Marketing

The New Reality Of Facebook: How Much Has Changed?

Untitled1Guest post by Katonah Coster of Fame House

Ever since Facebook subtly unveiled their Promoted Posts feature (where Page admins can pay a fee to ensure their posts appear in more feeds), there has been an uproar from those who use the social platform to promote their brands and businesses. While those expressing disapproval view Facebook as wrong for charging to reach more eyeballs, many of them fail to realize that not much has actually changed at all in the way their messages get out. 


If you Like many pages on Facebook, chances are high that you’ve seen at least one post like this pop up in your news feed in the last few weeks:

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Since Facebook initially launched promoted posts for Pages at the beginning of June, there has been a great deal of discussion about the new policy’s implications for music artists and brands. Much of the discussion has skewed towards negative reactions from Page owners—primarily outcries that Facebook has suddenly limited the potential reach of individual posts, morphing a once level playing field into a pay-to-play system.

The frustration over this sudden change, however, is somewhat misguided. For the first time ever, all Facebook Page posts now show Page Admins the percentage of the Page’s audience they reach:

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Because Page Admins have never been able to see this metric before, many simply assumed that their posts were reaching the majority, if not all, of their Facebook fans. Believing this was the case, many artists and their teams have been shocked to find that as few as 8% of their fans are seeing new posts since the changes were implemented. But in reality, the average reach of any given Facebook Page post has always been somewhere between 10 and 20%. Because users’ News Feeds are filtered through Facebook’s EdgeRank (the algorithm built within Facebook that determines how high and how long a post appears for), they do not see every post from every Page they Like, and they never have.

Despite the uproar caused by the change, there are really only two aspects of Facebook posting that have changed: (1) Page Admins can now see precise metrics measuring how much of their audience has seen a post, and (2) Page Admins can now pay to ensure individual posts reach a greater percentage of Fans than they otherwise would organically.

These changes are actually great for music brands and artists!

Not only do we now have access to far greater detail about how audiences interact with Pages, allowing us to better understand what types of content performs the strongest with each unique audience, but we also have the opportunity to ensure that the most important news reaches the biggest audience possible—a bigger audience than we could reach before Facebook implemented these changes. For example, major releases or tour announcements can now be more effectively promoted to an artist’s Facebook audience by paying to reach 50%+ of fans, driving album or ticket sales more effectively than a normal post.

The confusion caused by this change does illustrate a critical point that cannot be emphasized enough: though Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool for building and cultivating an audience, it remains a third-party with a track record of implementing sudden changes to its platform with little to-no warning for its user base.

Having a team who deeply understands these issues and the entire digital landscape is a critical element of any successful digital strategy, and will only become more and more critical as we move forward into the digital future.

Katonah CosterFame House

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5 Comments

  1. I’d like to point out a problem that doesn’t appear to have gotten any attention other than by those of us affected. Some time over the last month or so, the “write something” box disappeared on pages we have liked. That means we can’t post anything on those pages. We can make comments on what is there, but we can’t start our own threads.
    What some people have figured out is that this is only a problem for those of us who have applications turned off. If we enable applications again, the “write something” box reappears. Either this is a bug Facebook isn’t acknowledging or it is intentional on the part of Facebook to force people to accept applications, but Facebook isn’t telling us that.
    At any rate, this likely has reduced engagement on pages because anyone who has disabled apps can’t post on pages.
    Here’s a discussion about it.
    https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=2224035

  2. Thank you for this article. This matched my experience too, except that Facebook began tracking article metrics on the backend a few weeks or months before they rolled out the post promotion. FYI, a band could always advertise a specific post from the ads page, this method just makes it easier and gets a lot better results.
    I held my mouth when people started posting all of those notices though, since I figured it couldn’t really hurt us smaller bands.

  3. The ads you pay for are fishy in my opinion. My band did it and we definitely got new likes. But I think they were bots. All of them spoke multiple languages, were super young, were foreign, had multiple education networks, etc…I think all of this attention for FB only strengthens that argument for just having a solid .com for a band. You have full control, and just use social media to funnel up to the .com.

  4. I’m confused. The “post impressions” feature has been there a long time, and I have tracked it for over a year. Where it used to say over 100,000 impressions on individual posts it now says 20-40,000. The comments and likes reduced dramatically as well, all after the timeline.

  5. Yeah, the reach feature has always been there. I don’t understand the optimism in this article. About a month ago I noticed that my posts have simply stopped showing up in feeds altogether. Now I know why. That’s about all there is to it.
    In reality, this is Facebook finally realizing that advertising on their site is useless compared to Google, and they are trying to monetize it other ways. There’s no real upside. We just have to pay them now.

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