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Your Facebook business page status updates are being ignored, & why

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Summary:

You assume that if someone “Likes” your business page, and you post a status update, that it will show up on their News Feed if they look quickly enough, right?

Wrong – Most status updates by business pages are not shown to most of their fans.

This is devastating to businesses, and most don’t know anything about it.


Details:

This is from a newsletter I wrote a year ago, in March of 2012.  To subscribe to my monthly newsletter, go to 617-PATRICK Social Media Newsletter

Facebook does not show every status post to everyone who “Likes” your page.  In fact, estimates are that when you first start to post, your posts are only shown to 7% (yep, seven percent) of the people who clicked “Like” on your business page.  Other estimates are that most business’ posts are only seen by 17% (not a typo, seventeen) of their fans.

Don’t believe me?  Google facebook edgerank 17

Why?

Zuckerberg didn’t tell me this directly, but conjecture is that Facebook’s philosophy is that it is a place for friends to hang out with friends.  Businesses can pay to advertise, but creating a business page is almost a free way to advertise to loyal customers on Facebook, and there’s no big upside to Facebook to support that.  Also, they worry about spam (even though you can control your “Likes”) and businesses that just do one way broadcasting communication.

What does Facebook want?

Engagement.  They want businesses to be interactive and engaging with their customers.

How do they measure?

They use a complicated, undocumented formula called “Edgerank”.  Google it, and you’ll see proof of what I’ve said above (which you still didn’t believe, did you).  It will annoy you and frustrate you, but it will help educate you.

What can you do?

There are a lot of things you can do, but here are two of the biggest:

  • Post statuses that encourage Comments
  • Post statuses that encourage “Likes”
    • Comments are more important than “Likes”, maybe by as much as four times
  • Get people to “Share” you post by clicking Share
    • Facebook likes this more than anything

Bad example of a status post – “We are selling $50 restaurant gift cards”
Better example – “We are selling $50 restaurant gift cards.  What are your favorite restaurants to go to?”

Bad example – “We’re having our monthly open house on Thursday night.”
Good example – “We’re having our monthly open house on Thursday night.  If you’re coming, please click Like.  If not, please tell us in a comment so we can make adjustments for next month.”

The good examples encourage Comments and Likes.  If you want to see a great example of a business that does this well, follow the Phantom Gourmet at http://www.facebook.com/phantomgourmet

They are one of my clients, but they used this philosophy before I started working with them.

How important, powerful, annoying and frustrating is that?

For speaking, training or consulting on social media or internet marketing, please call (617)-PATRICK, i.e. 617-728-7425

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4 comments

1 Caring for Your Lizard - Sleep { 06.03.13 at 9:39 pm }

[…] on Facebook or Twitter to let you know when a new one comes out. Apparently Facebook is now only showing content to about 7% of a page’s […]

2 Stephen Lahey { 09.14.13 at 10:10 am }

Thanks for the heads-up, Patrick. As a B2B business, I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook (now, even less so).

3 Patrick O'Malley (@617patrick) { 09.14.13 at 3:13 pm }

Stephen, I just wish they’d be honest, clear and upfront

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