There has been a rumor going around that Facebook has made changes to all business pages that will preventing that business’s posts from being seen by all of their fans, even those who have already liked the business page. You may have seen some pages posting updates similar to:
“Facebook is now charging to see all of our posts. To see all of our updates, please go to our page and click where it says, “Liked” and select “Show in News Feed.”
Is this rumor true? Yes and No. Let me explain.
Limited views in your fans’ news feeds
If you manage a Facebook Page for your business, you may have noticed that your reach has dropped over the past couple months. This is not from any recent change (as any fan that already likes your page will have the “Show in News Feed” area already checked off), but this is because of a Facebook algorithm that they have been running for quite some time called “Edgerank.” The Edgerank algorithm calculates a variety of factors, including each specific fan’s past interaction with your page, the popularity of each specific update, type of update (link, photo, text, etc), and many more factors that normal human beings like us will never know of. Based off a variety of factors, your page will be displayed in the news feed to a certain percentage of your fan base, and not every fan that has liked your page.
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Ok, fine—haha. That was just a hilarious April Fool’s joke.
But it’s not too far from the news that started leaking earlier this week about the real change to Fan Pages: the replacement of “become a fan” with a “like” button. Just as you “like” a friend’s status update, photo, or link, you will soon “like” Nike or The Chicago Blackhawks or the Cool Side of the Pillow instead of becoming a fan of these brands and ideas.
The reason? Facebook says their users click “like” more than “become a fan.” And something about streamlining the way communication happens on Facebook. (Real world side note: imagine if everyone on earth gave high-fives to express any positive or supportive feeling…hmm.) So, essentially, “like” converts. And Facebook feels that this means renaming the fan button will equal “conversions” for Fan Pages.
Facebook’s theory is that people click “become a fan” less often because it feels like too much of a commitment. Well, this is probably true. When you “become a fan” of a Facebook business page, you will, indeed, have a new set of announcements and updates in your feed. While for many consumers, this is the exact point and benefit of becoming a fan of that brand, for plenty of others it’s a turn-off. The kicker is that these people will probably always find it a turn-off, no matter how you dress up the button.
And the reason the simple little “like” text link gets clicked is because it’s non-committal but still engaging, and generally between friends. Yes, you can currently “like” things like Facebook ads. But for the most part, a “like” sends the message that you appreciated something a friend said or posted; it allows you to keep a relationship alive online and lets you keep a dialogue open, without having to make too much of an effort (<– we might have a whole different blog post there).
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