Facebook has, for quite some time now, been using algorithms to determine what shows up in your News Feed. But now, Facebook’s updated EdgeRank algorithm (explained well here) drastically influences what you see. It theoretically populates your News Feed based on assigned value to posts…but the problem is, it chooses those values for you. So, when a page you Liked never shows up in your feed and instead some spammy-looking “trending story” does, that is why.
This is a problem for this reason: If I have worked hard to build a following for a Facebook page I manage that has a large number of fans, you would think that when I made a status update that all of those fans (who voluntarily Liked the page) would see it, right? Wrong. Of course, that’s never been the case, but it’s even worse now.
Now that Facebook has introduced the “Promote” feature on posts, the algorithm seems to more aggressively limit the organic views of your posts. [note: This could be debated, but this is my theory based on conclusions from observed trends and a bit of speculation.] Facebook claims that using the Promote feature “increases organic views of your content” – which is only true because they have likely intentionally diminished the true organic reach of content so they can turn around and make you buy what you used to get for free.
Want an example?
I manage a page for the band I play in. For the past few months, we have typically reached 36% to 40% of our audience (i.e. the people who have Liked us). Since the introduction of the Promote option, our reach per post has dropped to only about 14%. Now, just to reach the same amount of people I used to reach, I have to pay at least $5 per Promoted post. This is why Facebook is evil. Or, evil genius if you want to think of it that way.
How about another example?
On a page I manage for xx xxxxxxx that has xx,000 fans, we went from having a xx% reach on an average post to having an x% reach – just since the Promote button has been introduced. Ok, decided to edit out that example so as not to give away any proprietary information.
On Facebook, you now have to pay for the same reach that you once got for free. I must say that Facebook did a damn good job of getting everyone on the bandwagon without ever letting on that the ride was eventually going to cost us a lot of money.
You know what drug dealers do? They give you some crack or meth or whatever for free. And when you come back for more, they might even give you a little more for free. Once they have you hooked, all of a sudden what you once got for free is now gonna cost you hundreds of dollars just to get a fix. Who could have guessed that someone in mainstream culture would get away with that same business model?