For the past couple of months, I have read complaint after complaint in articles, and on my Facebook newsfeed, about certain seemingly disfavored features that Facebook has implemented. I have found that the complaints are usually made when the individual person or brand doesn’t fully understand the feature. Although I have my reservations with certain Facebook features myself, I’m here to clear the air and address the major complaints I’ve been hearing about lately. Listed below are the realities of these disrelished features, along with their corresponding and straight-forward solutions.
Complaint: Facebook will only show my posts to 10% of my fans.
The fact is, Facebook has not released this number. This hypothetical number is based off short-term case studies and fan page administrator’s observations. Although this number is not far off from the average engagement percentage, we must keep in mind that it is not the end all. Your post can indeed be shown to a much higher percentage of your fans depending on many factors about the post itself including relevancy, post time, and fan interest level.
Continue to increase your Edge Rank. Most fan pages have not been successful in doing this prior to the tweaks in the newsfeed algorithm, and now it’s gotten even more difficult for them. We cannot completely control what Facebook displays, so let’s work on what we can improve so it will be in our favor for our posts to show up.
Complaint: The only way I can reach my fans is to pay for promoted posts.
You can still reach your fans organically; it is just much more difficult now. As we mentioned above, there is some truth to the fact that there are now a lower number of fans who actually see your organic posts. It is also true that paying for promoted posts has been proven to increase its reach, however it is not mandatory.
Like I recommended, work to improve your Edge Rank and what is in your control. If you do have the budget for promoted posts, you may want to see what they can offer you. Do some testing of your own and you might find the ROI is worth it.
Use Facebook’s new Advanced Targeting button. This is a completely separate feature from promoted posts, and is currently available free of charge. To use this feature, you must go to your page and click “Update Page,” and then scroll down to “Edit Info.” Inside this ad under the “Manage Permissions” tab, check the box that says “Allow me to control the privacy of new posts I make on my Page”. This allows you to specify which fans will see your posts. You can narrow it down by demographic; including age, gender, residence location, relationship status, language, education status, and more.
Complaint: I keep seeing fan pages tell me to add them to my interest lists, but I don’t know how to use them.
Most of the fan pages telling you to do so do not seem to know how to properly use these lists themselves. It is not as easy as just clicking “add to interest list xyz.” You actually have to go in and set up an interest list. If set up and used correctly, they can be a useful way to organize your newsfeed.
Interest lists are actually fairly easy to set up. Once you set it up, be sure to customize your settings. When you’re done, you can easily visit these lists at anytime to browse your favorite brands so you never miss a post again. If you are a fan page administrator, take the time to get to know this feature so that you can properly explain the instructions to your fans. The other alternative is to wait for Facebook to roll out the Pages Feed that the site is currently testing.
Complaint: As a page administrator, I can’t tag fans in posts from my fan page.
This is true, and the reason is because of spammers. A fan page with the intention of spamming users could tag fans in posts to get them to buy shoes or other items they are selling. We already see this happening around Facebook with people tagging other people in product pictures.
If you have certain fans you know personally and feel the need to mention, consider adding them to your personal account. This way you can use the tactic of uploading photo posts from your fan page, and then going in to tag them in that photo from your personal page. I understand many people would not want to connect personally, so the other option would be to create a group and invite those individuals to it. You can post updates about your brand that’s specific to certain individuals, and they do not have to add you as a friend. Of course, this isn’t for every brand or company, but if it is appropriate for you, you may find it to be successful if your brand has a more personal approach to fan communication.
Complaint: EdgeRank is supposed to make the user’s experience better but it’s not doing that! Twitter and Google Plus don’t hide any posts, so why should Facebook?
Most of you don’t want to hear it, but Edge Rank is a huge factor in why Facebook is so successful. If you understand its purpose, then you understand why that is true. Twitter and Google Plus are too noisy. If you think you miss posts on Facebook, try adding all 500+ of your friends on your Twitter and see if you have time to read everything they post, every action they take (including likes and comments), every page they fan, every app they use, every game they play, etc. I guarantee you wouldn’t read all of it. Why? Because most of it is nonsense you don’t care about, posted by people (like your aunt’s best friend) that you never interact with.
If you think you can create a better newsfeed than Facebook provides for you, then do it. All you have to do is either delete the people and unlike the pages completely that post things you do not care about, or hide all of their posts. This will clear up room in your newsfeed, and you will most likely see everything else left that you want to see. I understand this is not a 100% fix, so you can also create a special friends list with certain friends and fan pages that you can’t bear to miss an update from. You can even set up notifications to tell you every action they take. Sound annoying? That’s the noise Edge Rank muffled for you in the first place. Of course, it is a computer determining what’s important, so it will never be perfect, but let us at least appreciate its effort.
The bottom line is: Facebook’s features may not always work to our advantage, but a better understanding and a willingness to adapt can increase your page’s chances of success.