FACEBOOK PAGE POSTS; LIKE THEM OR LOSE THEM
“Are you a fan of a product, person, show or place and LIKED it on Facebook? And have you noticed they’ve been a bit quiet lately? Read on to find out why…”
I manage the St Neots town page that, as at today, has a following of 3,010. More specifically, three thousand and ten people have actually clicked the LIKE button on the page to be kept up to date with everything happening in St Neots, from newspaper articles about the town through to pictures of the area.
However, I recently learned that out of those 3,010 people, approximately only 600 of them will ever see the posts made to that page.
How did I learn this, well, when you manage a page on Facebook there are certain statistics that you see (as an Administrator) which enable you to ‘engage’ better with your audience. I’ve always seen the so called figure of around 600 but never truly appreciated what exactly was happening until recently, when I noticed that I wasn’t seeing ANY of the posts made by other pages that I had LIKED, in this particular case, I was missing breaking news from news pages, such as BBC NEWS.
At first, I thought it was just a ‘bug’ with my subscription so I scoured the web and trawled through the Facebook help files in the vain attempt to find answers, but time and time again I kept getting referred to a link asking me to report the problem to Facebook, which I duly did but only now know was needn’t have bothered as, to my horror, I realised that what was happened was actually Facebook functionality designed to increase revenue under the guise of new and ‘improved’ privacy functionality.
In the meantime, I, and several of the pages, products, brands, people that I had LIKED appeared to have become the antithesis of what I understood Facebook was all about; connecting people. Yep, the only way I was ever going to see the posts from these pages was to visit each one separately rather than their posts appear automatically in my stream.
It was only recently, several months later, that I came across an interesting post from one of the pages I was ‘following’ advising me that in light of recent Facebook changes, only 10% of its audience (including me) would not see posts made by the page.
Well, you can imagine my first reaction; how the hell did you manage to get this post to through to my stream and that’s when some additional research and evidence staring me right in the face, did I realise how. The page had actually paid or ‘sponsored’ the ‘story’ to reach me as an existing follower of the page. That’s right, you’ve read correctly, I elected to follow this page but the only was I would ever see any of its posts would be if administrators ‘paid’ to ‘promote’ its posts to the whole audience of the page rather than just a very small percentage. Technically speaking, it’s the difference between ‘organic’ audience and ‘sponsored’.
But for many, including me, the situation gets worse. Unless you’re a major brand, collecting valuable LIKES (increasing your audience) can be a time consuming and dauntless task since most people don’t even know you exist. It used to be easier in the early days when you were able to create a profile but we all know what happened to me when I did that…
What? You don’t know about the controversial episode that was the catalyst that made me personally join Facebook? Click here.
Anyway, as I was saying, growing your audience can be fairly difficult if you aren’t a major a brand however there are options available to page administrators, one being to sponsor or advertise your page to Facebook users. You may or may not realise that Facebook is free to all (hence it popularity) and thus is ‘hot’ on its advertising tools. Not long ago, I ran a campaign to advertise the St Neots page to, well, St Neots people and, as you can see, the campaign went very well indeed.
And I appreciated that. However, you can imagine my displeasure when I learned that not only would have to advertise the page to grow the amount of LIKES (audience) but now if I actually want to reach that audience I have to, you’ve guessed it, pay again. If I want each post to meet the whole audience, I have to pay to ‘sponsor’ the story… cha ching!
In fact, you may only be reading this post now because you clicked on a link that I ‘sponsored’ in order to get this message out to you!
So, what gives Facebook? Why are you fleecing page owners and their followers in this way? What did we ever do to you? All we ever wanted to do is connect? Isn’t that what your founder promised us Facebook was all about?
I guess things change when you’re a publicly owned company and you have shareholders to satisfy.
Facebook would have us believe that the reason for change is because they want to protect user privacy and do not want us to be bombarded with lots of SPAM from the very pages that we have elected to follow.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with that is there?
The motivation behind this is that they believe that Facebook users want their stream to fill only with news from their loved ones and friends and not with posts from the pages that they LIKED and elected to receive information from because, ultimately, this is just another form of SPAM.
