Facebook is Charging for Social Media Optimization — New Promote Option Fee for Wider Distribution of Facebook Business Posts
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Facebook is an important part of the online marketing mix for many small businesses and lots of people, of all ages, spend a significant amount of time on Facebook each week. I received an email from AboutUs.org describing a new Facebook feature that charges businesses to promote posts to their fans. This new Promote option has been rolled out worldwide according to AboutUs.
Essentially it works like this:
- Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm normally allows you to see only a percentage of your friends Facebook posts and Facebook page updates from the businesses you follow. Facebook estimates that on average only 12% of a person’s friends will see any Facebook post. It works the same way for posts on Facebook business pages — only a portion of a business’s fans will see any post.
- The Promote feature allows a business to up the percentage by paying a fee. Paying the fee will also make the post visible to a larger percentage of the friends of people who interact with a post on your business page.
- The Promoted posts will be tagged with small “sponsored” labels in gray text. Will that affect how people perceive them and interact with them?
You have to suspect that this new Promote feature is one more attempt to squeeze money from the Facebook business model. A recent article in the Boston Globe stated that 83% of Facebook users rarely or never click on a Facebook ad, and General Motors recently pulled all of it’s advertising from Facebook. The difficulties with Facebook’s IPO and its sinking stock price might also be putting pressure on the company to launch new revenue streams. But will this new Promote feature really increase interactions with Facebook businesses and business pages? I don’t think so, but time will tell.
What do you think of Facebook’s new Promote feature? Would you pay to increase the reach of your business Facebook posts?