Paying to Promote Facebook Pages? |Fun Questions

March 22, 2014 Fun Questions 39

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Paying to Promote Facebook Pages?

So I recently discovered something that I had been blissfully unaware of. I knew that Facebook had the option for me to promote my page, which of course I wasn’t going to do with my blog. This is a hobby,  not a business, so I’m not going to pay to promote it. What I didn’t know was that if you don’t pay to promote, people who are already following the page aren’t likely to see it.

My response was, “WTF?” If someone likes a page, why should I have to promote it for them? If they want to hide my page from their newsfeed, that’s fine – but it should be their decision! Apparently, when you post something to your Facebook page, it gets more views based on interactions. For example, every day I have my blog posts automatically fed to my Facebook page via bloglovin. It’s easier and I can’t count on myself to do it on my own every day. At the bottom of each of those posts, Facebook tells me how many people saw them. On average only TWO PEOPLE see those posts! Now mind you, I don’t have a ton of Facebook followers – I’m at 263 as I write this post. But out of 250+ people, only 2 are seeing my posts every day. That’s insane!

Now, if I were to take the time to put my posts in on my own – typing in a little introduction and then posting the link in the comments I would reach more people. Because with a comment, that post now has an interaction. I tested this out. One day, I had a post that had two views from it’s automatic post from bloglovin. Then I wrote a quick snippet about the post and put the link in the comments. By the end of the day, the first post still only had two views, while the second post (which was up for 5 hours less) had 7. Mind you, 7 is still a pretty pathetic percentage of 250 followers (2.8%), but it’s an improvement.

So, basically if you want people to actually see what your posting, you need them to like it and comment on it. Which is like a catch-22 because if they don’t see it, how can they interact with it? Obviously they can go looking for the page, but how many people even realize that if they don’t interact with a page it won’t appear on their feed? I would just assume that nothing new has posted. The other option is to pay to promote, which is something I’m not even slightly interested in doing.

From what I understand, the more a person interacts with your page the more likely they are to see your posts, even if the post hasn’t had a lot of interaction. And based on the people who regularly like my posts, I’d say that’s probably true.

So what does all this mean?

Well for one, it means I’m seriously questioning the value of having a Facebook page for the blog. I feel like I’d have to spend as much time on it as I do the actual blog for it to reach even 1/3 of the people who are followers. And that doesn’t really make sense.

Secondly, it means that I’m searching for all the Facebook pages I follow and care about seeing, making sure to interact with them so that they will HOPEFULLY show up in my newsfeed. And when they do show up, you better believe I’m hitting like for even the smallest thing so that I will see the posts that I really care about.

Finally, it means I’m really worried when I get emails from Twitter talking about paying to promote Twitter pages and Tweets. Facebook has never been too important for my blog – I don’t do a whole lot on it besides share posts, news about books/authors I follow, and book-related funnies. But Twitter! Twitter is where I do all my blog interactions and it scares me to think that they might be going the way of Facebook! Could you imagine if we didn’t see each others tweets just because no one had favorited, retweeted, or replied? Now don’t get all up in arms – this is just my concerns, nothing official (that I know of) has changed with Twitter. I’m just speculating and slightly worried.

Edit: Thanks to Comment below from Melanie Simmons, check out this video that really sheds some light on this issue:

What do you think about paying for Facebook traffic?

Are there other ways that I’ve missed to make sure people see what you post?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

39 Responses to “Paying to Promote Facebook Pages? |Fun Questions”

    • Berls

      That stinks – seems like they should have some sort of guarantee or something. But I guess they really only care about making money. I won’t get rid of fb, but I won’t put much energy into either!

  1. A Voracious Reader

    I post my blog links, but I do it manually. Actually, I don’t do any automatic posting. Anyway, I’m on FB all the time, so it’s no big deal for me to post my daily link. I will not pay to promote though. My blog is a hobby, not a business and I wouldn’t pay to promote on FB even if it was a business.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…VABT Tour ~ The Freeing of Jonathon MarkMy Profile

    • Berls

      I absolutely agree – I guess I could see paying to promote on FB if you had a certain kind of business, though after watching that video, I don’t see the benefit of anyone paying. Sounds like they need to abandon the model and stop ripping people off to me!

  2. Julie S.

    This is very unfortunate. Doesn’t FB realize they’re going to lose users if this kind of crap continues? We’re not going to pay to promote just for fun pages. We’re not a true business. I do like you – if I see a post in my feed I’ll like it to help it to continue to show up in the feed. But also like you, I have my posts auto share on FB. I guess it makes sense why I’ve seen people say “link in the comments” on a lot of FB posts lately. I think it sucks they have to do that.
    Julie S. recently posted…The Headhunters Race reviewMy Profile

    • Berls

      I agree – fb is all about the profit and doesn’t care about small hobby pages 🙁 It’s really discouraging.

