You've probably noticed it by now if you're a Facebook page owner or admin/manager:
The word promote at the bottom right of your Facebook posts. What the heck is that? Something new: You can pay Facebook to promote an individual post.
Here’s what it looks like when you click on the word "promote", using my Groovy Reflections page:
The post I took this from, without any promotion, reached 885 people. Thanks Facebook for now including those statistics with the posts: It IS important to know what resounds with the fan base. However, Mr. Zuckerberg, why would I want to pay $5 to reach 1,000 when the posts has nearly achieved that with no promotion?
For the Groovy Reflections page the fees range from $5 to $30. The pricing presented appears to be dependent on the number of fans you have. My MODern Marketing 4 U page only offers $5 and $10 promotions since I have far fewer fans there.
And furthermore, why would if I pay $30 to reach 5,300 people? There were 4,698 fans when I snipped this example from Facebook so that's more than the number of fans for the page. Ah, of course, this stems from fans liking and commenting on your post; then their friends see it too, thus casting a wider net. Okay. Makes sense.
And if you do use the promote feature, what happens? The post you chose to promote will be labeled as sponsored in the news feed. This is different from ads that show up on the right side of the page.
Facebook, in their help section on this subject, state that any given posts won’t reach all of your fans. Must be that killer algorhythm doing its thing again. Someday, perhaps we’ll understand why Facebook decides who sees what and how many see it. Yes, it’s frustrating to say the least.
So, in essence, Facebook restrains the audience for your posts and then charges you to reach more of your own audience?
Wow. I could say this is a bright idea because there will be page owners eager to pay up for instant results.
Now, why would anyone use this service? Perhaps if you wanted to increase sales of your products and run a quick fire sale, here's a way where you could extend that reach instantly. Could be worthwhile if there’s a high volume of product that needs to be moved quickly.
It could be used for market research perhaps, a quick poll or short survey where there’s a timely topic and you need data NOW so you can be the first to write about it. The respondents would be luck of the draw unless you put a filter in the survey so you can weed it down to just the folks you really want to pose questions to. However, now we’re talking about a longer survey, which means more folks may bail out, and you’re working against the theory of “quick”.
Facebook continues to be an enigma. Will be interesting to learn if this new feature is a success. Will it bring in fresh revenue and be hailed as innovative by the new stockholders? They're likely waiting for something to make the numbers jump up; that is, if they haven't bailed already and licked their wounds.
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Shirley Ellis of Name Game fame sang about puzzles too: