Promoted Facebook updates – What does it mean for hyperlocals?

Facebook has recently introduced Promoted Updates for page owners – it is a way of paying to have your updates appear in the news feeds of more people that like your page than would normally see it.

Since it’s introduction I’ve noticed some of the hyperlocals I follow posting  a variation of this update:

Facebook is now requiring business 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….

There is a way around it. Hover over the button on the 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 this page.”

This is wrong. It is not a requirement by facebook for page owners to pay to have their status seen by every subscriber – because firstly paying is an option and secondly even by paying not every subscriber will see your update you’re just increasing the chances of more people seeing it.

Also this update is working on the assumption that every subscriber saw all of the updates you post anyway. They don’t and never have. Facebook says:

Nothing has changed about how your posts are shared with the people who like your Page.

A lot of activity happens on Facebook and most people only see some of it in their news feeds. They may miss things when they’re not on Facebook, or they may have a lot of friends and Pages, which results in too much activity to show all of it in their news feed.

If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.

So nothing really changes except for Facebook giving  you the opportunity to pay to have your status read by more people if you want to.

Of course there is nothing wrong with posting reminders to your subscribers on how to make sure your updates appear in their news feed I just feel that having seen a few people post this particular update and not knowing where it originated from it is quite possibly scaremongering to get more people/businesses to pay to promote their updates unnecessarily  – and when you are a hyperlocal working voluntarily with zero budget it’s important to know what Promoted Posts actually mean.

There is more information about promoted posts on the Facebook Help Pages

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