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Facebook Pages Pro-tip: Ignore the Rumors

I’ve seen a few pages post variations of the following and I would like to assure you that it is not true.

“Facebook is now requiring page owners to pay to have their status updates read by every subscriber. If we don’t, status updates only show up in less than 10% of newsfeeds, even though you have “liked” the page indicating you want to see posts from this page. However, there is a way around it. Hover over the button on this page where it says “Like” and then make sure you are check marked to “show in news feed”. Its free! And, you won’t miss updates from us page. Do it to all of the pages you’ve “liked.”

Like all good rumors, this one has some nuggets of truth to it, and with Facebook going public, there seems to be an overabundance of inaccuracies.

First, when you like a page it automatically checks “Show in News Feed” unless you uncheck it yourself.  So, yes, you need the people who follow you to check that, but if it’s unchecked, it’s because they’ve deliberately chosen to do so.  Second, checking that box doesn’t mean your posts will be shown in their feed.

Facebook uses an algorithm called Edgerank to determine what each individual user sees.  You can bypass this algorithm using the sort feature at the top of the page or by creating lists or by selecting “All Updates” from an individual user.  I was
unsure about Edgerank at first, but when you’ve got a lot of friends it turns out to be quite useful.  I can still see every update, but I can also be friends with people who I don’t really want to read about.

Edgerank takes a lot of different factors into account when it determines what to show you which boils down to: how often do you interact with this page or person, how often do you interact with thiskind of content (photos, videos, statuses), how recent is the post, and how much are other people interacting with this post right now. If you’re trying to get more people to see what your page posts, those are the basic things you need to keep in mind before you even begin to advertise.  You must know how the system works.  If you want your posts to show up in more feeds, you’ve got to make sure people interact with your page; they’ve got to like your posts, comment, and share with other people.

That 10% number is based on what percentage of the audience most pages reach on average, which is actually a dismal 7.5%, but this is because most people really don’t care about what you’re posting, not because Facebook is intentionally keeping posts from others until you give them money.

Finally, paying to advertise is an option, but it is not required and there is no hard limit to what percent your followers will actually read.  I posted something an hour ago that has already reached 21% of my followers, and I did no promotion.  I could pay to advertise, and there are a lot of cool things you can do to make it look more appealing to the people you’re reaching out to, including making sure that the only people who see it are those with friends who already like your page.

Facebook has an excellent FAQ and video on promoting your pages. http://www.facebook.com/help/promote  When you see these rumors, make sure you google them before you post about it on your Facebook wall, don’t spread the rumors and don’t make people think you don’t care enough to look up whether it’s true.

Ashley F. Miller
Written by Ashley F. Miller

Ashley is currently getting her PhD in Mass Communication from USC, with a focus on social media marketing and film. She graduated cum laude from Emory University before getting her MFA at FSU’s Film Conservatory. She is a writer and an editor, focusing on story in both crafts, she’s worked in feature development, reality TV, and on several well-received short films and web series in addition to her online writing and screenwriting. She has worked as a writer and editor for SheThought.com, worked on the show Flipping Out, worked for the award winning Gold web series, and has optioned her screenplay, "Bible Con", which was a semi-finalist at the Nicholl Fellowship. Now, Ashley is adding Social Axcess staff writer to her extensive list of writing experience.

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