Facebook for Small Business: Why “Promoted Posts” are Necessary For Survival on FB

Has it occurred to you, like it did to me a few months ago, that I wasn’t seeing very many of the businesses that I follow in my News Feed?

Do you Administer a Business Page, and find yourself confused at the metrics at the bottom of your posts saying that only XX amount of fans saw your post?

Welcome to the ever-expanding role of Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published a thought-provoking article about Promoted Posts impact on small business social media marketing.  (You can read the article here)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444657804578048750390978708.html

I thought this was an appropriate time to review Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature.

Rolled out in May, Promoted Posts allows Business Pages with 400 or more fans to pay a small fee to “promote” any given post so that its guaranteed to end up in more of its fans News Feed. Additionally, with Promoted Posts, friends of your fans are more likely to see your post.

Pros:

Enables a business to highlight a time-sensitive offer and guarantee that it sticks to the News Feed

Facebook knows when your fans are online, you do not. So if User X missed your post, Facebook makes sure that they see it, regardless of when you actually posted the content

Con:

Small businesses with limited budgets have embraced Facebook as a supposed free marketing vehicle. With the launch and success of Promoted Posts, this has shed light on the reality that the a majority of posts are not actually ending up in their fans news feed and they now must spend money in order to have any real impact…. in a medium they had never intended to spend in.

“Your promoted posts will be seen by a larger percentage of the people who like your Page than would normally see it,” Facebook noted on its site. “It will also be seen by a larger percentage of the friends of people who interact with your post.”

This all brings up an important question: Why aren’t my fans seeing ALL of my posts, regardless of whether I pay to promote them?

Facebook uses a mysterious algorithm, EdgeRank, to determine what posts are sent into a particular user’s News Feed. Facebook does this to put some controls on the amount of posts users receive at any given time in an effort to avoid over serving users with too much meaningless information.

 For Business Pages, Facebook has estimated that on average, only 16% of a Page’s fans see a given post.  This is a small percentage!

Looking at the big picture, Facebook has always controlled the information & content going into a users News Feed, be it a personal profile post or a business page post. The Promoted Posts feature is a natural evolution and a necessary evil for small businesses. It’s important to note, that the pricing structure for Promoting Posts is based on a sliding scale.

To learn more about Promoted Posts for your business Page,  here are some references:

https://www.facebook.com/help/promote

http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-page-admins-can-now-promote-posts-on-mobile-2012-09

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