Hands up if you’ve seen a post like this on Facebook recently…
WARNING: Facebook is doing major updates and many pages are currently affected.
VERY SOON we will disappear completely from your feed, check your page for a new tab on the left called ‘pages feed’ with a little orange flag.
We are all now getting 2 separate news feeds – our usual news feed will have all our personal friends posts in it and all posts that are sponsored (paid for) and as for the rest of us who can’t afford to pay for every post we make, our pages will be put into the new tab called ‘pages feed’ which you will need to physically click on to see my posts and majority of all your other favourite pages.
…wow. Everyone in the room put their hand up. Ok, you can put your hands down now.
Next time you see the story above, why not paste a link to this blog post to help them out too?
Now, I cannot guarantee what I’m about to write will stay true forever, all things change, but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate for now…
Is this true?
No. Just almost every other message we see copied and pasted from group to group and page to page that is hype and hysteria, so is this. Yes, it has gone viral and has appeared on thousands of pages, but not one of these messages has a link to any evidence. If it was true, the story would have popped up elsewhere, with some real evidence.
So, everything I post on my page will appear on every one of my fans’ news feeds?
No, but it never has. Facebook has always used what it calls Edgerank to decide whether or not your stories should appear on your fans’ newsfeeds. The idea is that you as a Facebook user will only see things that you are most likely to be interested in and not spammed to death.
In a way, this is a good thing – it’s in everyone’s interest. If people saw every single little update from every page, they would stop liking pages and probably quit Facebook altogether.
How can you be sure this is already happening?
If you have a Facebook page, look at the last story your posted. At the bottom of the box you will see the line “x people saw this post.” Is x the same as the number of Likes your page has? Nope, I’m afraid not. It’s probably a fraction.
For example, our friend Anne at the lovely Sprinkle of Sweets has over 2,000 likes. But her stories rarely reach a quarter of those fans.
She’s not doing anything wrong – she’s doing lots of really good stuff, it’s just Facebook turn down the volume a few notches.
So what has changed / is changing?
The story that has been circulating mentions the Pages Feed that you can now see in the left hand column of your Facebook. And it’s true, it is relatively new, it only appeared in November.
So should I scrap my page and have a business profile instead?
No! For starters, there is every chance Facebook will delete your account, because that’s not what profiles are for.
Second, you don’t see every status update from every friend. The same rules apply.
Third, you would lose all those special features that pages have (rumours are, we are going to be able to have Groups for pages soon – how cool is that?)
Last of all I, like millions of other Facebook users, don’t want to be friends with a business. I may be a fan, quite happy to Like your page, but I’m never going to want to share my life and photos with you. So don’t alienate your potential customers.
How can I make sure my updates appear in my fans’ timelines, then?
Well, one way to really improve your chances, is to “promote” your post. In other words, pay. Ultimately, Facebook want to make money, and this is how they do it. Just as you can pay Google to appear at the top of searches and you can pay Twitter to appear in newsfeeds. It’s really not as expensive as you may think and in certain circumstances is can be very useful.
But you don’t have to pay, just follow the same old rules to boost your Edgerank.
How can I boost my Edgerank?
- Posting videos will help you rank higher than posting photos, which rank higher than plain text.
- Encourage your audience to interact. The more people that comment on, Like or Share your posts, the more relevant and useful Facebook thinks you are.
- Post regularly. 2-3 updates a week will make your page more lively, and a living page is a useful page.
What else can I do to improve my business on Facebook?
Interact. With your fans, with other pages. Don’t be a spammer, be relevant. Be someone people want to talk to and they will read and share your posts.
Next time you see someone post the warning above, why not paste a link to this blog post to help them out too?
A Microsoft Certified Professional with many years of large corporate experience and training, he now focuses on helping small businesses make the most of their IT.
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