You Say Facebook Boosted Page Posts, I Say Profiteering

I was recently invited by Facebook to participate in a survey apparently intended to gauge interest in a new advertising format, and the price thereof.  Call me paranoid, but while taking the survey, I became increasingly aware of the possibility that EdgeRank (the algorithm used by Facebook to determine whether anyone will see your posts and, if so, then how many of them) had been created with the long term goal of forcing fan page owners to pay Facebook in order to communicate with their own fans.  It is, of course, possible that it just happens Facebook is capitalizing on the convenient circumstance created by EdgeRank, in which a Fan Page’s posts are only seen by a small percentage (we’re talking single digits) of that page’s fans.  You can increase the number of fans that see your posts by getting more fans to interact with your page.

While creating engaging content and giving fans other reasons to want to interact with your page is something you should be doing anyway, it raises a question.  Why doesn’t Facebook let it’s users decide whether they will continue to see posts from a page from which they have explicitly indicated they wanted to see posts.  If I have “liked” a page, I understand that I should then see their updates in my news feed.  This is why I liked the page.  If I don’t want to see their posts, I don’t like the page.  If I have liked a page, and that page posts excessively, irrelevantly, or in any other way that bothers me, I will unlike the page.  Simple, right?  Facebook doesn’t think so.  This is why they created the “Top Stories” default for peoples’ news feeds.  Facebook decides which things you would be interested in seeing, out of the things that you have specifically indicated you were interested in seeing.  You can switch your news feed view to “Most Recent,” although it will always quietly revert back to “Top Stories.”  This has bugged me, as a personal user of Facebook, ever since they started doing this (before it was even called Top Stories).

Back to the inspiration for this blog post.

screenshot from Facebook Boosted Page Posts Pricing Survey

They presented a number of scenarios and asked the survey respondent to rate their interest on a scale from 1 to 10.  There were some items of interest, such as getting more exposure to non-fans, but there was also something that set off this post.  The question was presented three times, with different price options each time, as were the others.  I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but they wanted to know how much I would be willing to pay to have my page’s posts seen by 60% of the page’s fans.  Is it just me, or is there something wrong with that?

Aside from that, from what they showed as examples of this new and improved format,  “Boosted Page Posts” looked the same to me as Paid Facebook Ads.  They are simply taking a post and being so kind as to let you pay to put that post in an ad box, and pay (much more than regular Facebook Ads) for it… just like their current Facebook Ads.  The one difference I could see from the survey, is that it sounds like they are just broadening the audience for your ads, to everyone in your local area.  You could do the exact same thing right now by simply not selecting the targeting options that make Facebook Ads so useful.

Have you taken this survey?  What did you think?

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About TaDa! Interactive

I provide affordable interactive marketing and technology consulting and services to all the small business owners/managers out there that don't have the time, knowledge or inclination to do it themselves. The main sites/services I work with include: (Local Search and Review) Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Foursquare, (Social) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ , (Blogs/CMS) WordPress, Tumblr, (Mobile) SMS, Mobile Web and QR codes, although I don't stop there. If it has to do with computers or mobile technology, I can probably help. Whether you want advice/information/education, help, or a full service solution, you can get it from TaDa! Interactive

Posted on February 22, 2012, in Facebook, Marketing, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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