Social Media

Is Facebook Holding Your Brand For Ransom? Tall Tales Of Pay Requirements To View Posts

Posted by Adam Leiter on October 25th, 2012 at 9:48 am

Do you have one of those Facebook friends that constantly posts rumors about celebrity deaths, UFO sightings, changes to Facebook policies and other gossip? For some people, the lure of a rumor becomes too great to ignore, especially when it comes to changes that affect their business’ social media presence.

Social media is a brand’s prime way of directly interacting with their audiences. So, when someone is telling them that unless they pay up, their Facebook presence will be wildly diminished, some worry will inevitably ensue. Take this message, one among hundreds that I’ve been seeing recently, concerning paid promoted pages versus unpaid:

Once again Internet, you are spreading rumors and putting people into unnecessary panic. Let’s straighten out the details.

While some of the information is true, we need to iron out the facts. Yes, brands now have the option to pay for promotion on Facebook. However, this will not affect the unpaid posts that Facebook has always had. Even before the option for paid posts, users never received every single post from every single page. The number of posts by a certain page that users receive is based upon how active they are on that page.

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank, which will measure user activity on certain pages. Users “like” a page, and at first, will receive select posts from it. After time, if they don’t like anything that page posts or don’t comment on it or visit it, EdgeRank will assume they’ve lost interest and those posts will no longer appear on their newsfeed.

The way around EdgeRank, as a user/fan, is to create an Interest List. Adding certain pages to the list specifically denotes an interest in them, and a user can go into their List and click a page to see all posts in one display.

The important thing to understand is that nothing has actually changed regarding a business’ ability to reach their fans, aside from the awareness of what has been in place. Rather than a message of panic, businesses should offer an enticement to their followers so that they don’t miss out on good content. Getting added to a user’s Interest List could be requested, but shouldn’t be pleaded for. In the end, the thing that will keep your audience coming back is interesting and useful content on a regular basis.

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