Not quite, the only difference between what appears in my inbox and what is pushed through my door is that I don’t have ways of easily stopping/unsubscribing from these but on Facebook I can simply unlike the page or unsubscribe which is more than I can say for the so called ‘suggested stories’ that are suddenly appearing in my stream.
That’s right, Facebook has stopped me receiving posts from pages I actually want to see and has instead replaced them with ‘suggested stories’ I never asked for! To me, this is the essence of SPAM! You may have noticed them, whether on your PC or smartphone, ‘suggested posts’ are now a new addition to your news feed so it’s out with the pages that I actually want to hear from (because they’re deemed as SPAM) and in with a page (or product) ‘suggestion’ I certainly do not want see.
Ultimately, there isn’t much that can be said because, guess what, Facebook is free. Quite frankly, I’d much rather they introduce a premium service that I can tailor to my preference rather than them introduce these cynical money making schemes disguising them as ‘user improvements’ Just tell it as it is, you’re getting a free service, you pay sod all for, we’ve got overheads that we need to pay and fat cats that want to get fatter, we need to make our money somewhere.
In the meantime, the problem remains…
If you’re a fan of a show, product or person and want to ‘connect’ with these ‘likes’, what can you do?
Well, Facebook insists that the new ‘improvements’ are for the greater good and claim that they haven’t totally removed the ability for your to engage with the LIKE of your choice but it is a strict case of USE IT OR LOSE IT. If you like a page but never interact with its posts then Facebook’s new algorithms (programming behind the page) will assume that these posts are of no interest to you and that you are therefore being spammed. This means that the next time that page posts something, it will not appear in your stream and you will not see it.
The only way to get round this is to ‘interact’ more with that page by either LIKING, COMMENTING or SHARING the post. Any of these actions will tell Facebook that you are actually enjoying what you’re seeing and that you’d very much like more of the same.
The jury is out as to how to ‘revive’ posts from a page you previously liked but didn’t interact with and now is pretty much ‘dead’ to your stream.
However, there is a way of ensuring you do get to see ALL of the posts from pages you have liked and that is by creating a LIST.
Lists are groupings of pages that you have liked. For example, I’ve liked both BBC NEWS and SKY NEWS page, neither of which are showing in my stream due to Facebook’s aforementioned Antispam practices. Whilst, I can’t revive either of those pages now to appear in my stream, I can have all of those posts delivered to a specific LIST. In this case, I’ve created a list called NEWS. I can then add all of the news PAGES that I have liked to the NEWS list and in fact all of their posts are now appearing. I’m can also be (OPTIONALLY) notified each time the page makes a post.
LISTS can be added to your FAVOURITES menu. Each new post is then denoted by a number. Adding to the list is easy. As you can see from the screenshot above, on the right hand side, you simply select the name of a page that you’ve previously liked , and Facebook very kindly also gives you even more ‘suggestions’ on other pages you should add to your list.
Whilst LISTS will not replace new posts appearing automatically in your stream, it’s at least a way of getting to the information you actually want to receive as it happens. Some people actually prefer to create LISTS as it’s a simple way to organise relevant information into one place and provides an option to view posts at a time of their choosing without ‘clogging up’ your main Facebook stream.
It isn’t as practical as seeing new posts in your main stream but, hey, I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles. In the meantime, if you LIKE (love) a page and want to stay ‘close’ to its posts then make a fuss of it or lost it! I know this isn’t a practice that the ‘apatheds’ of the world would wish to subscribe to but even you guys have to make an effort now because ‘use it or lose it’ is the new word in town, at least by Facebook standards.
I should add that if you’re seeing all of the posts from your page OK then maybe you’re one of the few that has actually seen fit to ‘interact’ with that page so all is well in your world.
In the meantime, please spread the word, SHARE this POST with as many people as you can and save them from the darkness of the information ghost town before it’s too late!
And remember, LIKE, COMMENT OR SHARE! 🙂