It's time to pay the piper! That's right. Starting this weekend, Facebook offers the new Feature called Promote a post! Simply put, you can get more people to see your post if you pay.
Uhmmm.... You mean all the people who hit the "Like" button on my page are not seeing the post in their news feed?
Exactomundo. How can you promote what is already free?
You see, when Facebook started, it promised instant connection with old friends, new friends, business contacts, customers, and fans. Slap a page up and ask people to hit the "Like" button. It takes only a nano-second to "like" someone and they will be able to enjoy your posts and updates whenever they engage with Facebook.
Facebook grew virally as people invited their friends to join. In those halcyon days, you were treated to streams up updates and pictures of new babies, new cars, pets, and even what someone had for dinner.
"Liking" is Not Enough
If you are a Fan Page Admin, did you notice that little statistic that found its way to the corner of your posts? [89 people reached - 13%]
No longer will people who simply "Liked" your pages see your post in their newsfeed. Facebook ranks the people who "liked" a page by the amount of interaction they have with the page. For example, if a fan clicks "like" often on your page, that fan moves up in the ranks. I don't know the secret formula (something called EdgeRank), I suspect there are tiers of fans. Each time you pay to promote, you lower the bar for the amount of clicks, likes and interactions required for that person to see your post in their newsfeed. One prominent author paid and said she only increased her reach by 9%. Now, this doesn't guarantee that your fan actually saw the post, just that it is in their newsfeed should they login and look.
Pay Per View, Are we There Yet?
So, how much do you have to pay to reach all your fans? Facebook is ever so helpful. They even have a pricing algorithm per number of people to reach.
Let's see, $10 will get me an estimated reach of 1,500. So each person is worth .666 cents? [yes, I know I should round up, but that number 666 is positively diabolical].
Fortunately moi don't have many fans, but there are people with 50,000 fans. Supposing they wanted to reach 45,000 people, the same number they would have reached before Facebook started to limit their post visibility, they would have to pony up $300 per post!
Now, $300 per post is peanuts to big guys with big hats and big advertising budgets, but to the mom-and-pop shops who put up a Facebook page and worked hard to build a following? Pay or don't play.
Update: Even the Big Boys don't like it. SFGate posts:
Then Facebook introduced ReachGenerator [where brands can pay Facebook to make sure their "fans" see content posted to brand pages] and those advertisers were like "wait, we've been paying you $10 CPMs to accumulate these fans now you tell us our posts were only reaching 16% of them and we have to pay you to reach more!?!"
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/source-facebook-is-basically-throwing-in-the-towel-on-its-most-expensive-ads-2012-5#ixzz1x3GxaY2w
What can you do?
Is it Game Over?
There are three things Fans can do, but it involves more than simply hitting the "Like" button. One is to Add the page to My Page's Favorites. The second is to hover over the "Liked" button until a menu pops up and check "Show in News Feed". And the last is to create an Interest List and add all the Fan pages you want to various interest lists. I created one called "Rachelle Ayala's Book Community" and started populating the list. This list can be shared to the public.
All these actions require more time from the person "Liking" your page. So, what is the value of a "Like" these days? About 2/3 of a penny.
What do you think? Will Twitter charge per tweet once it goes public? Will you pay to promote your posts? How much and how often? Will you move to Google+?
And most importantly: Do you "LIKE" Facebook?