If you keep a close eye on your Facebook business page analytics and have recently noticed a decrease in your Weekly Total Reach number, you’re not alone. Facebook has rolled out a feature that requires its brand pages to pay a fee for an individual post to reach all of their fans. Keep in mind, the fees are simply for your already-acquired fans to view your page’s status updates on their News Feed. Although Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has always been fickle, its newest change is something that completely changes the social media playing field for small businesses.
Take for example, our SUCCESS magazine fan page, which currently– as of November 1, 2012– has 285,904 fans. We recently posted a web exclusive article with noted blogger Guy Kawasaki, including an excerpt from his new book on Google+. In the past, similar articles with related topics would have reached at least 45,000 people and garnered approximately 200-250 likes with about 75-100 shares.
Instead, only 10,324 people saw our post. Okay, Mark Zuckerberg, we’ll indulge you for a few minutes and see what it might cost us to promote this particular post.
$200. It would cost us $200 for a single post to be seen by people who have already taken the time to “like” our page. Just for kicks and giggles, how much would it then cost for the second option– for “People who like your page and their friends” to see one post?
That would be $750, a.k.a, the amount of my one month’s rent (it’s a small place).
Like I mentioned earlier, this changes the entire landscape of Facebook marketing. Social media marketing’s biggest selling point was the Jeffersonian idea that people, businesses and ideas could connect and flourish, regardless of their scope or advertising budget. To be fair, Facebook has actually been limiting your brand page’s visibility since this past Spring. The decreased reach itself isn’t a new development. But Facebook’s promoted fees feature can be a disadvantage for small businesses without deeper pockets to buy their News Feed visibility.
Fortunately, there are two ways that could improve your Weekly Total Reach numbers without spending a dime. And in the spirit of a social egalitarianism, both involve a trusted bond with your fans.
1.) Have your fans add you to their Interests
Ask that your fans click on the gear located on the top right hand side of your brand’s page, and then click on ‘Add to Interests List.’ Once a brand page has been added to your Interests, there’s no need to actually create an Interest list, unless, of course, you’d like to create one.
2.) Ask your fans to receive notifications from your page
This is still in beta (not yet available for all users), but there is now the option to receive red pop-up notifications from any of your favorite fan pages– hover your mouse over the ‘Liked’ button and click on ‘Get Notifications.’ Fans can always opt out of getting notification flags, although this is probably not an option for any fair-weathered fans.
And lastly, as an earnest plea to all of our fans, if you found this blog post at all agreeable, enlightening or entertaining, consider adding our SUCCESS Facebook page to your Interests. We will always strive to bring our fans valuable and inspiring content and will never pander to numbers, but it’s also nice to know that people out there like us.