Facebook: My New Frenemy

Oh Facebook, you’re like the girl who tells you she loves your shoes only to follow it up with: “If you like that style.”

Yeah, Facebook you’re my new frenemy.

As you probably know, Facebook has implemented a new promote button to fan pages and profiles. Here’s the simple version:

1. Any status update you put on Facebook is only seen by a percentage of your friends and fans.

2. However, for a nominal fee you can promote a status update so it is seen by more of your fans/friends and their friends.

My fan page has 952 fans. These are people who’ve opted in to hear news from me. I love these folks. They’re awesome.

On November 26 (a Monday), I posted a photo of a contest winner with a link to another giveaway I was having. According to the Facebook gurus, adding a photo increases your chances of being seen on a newsfeed.Β Four people liked the post and one fan commented on it. Ninety people or 9.4 percent of my fans saw the post. We can agree this is not a great percentage. However, if I paid to promote the post for $10, all of my fans would see it (potentially). Or I could pay $15 and reach at least 1,680 of my fans and their friends.

On November 16 (a Friday), I posted a quote from a positive review for Passion Creek with a link. I paid Β $15 to promote this post. Note: The amount you are charged to promote varies depending on how many fans you have and how many folks you could reach.Β More than 9,100 people saw this post – 7,975 of whom saw it because I paid to promote it. Of those, 231 liked the post, eight commented on it and three clicked the link to the review.

On November 25 (a Sunday), I used HootSuite to schedule and post a status update with a link to a Tumbler of men reading. Fifty-seven people saw the post. That’s 6 percent of my fans. No likes. No comments. That is the kind of result that makes very unladylike words spill from my lips. Why the difference? According to all those Facebook gurus it’s because Facebook’s algorithms rank posts from other sources that go to Facebook (a scheduler like HootSuite) at about the same level as pond scum.

End result? Facebook can still be a marketing platform for you but you going to end up paying for that reach – even if you’re targeting your own fans who want to hear from you. And you won’t just be paying with money. You’ll be paying with time by hand-posting status updates on Facebook instead of using a scheduling application.

Paying to promote gets your status updates seen by more people. However, if you’re going to go this route, I’d recommend using it judiciously unless you want to be paying out the wazoo.

Final thought? I can’t wait for the new My Space platform to send me my invite.