This week, we’ve had a number of our customers that rely heavily on Facebook for the promotion of their business as part of their marketing strategy contact us asking what the ‘Promote’ option that now appears when they publish a status update is all about.
Typical questions have been:
- Are Facebook charging businesses for all posts?
- Do I have to pay £4 to post?
- Are Facebook hiding my posts unless I pay?
Let’s try to explain what has/hasn’t happened and what the promote button does… but before I begin, let me point out I in no way agree with what Facebook are doing, or the way they have gone about introducing and communicating this.
A while back, Facebook realised that their users have literally hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook. They’re not all people that we speak to, or want to speak to on a daily basis, but we want to be associated with, and we want to have a nosey about what they’re up to from time to time. Facebook originally would put all wall posts from all of these friends into your stream (that’s the recent stories as it’s called now), and it was quite difficult to see what your real friends and family were up to, the people you were really interested in, and even for that friend, the posts that you’re likely to be interested in.
They changed the way that the stream works, so that it intelligently, only shows wall posts that you’re likely to be interested in based on two real factors, how much you interact with that person, and how much your mutual friends have shared, commented and interacted with your friend.
This change… affected Pages as well. So in summary, for a while now… if your likers don’t interact with your page regularly, and mutual likers don’t interact with your posts often, then those posts aren’t likely to appear on your liker’s stream when they log into Facebook.
It’s important to point out that, in both the friends and pages examples, your friends/likers can still visit your page/wall and view all posts. Facebook haven’t done anything to the way these are shown.
The promote option
So what is this new promotion option all about? Well for a long time, Facebook have relied on advertising revenue, and the promote option allows Facebook to gain a little more revenue by allowing you to pay to force your post to be shown on your liker’s streams whether they interact or not. I see this as an advert, and the pricing is the same model as an advert down the right hand side as well from what I understand.
So, if you post normally, your posts will continue to reach the same people that they reached before – those that interact with your page, and if you choose to pay to promote, you’ll be paying for your post to appear on your likers' streams whether they interact or not.
So what can you do to appear on your likers’ wall without paying to promote. Well there’s a number of things you can do, but they ultimately all come down to “make your likers interact with your page”.
So how could you encourage your liker’s to interact with your page? As well as posting about what you’re doing, and your latest products (your marketing side of things) ask your likers things such as:
- What’s your favourite product from our new summer collection? Get them to comment.
- What do you think we should offer next? Get them to comment.
- Upload your pictures of you using our product. Get them to upload pictures.
- Complete the blank: Using our products is like _________. Get them to comment.
- Post polls, choose your favourite. Get people to vote, their vote will cause your poll to appear to their friends, non-likers.
Well, we hope this helps you to understand the new option, if you have any questions, please drop us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write our wall - to interact with our page .