Facebook logoSo Facebook has been busy updating its services and features again. On a business page you are now given the option to promote posts so that they reach a wider audience – oh and there’s a financial commitment involved should you want to take advantage of this new feature. There’s a surprise!

And it is rumoured that without paying for Facebook Promoted Posts means that your fans who have “Liked” your business page will see a much more limited view of your updates and messages.  So your fans will potentially be missing out on all kinds of information you intended to share with them.

Facebook officially states “Promoted posts appear in News Feed and show up higher so the audience for the post has more chance to see them. Promoted posts are labeled Sponsored. Promoted posts don’t appear in the right column of Facebook.” And “If I don’t promote my post, will people still see it? Yes. Promoting your post simply increases the likelihood that your audience will see your message in their News Feed.”

So how do Facebook Promoted Posts work…

The idea behind Promoted Posts is fairly simple: choose a key post to promote e.g. a special  offer, set your budget according to how many people you want to reach, and so the process starts. That post is seen by those who like your page; if they comment, share or like that post, their friends will see it too on their own news feeds, and the more exposure the post receives, the more likes, comments and shares it will accumulate – the ball is well and truly rolling and getting bigger and bigger, and so there is a greater opportunity to draw people to your business page and convert them to fans and start the relationship with them to move them on to buy in the future.

But is it fair that existing fans of your business page are now not getting to see all your posts? Personally, I think it’s a great shame and a little bit naughty of Facebook. I believe that if someone has chosen to like a page they should then have an equal opportunity to see all the posts. Fortunately, there is a way around this, but it relies on fans actively changing their Facebook settings, so it’s not a guaranteed winner.

Traditionally, clicking the like button on a business page would guarantee fans then received updates on their news feed, but now – if you want that same guarantee, you’ll need to do something more.

How to keep your fans fully updated without spending on Promoted Posts?

If you hover their mouse over the like button and a drop-down menu will pop up offering several different options; select ‘add to interest lists’ and you’re done, you will continue to receive all updates from that business.

I suspect it’s going to be a case of sharing that message with your business page fans too and encouraging them to change the status of their ‘Like’. Facebook naturally wants to ensure revenue, and charging businesses so that they can ‘enhance’ their exposure is a logical move. It’s just not so great for us small businesses that have limited marketing budgets to work with, so start spreading the message!

Has this new move by Facebook had an impact on how well your business page is working for you? Or have you tested out paying to promote key posts? Please share your experiences for other small business 🙂