Way back when having a published book was still a dream, I started a Facebook “fan” Page. I didn’t really know what to do with it, but a few of you LIKED it because I asked you to. Since then, I’ve been sharing my blog posts to my Page and even remembering to write witty and/or informative updates—occasionally. And my number of LIKES has grown, which means I’m interacting with a lot more “fans.” Right? I don’t think so.
After Facebook went public, changes were made to insure more profit for its shareholders. If you had a Page, you noticed that Facebook began showing you the number of people who saw each update in their feed. They also offered you the ability to “boost” your updates so more people would see them. You have to pay for these boosts, of course. So what happens if you don’t boost your updates? Only a small percentage of the people who’ve LIKED your Page will ever see what you share with them.
Think about all the Pages you’ve LIKED on Facebook. Remember how you saw updates from them—for a while? If you regularly visit those pages or interact with their updates, you’ll continue seeing those updates. But if you haven’t visited those Pages recently, you’ve probably forgotten you ever clicked that LIKE button—unless those Pages are “owned” by a company or person who can afford to boost their updates. (And even those boosted updates will reach only a percentage of the Facebook users who wanted to see them.)
In short, if you don’t pay to boost, you’ll become invisible to the majority of the people who wanted to see what you say on Facebook.
For example, 299 people have chosen to LIKE my Facebook Page. How many of them saw my last update? Only 23—and that took three days! In part, I believe, that was because it contained a link to my last blog post. I’ve noticed that when I publish a status update that doesn’t contain a link, the percentage of people who see it in their feed is larger—and they see it faster. My last update without a link appeared in 20 of my followers’ feeds within one hour.
My conclusion: Facebook doesn’t want our Pages to be a successful use of our time and effort unless we pay for that privilege. Great for the Facebook shareholders. Not good for poor writers like me trying to communicate through their Facebook Pages.
So, do yourselves and those you LIKE a favor. Go to your Facebook account today. Click on your Likes and visit the Pages of those you really want to keep up to date on. Better yet, interact by clicking Like or Share on a status update on that Page—and then continue doing that when you see their updates in your feed. That way you’ll never miss out on what’s happening on the Pages you so kindly LIKED.