  3. Lark

    I am discouraged by the Facebook thing, too. I mean, as a Facebook user, when I like a page, I want to see the posts from it! So this policy not only hurts me as a blogger with a Facebook page, it hurts me as a private user.
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 3/23/14My Profile

    • Berls

      I agree Lark – when I found this out, my first thought was actually for the pages that I’ve unfollowed in the past because I thought they never posted anything. Now I wonder if maybe they were posting and I just didn’t see it 🙁

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    This is disheartening, Berls. I didn’t understand about how this was working. I have ~1100 likes on my fb page and I was wondering why it was that only ~20 people my posts. I do all my own posts, it takes a lot of time, and this makes me want to ditch my page. I mean, what’s the point??

    What other options do we have? Pinterest?

    Thanks for sharing on this topic, Berls. Even if it did kinda depress me. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #12**My Profile

    • Berls

      I know, it really discouraged me too. It makes me feel like it’s not worth the time or energy – I could be putting that time into my blog, reading, or twitter. IDK, I plan to keep my page and hope that things will change, but I also don’t intend to put much work into it.

    • Berls

      Isn’t it just… ARGH!! I want to know how long this has been going on, because I’ve been completely clueless. I’m just crossing my fingers that Twitter will continue it’s habit of being absolutely nothing like FB!

  5. Angie

    This is bull! I don’t have a page for my blog but I do have a page for my favorite artist Erte. This has a lot of likes and sometimes I have had post views double from the number of likes on the page. But that is ONLY because the fans shared the picture I shared. Otherwise no one would see it. Non-sense.
    Angie recently posted…Project Disney- The Lion KingMy Profile

    • Berls

      Yeah, it seems that having others share is the best way to get people to see posts. Which makes sense because when you share something, if someone clicks on it they are redirected to the original post. But if people are checking in to see it and thus share it, no views. I guess the trick is to get enough people to see it in the first place.

    • Berls

      Thanks! I didn’t know you could subscribe to pages, that’s helpful. I’m going to encourage people to subscribe to the page when they like it. (plus I’m going to subscribe to the pages I want to keep up with)

  6. Lola

    I’ve been aware of this issue for a while. And yeah from my 260 or so followers only 20 see my posts usually. And those are probably the same 20 every time. It also helps to tag an author or use a hashtag and a picture gives less views than text only. I also read somewhere that it matters when you post and that only a % of the people who are online at that moment see your post, not sure if that’s true though.

    It’s very frustrating and I don’t want to have to pay for people to see my post and just like you I am liking the posts of my fellow bloggers and authors a lot more than usual, because I know they have the same problem. And why knows maybe in a few weeks they change it all again.

    For now I’ll just keep my fb page, at least for those 20 people who see it. And as it doesn’t take that much time to share a short post there I gues I’ll guess I keep doing it, but indeed it makes one wodner if it’s even worth the effort to have a fb page.
    Lola recently posted…How to Make Neat html postsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I wonder how long this has been going on? I was clueless to it, but from things I’ve heard since then, others like you have been aware for a while. I’ll have to keep in mind tagging authors and using hashtags.

      I’m keeping my FB page too, but I agree, I wonder if it’s worth it.

  7. Rachelle Reese

    Very interesting article. I have a Facebook page to promote my series Dime Store Novel. Most of the time I get about 10% penetration of posts. I notice that on a post that was shared, I got nearly 25%. Still not a lot, but it looks like sharing a post might boost it the most. I have not tried boosting a post. Thanks for the other tips on making it more visible.
    Rachelle Reese recently posted…Thankful for Springtime Plus Kindle PromoMy Profile

    • Berls

      Interesting – I need to look and see if I’ve had similar results from posts that have also been shared. That would make sense, since when you share a post, if someone clicks on it, they actually see it’s original location.

  8. Haley Keller

    I know almost nothing about Facebook because I never use it. What you described here is one of the reasons why. It sounds like the entire point of all of that is so that they can make money, and while I understand that they’re a business, it really annoys me.

    As for the Twitter promoted tweets, I’m pretty sure that has to do with people who AREN”T following you seeing your tweets. I’m constantly getting tweets from businesses I don’t follow on my timeline that say “promoted” on them. It’s a bit annoying, but I much prefer that method of getting people to pay over not showing someone’s content to people who have clearly expressed interest to see someone’s content. Twitter’s method also gives people who pay a wider audience to see their content than it would get to just permit people who asked for the content to see it. It sounds like an all around better way of going about things. I just really hope Twitter doesn’t end up going to way of Facebook. Almost everything Facebook does seems to annoy me.
    Haley Keller recently posted…Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 15: “The Darkness”My Profile

    • Berls

      I couldn’t agree more. FB is one of those things I’ve joined because I felt the need to, but then rarely use. I really hope you’re right about twitter, that’s all I’ve seen so far too, and I just hope they keep it that way!

