[introIn case you’re not up to speed on Promoted Posts, the Facebook Help Center explains that by “promoting” a post you are “increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it”. Generally, they show up something like this:
So wait, now we have to pay to have our posts seen by our own fans – fans that have already opted in to receive updates by Liking the page?
Promoted posts have solicited two types of reactions…[/intro]
Reaction #1: Businesses or brands without room in the budget for Facebook advertising are upset that their posts will be edged out of News Feeds to make room for promoted posts by businesses or brands that can afford the paid option.
Reaction #2: Businesses or brands that can afford to spend money on Facebook Advertising and are happy to have the opportunity to boost visibility over posts that they once had to compete with for News Feed real estate.
Of course, Facebook has had to field a significant rush of complaints from upset brands and business owners (see reaction type #1). In many cases, these businesses and brands have spent a significant amount of time and effort building their Page, only to see post views and other impression metrics plummet as businesses with the money to pay for advertising edge them out. This has happened to Australian hair care company Dazzle Strands, with post views nose-diving from around 1000 down to about 90. To address the influx of complaints, Facebook Studio released an article, reassuring and reinforcing that posts that receive great responses will have higher visibility in more news feeds. Facebook claims, “Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the News Feed will always optimize for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t”. So wait, I don’t have to pay to have my updates seen in news feeds after all?
This is where Facebook has played both sides of the field. On one hand, Facebook claims that “the News Feed works to serve up messages – organic and paid – that people are most likely to interact with”—so why bother paying? Just be more interesting!
On the other hand, Facebook claims that promoted posts “will be shown in the News Feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally”—so if you want to be seen, pay up!
Well, Facebook, which is it?