[UPDATE 10/22/2012 3:30 p.m. PT] Facebook has responded to NMR’s post with the following statement:
We’re continuing to optimize News feed to show the posts that people are most likely to engage with, ensuring they see the most interesting stories. This aligns with our vision that all content should be as engaging as the posts you see from friends and family.
[UPDATE 10/20/2012 1:00 p.m. PT] The following message has been spreading all over Facebook amongst different fan pages. The source of it is unknown, but it seems to be one of the current solutions to help adjust to the algorithm change on all fan pages. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, post the message below as an update on your fan page and let us know if you notice any increases in reach.
“ATTENTION FACEBOOK FANS…
Facebook now requires page admins to pay to promote their updates if we want our content to be seen by our fans who have already like our page. If we do not pay to promote our posts, only about 10% of the fans receive the updates on the Facebook home page feed.
To keep RECEIVING ALL POSTS FROM US you have to hover the mouse on the “Like” button near our name. In the drop-down menu select ”ADD TO INTEREST LISTS”. Then create an interest list (and make a name for your favorite sites). When you select that interest list you will again get all of our posts and not 10% of them.We recommend that you follow the above instructions for ANY Facebook page you care about, so you can continue seeing all the posts from the pages you already like.”
It’s definitely a no-brainer to say that Facebook can be an effective way to share your content online, whether it’s a blog post, YouTube video or something else entirely. If you’re a creator online, you most likely have your own Facebook fan page and use it as an avenue to build your brand. We’ve reported in the past that a good number of creators (including us at NMR) have noticed a considerable drop in engagement and reach on our pages without any specific reasons why. Now Ogilvy has reported that Facebook made a change to their algorithm that will further threaten the reach power of your fan pages.
Why is Facebook doing this?
LL reports that Facebook is doing this to achieve a newsfeed ratio where paid posts consist of 20 percent paid views and 80 percent organic views. Facebook has not publicly spoken on why they’d want this specifically. While in one way it makes sense to find a balance between organic and sponsored content in the news feed, I believe this is Facebook seizing an opportunity to monetize their traffic to its full potential.
How much will this affect my Facebook fan page?
While no solid numbers are out there on exactly how much your Facebook page engagement will tank, Ogilvy says that it could be anywhere between 5 percent on the low side to 40 percent on the high side. For us at NMR, we’ve noticed at least a 20 percent drop in interactions in the last month or so. Taken in sum with the algorithm changes on major outlets like YouTube and the increasing saturation of online content creators in the industry, changes like these are forcing creators to adapt in order to maintain relevance.
What can I do to adapt?
While on the surface it may seem that Facebook holds the cards to your reach online, you as a creator can try to adapt by taking certain measures to promote content online that drives interactions and increases your chances of showing up on the newfeed. There are many sources out there explaining the best practices in increasing your posts’ “EdgeRank” (Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm). For more information in improving EdgeRank for your posts on Facebook, check out this great post by Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/08/30/improve-facebook-edgerank/
How much does it cost to promote a post on the news feed?
The cost of promoting a post can range from $5 – $75 if you’re looking for a reach of 2000- 69,000 people. Since NMR is still a growing company, our Facebook reach (like us, BTW!) is limited to the 2600 fans we have. So one of my internet-famous friends was kind enough to give me some numbers to how much it costs to promote a post if you have a large fan page of 100,000 likes and above:
How effective are promoted wall posts on Facebook?
Our experiences with the paid promoted posts have not been the best. While engagement was increased drastically, our posts would mainly see engagement boosted in foreign countries like Thailand, Nepal and Vietnam, according to our Facebook Insights. With more than 60 percent of our fans on Facebook being located in American and European countries, this makes me question the effectiveness of paid promoted wall posts on Facebook. With promoted posts as well, we’ve noticed a significant increase of spam comments after each campaign was implemented.
To all my readers with a Facebook fan page, have you noticed a significant drop in interactions and reach lately? Have any of you guys experimented with paid posts?