  9. Kyra

    I’ve been getting really frustrated with Facebook too. I’ve paid for a couple of ad campaigns there, too, and felt like I really didn’t get results that were worth it.

    I’m planning to stay on Facebook, though. (I’m also on Twitter and I’m getting more into Google+.) When I post a link to my site, I always do one where I write a post and then put the actual link in the comments. There’s a theory that Facebook suppresses posts that send people to other sites. Those posts get a lot more views than posts that include the link in the actual post. I also share my posts from my author page to my personal real name page and my personal author name page (shh, don’t tell Facebook I’ve got two personal pages!) and that helps with exposure, too.

    I filled out a survey for them, and told them, seriously, I am NOT going to pay to get more Likes for my page so that then I can pay to get my posts shown to the people who Liked me.

    I think Facebook is going to find that this business model isn’t going to be able to sustain itself very long.

    • Berls

      I really hope that you’re right and they give it up. It really doesn’t make any sense to pay so that people who already like your page will see it! I get paying to advertise your page to people who haven’t liked it yet (I can’t afford that, but it at least makes sense). But why pay when people already said they wanted to see my posts?!?

      I’ll probably stay on FB as well, but I’m using it less and less 🙁

  10. Angie F.

    When I found out about this a couple of weeks ago, my reaction was WTF, too. It makes absolutely no sense! Typically, people like a page because their interested in whatever the page is for. They probably want to see updates, and yet, Facebook is like “nope, sorry! You gotta work for it!” It makes no sense! Show them the new posts! Now it’s even less likely that they’ll see the posts, because they don’t show up, since no one “interacts” with them, but they can’t be interacted with because they don’t show up!

    I use to get 20-30 views on posts, which is low, but it’s a lot better than the 2-3 I get now. I completely stopped posting Kindle deals there, since no one is seeing them anyway. Now the only posts are my blog posts which are send automatically. It’s a shame.
    Angie F. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #122My Profile

    • Berls

      It really is. I pretty much only do automatic posts now too. Occasionally I do author deals, just because I do have a couple friends that I know check it and will see the deal. And I do funnies, because they’re fun (even if no one see them). But it’s really very neglected in comparison to what I used to try and do with it.

  11. Michelle

    I got a business notice from Pinterest the other day asking if I want to switch to a business format, I deleted it, now it didn’t say anything about paying but I just wasn’t doing it.

    If you make just a profile were people have to friend you, then all your friends will see your posts unless they hide you but that limits the amount of people that you can be friends with so pages seem like the best option since you can gain so many followers but what’s the point if no one can see you. I almost wish I would have did it the other way at least of I could only have 2000 friends then I know if I got 2000 friends all of them would see it.

    I read something that if you can gain more views and such on Facebook if you use your page account more instead of commenting and liking with your personal account, I tried it the other day but I have to go back and like everyone of the pages I follow with my FB page also (I did to most already) then you get more click which in turn give you more views. Something like that, I’ll test it out and let you know 🙂

    I also noticed the Twitter Business, I think is more for promoting tweets and getting your name to show up on the side bars that recommend to other people, I don’t think it means to actually have tweets be seen, however I could be wrong. I just can’t see how they can do that when it’s hard enough to see everyones tweet when the feed reloads so fast, I miss so much.

    Ok I am going to stop writing now because this annoys me so much I can complain about it all day 🙂 Great post my friend!!!
    Michelle recently posted…Facebook hates me and it probably hates you too.My Profile

    • Berls

      I hope you’re right about Twitter! I thought about creating a personal profile for FB instead of a page, but then you get all these friend requests and everything, so much more complicated… IDK I’m hoping FB will eventually abandon this model.

  12. Trish

    Hmmmh, I’ve only recently started my facebook page and I really like it but yes the traffic is horrible. I didn’t know that about liking and commenting on my own posts but I now know why people put links in comments. I’ll start doing that at least from now on.
    It does suck and I’m never going to pay so it’s probably not a great platform for bloggers.
    Trish recently posted…Cover Reveal & Giveaway : Something Like Normal by Monica JamesMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’ve never done much with my FB page and now that I know this, I probably will neglect it even more. What’s the point of spending a lot of time on it if no one gets to see it?

  13. Nadia

    Wow! I didn’t know that part about promoting! I wouldn’t do it for my blog because as you said it’s just a hobby… Maybe I’d try out the commenting thing, but honestly I don’t feel like spending too much time on my facebook fan page! It’s actually completely neglected… *shrugs*
    Nadia recently posted…Feature & Follow Friday #5My Profile

    • Berls

      That’s exactly how I feel – I just don’t spend that much time on Facebook. I just assumed it was something I should have for the blog, but now I’m really not too sure.

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