the gear symbol. In the pop-up select "ADD TO THE INTEREST LISTS". Then create an interest list (Make a Name for your sites). Then when you select that interest list you will see ALL of our posts and you won't miss anything important!“
Technically, this isn’t true. Fans will still receive all posts from a page they’ve liked….they will just have to scroll, scroll, scroll, to see some of them.
The part about hovering over the like button to add to an interest list is true. I did a little more research and another great article that talks about interest lists and how to set them up: http://freshvintage.typepad.com/freshvintage/2012/10/adding-your-favorite-pages-to-facebook-interest-lists.html
So, Interest Lists work exactly like FB Friend lists, only they are for pages instead of people. And while adding a page to anInterest List cannot 100% ensure that your post will reach all of your fans, it appears that there may be some validity to the idea of adding pages to interest lists to increase visibility. My guess is that by doing this, you are interacting with that page, and it somehow increases that all-important EdgeRank, and hence helps those posts appear in your News Feeds. And because links to your Interest Lists do appear in your News Feed, that in an of itself may help users to interact more with the pages they add, which again, increases that EdgeRank.
So…to sum up:
- No “requirement” to pay for promotion, but paying to promote a post is a way to ensure your message gets out to more users/fans. You are only limited by your budget.
- Adding a page to an Interest List MAY help you to see their posts more often.
I imagine there will be a lot more discussion about this as this info continues to circulate. Feel free to add your comments.