Facebook: Friend or Foe
The screen shots below were from earlier and in true Facebook fashion, they have updated without warning. Here is what you see now when you select the gear symbol next to the “Like” button on a fan page:
Some pages are asking their fans to do this:
If you feel like it would be worth it, you can absolutely ask your fans to do the same. However, you have to keep in mind that even this post will only reach a fraction of your fans (and actually it would reach less than normal since all text posts generally do worse that posts with photos or videos). Therefore only a fraction of your fans would even be moved to this for you. When it comes down to it, we have no control over Facebook and as much as we wish for it to be a fair player, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to reach your fans without paying is to keep writing engaging posts, posting consistently (meaning daily), and interact with those fans that interact with you. You can’t change the game, but you can learn how to play it well.
Ah Facebook, it’s the place on the internet that everyone hangs out, whether they want to or not. Naturally, as a crafty business person or blogger I’m sure you have a Facebook brand page and are used to the constant changes and updates that Facebook forces upon all of us. Recently, with Facebook becoming a publicly traded company, it seems that there have been more frequent changes than usual. One in particular that you may have noticed are promoted posts. What’s up with that?
I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers and Facebook pages concerned about their posts not showing up to their fans. In fact, some went as far as asking their fans to make sure that the “Show in Newsfeed” feature is turned on. What is that you ask? Well you can find it here:
Before you run to ask all your fans to do the same, this is a default feature that is automatically checked whenever someone likes your page. So no worries! Unless someone unchecked, you will be automatically showing up in their newsfeed.
Another cause for concern that I saw was the update of instant insights on each post. If you’ve never looked at your insights before, you should. Your Facebook insights are a handy little thing, especially if you have a good amount of fans. You can access them by clicking that chart in your admin panel above your cover photo. This is where you used to have to go to see how effective a post was. By effective I mean how many people saw it and how many people interacted with it. With the update, Facebook has made this information easier to access by putting these number right under your posts. Don’t worry, only admins of the page can see them.
This is great for you as a page because now you can quickly and easily see which types of posts are most effective and which times of the day work best for posting to your audience instead of having to go into the insights tab. For those of you that have never before touched your Facebook insights, you may have been a little shocked to see how low the numbers were compared to your total number of fans. Do not be alarmed! This is normal. A bit disappointing, but completely normal.
Take this as consolation: the biggest brands with the most fans only reach about 17% of their total fans with each post on average.
Keep that in mind when looking over your numbers and don’t think that Facebook is trying to hide your posts from your fans! The truth is, Facebook wants to make the Facebook brand pages more effective, not less. And this isn’t necessarily because Facebook loves small businesses, it’s because Facebook loves big businesses and big businesses love brand pages (thanks for at least that big business).
Facebook Newsfeed 101
You’re probably thinking “Ok, so why is all my hard work only being shown to such a small number of fans?” and that is a terrific question. Basically, Facebook is a social, interactive, real-time tool. For example, if every last one of your fans interacted with your page on a daily basis and they all happened to be on Facebook at the same time that you just posted something, they would all (theoretically) see it, but that is in a perfect dream land.
In reality, people like pages and then never like, comment, or share anything from them or they only check their Facebook once a week or they only check at night and you only post in the morning. As you know, Facebook shows you not every single thing that has happened with all your friends and likes since the last time you checked your feed (that would be insanity!), it shows you bits and pieces of things that happened throughout the day and it shows you more from the people that you interact with frequently. It works the same way with pages. You will never be able to reach all of your fans with one post – that is the nature of social media.
Promoted Posts on Facebook
Promoted posts are not a threat, they are an aide. Your Facebook posts will not be shown to less people just because you don’t promote them. Promoting them however will guarantee that more of your fans see your post. Just like Etsy ads. Not taking out ads on Etsy will not hurt how often your store items show up in searches, but buying ads will ensure that more people see the items. Makes sense right?
I hope this assuaged any fears you may have had about needing to pay for promoted posts or your posts showing up for your fans!
How do you try to engage your fans on Facebook?
Maggie Kmiecik — Creative Income Blog
Maggie Kmiecik is the Social Media Manager at FaveCrafts.com and editor of Creative Income Blog by day. At night she runs her own Etsy shop and writes for Stranger Than Vintage and generally runs on strong coffee and little sleep. When she’s not writing and researching about social media she’s knitting, browsing thrift stores, pinning up a storm, and making jewelry.
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