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My Facebook Experiment

I recently learned that Facebook has started to penalise Pages by only showing new updates to less than 20% (figures gathered according to my own research) of those who have actually Liked the page, who expect to be able to see what’s being shared on that Page. Nuh-uh. Facebook doesn’t want 80% of your ‘fans’ actually seeing anything.


But there’s two ways you can get around it.

  1. Pay Facebook money to increase the exposure of your post, or ‘boost’ it, as it’s called. When you do this, it’s shown to all those who Like your page, as well as thousands of other people who see it show up randomly in their stream. (If you’ve seen random shit from people or pages that you’re not actually following, this is why – you’ve been randomly chosen in the ‘boost’ target audience parameters).
  2. Share content that people actually care to Like, share with others, or comment on. As people are engaged in those ways, Facebook will increase its exposure to more of those who Liked your page. If the engagement is small, then the increase is small as well. But if the engagement is large enough (eg. you have lots of people engaged in discussion about your post), then the increase in exposure is also larger, until you can eventually reach 100% of those who Liked your page.

In my experiment, a post with zero comments seemed to average about 19% of the page’s followers (those who have Liked it). When I got 4 comments a post, that seemed to increase to just less than 50% exposure. But when I got about 12 comments on a post and a number of likes, then exposure was at 100%.

So the experiment showed me that you don’t actually have to pay to ‘boost’ your posts so all your followers can see it (unless you want to actually promote it to thousands of others, depending on how much you pay to ‘boost’ it), but you DO have to share content that encourages your followers to talk about it or be engaged with it in some way.

So for those pages that have boring or shitty content that no one is interested in, only 20% of their followers will get to see it. If they find it interesting and engage with it, then more followers will see it.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I think that Facebook’s attempts to encourage the sharing of quality content is a good thing.

I was originally against it, believing that Facebook were a bunch of greedy assholes, forcing page owners to pay money to them so that their content could be shared to those that wanted to see it anyway.

But after my experiment and the results I’ve found, I’m ok with it.

If I want more of my followers to see my content, I just have to do my best to make it interesting enough that they’ll get engaged with it. Ask questions, etc.

It’s been a good learning experience for me. Instead of just accepting and believing the complaints of others, which is what originally alerted me to this, I did my own experiments and learned a bit more about how Facebook works and also about how I can make it work better for me.

What about you? Have you had any experiences of your own that turned you off Facebook or helped you learn how to better use it?

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