A couple months back, Facebook did some re-jigging. This is nothing new. Facebook, is, in fact, pretty much re-jigging all the time. This time, however, got a lot of people up in arms.
Facebook has an algorithm that determines what you do and do not see in your main Facebook stream. This algorithm is called Edgerank. Basically, how it works is, if you have had recent interaction with a fan of your page, say, a conversation or they liked one of your statuses, or they shared one of your statuses, there is a much greater chance that they will see your updates than if they had not. Also, if you are posting photos and videos, those have a much higher chance of being seen over plain text status updates.
The re-jigging was meant to shut down or effectively silence businesses who were using their pages to “broadcast,” which is just basically talking about your business and nothing else. These kinds of posts tend to be… er kinda boring, and they don’t tend to generate a lot of engagement. Pages that create more engagement are not as hard-hit by Facebook’s re-jigging of Edgerank.
Facebook generated more controversy, however, by introducing something called “Promoted Posts” at the same time they re-jigged Edgerank. Promoted Posts effectively skirt around Edgerank, and show your post to more fans, and more friends of fans. The catch? It costs $5.
We could debate all day about whether Facebook wants to protect us from Spam or whether they want to line their own pockets. But let’s not. Let’s talk about Promoted Posts. Are they worth it? I did an experiment.
You know how I went on a writing retreat before Christmas, and totally re-wrote my book? Well, I wrote a post about that, and, because I felt like it was important information (the plan is to actually start selling the book in a couple of weeks), I decided to try a promoted post. It was pretty painless to buy, and it cost me $5.
The results? It tripled my average post views.
So, yeah, if you have something that you want to highlight, I’d say invest in a paid post. I wouldn’t do it every day–it would get expensive and you’d be crying wolf, but it might be smart to start budgeting out a few each month to really hype up important events.
Further Reading: Is It Worth Paying to Promote Facebook Posts?