There has been a lot of talk on the web recently concerning the rumors of whether or not Facebook has been holding back the amount of people your Facebook Page is exposed to in an effort to force businesses to pay to leverage the benefits of the world’s biggest social network. And while there has been a mountain of users crying foul at the top of their lungs, just because it’s on the web (and popping up all over your News Feed) doesn’t mean it’s true. Facebook says it hasn’t been fudging results or impressions for business pages – but like all rumors there is a kernel of truth.
The fact of the matter is that the changes to Facebook Pages that Facebook did make were in an effort to help make your pages more valuable, not less. If you were an early adopter of pages you would have been witness to what was essentially the Wild West – people were using the leverage and reach of Facebook for spammy uses, and it was hurting the credibility of the system. This caused a lot of people to be dealing with a flood of notifications and messages crashing their News Feeds about irrelevant and useless information, so changes were necessary.
The change by Facebook has been labelled “EdgeRank” and here is how Facebook Product Manager Will Cathcart explained the change to TechCrunch:
We made a relatively large ranking change in September that was designed to reduce spam complaints from users. We used [spam] reports at an aggregate level to find Pages or apps generating a lot of reports [and decrease their reach]. We’ve also added personalized attempts to reduce presence of posts you’re likely to complain about.
Basically if you never click, Like, comment, or share posts by a Page, Facebook made that Page less likely to show up in your feed. Cathcart says “That’s a relatively large change. It resulted in a large decrease in spam reports,” meaning it succesfully made the Facebook news feed better.
But the shift wasn’t some black ops mission to suck more money out of your wallet – if anything the shift was done to boost your success using Facebook Pages. Rather than have to deal with a long and arduous process of reporting the people who would abuse the system and cripple your chances of success, Facebook streamlined it. Now it’s easier than ever to report abusers, and if enough data is collected to show that a page is being used for less than ethical purposes or is breaking any of the Facebook ToS agreements, then the proper action will be taken.
And that’s where you have the birth of this rumor – the people who were getting slapped for abusing the system decided that rather than take accountability and clean up their acts they would lead an all-out assault on Facebook. Yes, their pages were negatively impacted, and Facebook does have the power to push you reach down and cripple the effectiveness of your pages – but only if you are doing something that you shouldn’t be. The users that were skirting the rules or outright breaking them were the ones impacted, not the entire Facebook community at large. If you don’t want to see your page suffer, don’t spam – it’s that simple.
To ensure your lazy fans are kept up to date with your news, ask them to quickly complete one of the following steps:
- Have your fans add you to their Interests: Ask that your fans click on the gear located on the top right hand side of your brand’s page, and then click on ‘Add to Interests List.’
- Ask your fans to receive notifications from your page: This is still in beta (not yet available for all users), but there is now the option to receive red pop-up notifications from any of your favorite fan pages. Hover your mouse over the ‘Liked’ button and click on ‘Get Notifications.’ Fans can always opt out of getting notification flags.