March 25, 2013

Why Facebook should stop charging to increase the reach of page posts

Photo courtesy of Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Reevaluating Facebook’s monetization strategy

Ayelet NoffFacebook pages are increasingly becoming an invaluable part of companies’ day-to-day marketing activities, but during last year’s Facebook Marketing Conference, Facebook announced to businesses that their page updates were seen by an average of only 16 percent of their fans through the news feed.

This caused quite a shock among companies. They weren’t entirely sure how Facebook’s news feed algorithm, EdgeRank, really worked or how much visibility they were actually getting but they were positive that it was higher than 16 percent.

Also beginning last year, Facebook introduced a way for page administrators to pay to promote posts to a wider audience.

Despite allegations that Facebook is now trying to force page owners to pay for reach by using promoted posts — see the flood of complaints from small business owners — the company has been aggressively fighting such reports. Facebook argues that the reason for the limit is not a shakedown but to avoid spam and make sure that Facebook’s news feed provides people with more of the content that they want to receive rather than content supplied by certain spammy brand pages.

So pages are now competing for a smaller share of users’ news feeds, and in order to gain significant exposure, they needed to invest money into promoting themselves. This all translates into spending a substantial budget on advertising. Continue reading