A while back Facebook brought out the ability for Pages (read brands/businesses) to ‘Promote’ their posts with greater visibility in their follower’s news feeds. EdgeRank, the score that determines which ‘news’ items are shown on this feed, is Facebook’s algorithm of course not defined in any public venue. For long time Facebook page marketers and managers, there has been seen a gradual trend to mute the overall visibility of page’s posts in the news feeds.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do believe there should be some kind of quality score in how Facebook ranks and displays posts, but if I like a page as a user, I want to see what they have to say. If a page spams my feed, I always have the option to unlike them myself, but it is my choice.
Since Facebook went through their IPO and have subsequently struggled with how to be profitable, there has been a greater push toward limiting the ‘free’ functionality of it’s platform. In metrics that I have been tracking over the last year, there has been a significant drop in overall post visibility from multiple pages, even though we have seen steady follower growth. We have not significantly changed our post style, if anything, made them more relevant and valuable for users. The only supposition left is that Facebook is continually manipulating their EdgeRank to reduce the visibility of page posts in order to push brands to use their ‘Promoted” post system and pay for previously free exposure.
I can understand Facebook’s point of view in wanting to do this, but it is the underhandedness that irks me. I know their ‘sponsored stories’ and ad system has been struggling, but hindering performance is only going to hurt you in the long run.Marketing Heaven had the same problem as me too so its not just only me.
Now, to take it even a step further, Facebook is now adding the same ‘Promoted’ system to users. I’m sure Grandma will be insanely happy to know that I spent $7.00 on Facebook postage to make sure she see’s that the kids got all their homework done this week. While I can see how some of the personal profiles (celebrities for example) could have the reach and brand potential to utilize a ‘Promoted’ post, the majority of users should be asking why is normal Facebook usage not good enough, and what is Facebook doing deliberately to make their content ‘muted’ in favor of trying to lighten my wallet?