FB fans aren’t seeing your posts (and how to fix it)

by Cinda Baxter on June 4, 2012

in Facebook, Social Media

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out a newer post that includes solutions for both fans and page admins by clicking here.

Isn’t Facebook supposed to be the magical tool that levels the playing field for small business, non-profits, and grass roots movements? Once upon a time, maybe…but not so much now.

Last week, an interesting (and by “interesting” I mean “stunning“) tidbit began appearing at the bottom of status updates posted by page admins, visible only to them—the number of people each post reached, accompanied by the percentage of their total fan base it represented.

The number shown doesn’t represent the number of your fans online at the moment; it’s the abysmally small number Facebook bothered to publish in newsfeeds.

Yeah. You read that correctly. Most of your fans don’t receive your posts. At all. In any way, shape, or form. Facebook is only sharing them with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your page.

In other words, the minority.

The following day, another tidbit appeared, just to the right of the scary percentage—a “Promote” button. Tap that, and you’re asked to pay for the rest of your fans to see the post.

Uh huh. Read that one correctly too. Pay to post.

Not to advertise—to reach the fans you already have. The ones who thought clicking “like” added you to their newsfeeds.

Out of sheer curiosity, I clicked Promote, then began crunching numbers. If I want a post to reach all 90,600 fans of The 3/50 Project, I need to pony up more than $500.

Per post.

Which simply isn’t going to happen.

So how do we work around the roadblock? There’s a back door solution, but we can’t make it easily visible, since we’re barred from putting “calls to action” in the Cover photo or a pinned post. (The pinned post policy has been changed; thanks to JDavidbeatty for the heads up. You cannot, however, put calls to action in the cover photo—that hasn’t changed.)

Which is why I’m pinning this blog post, once it posts to the Project’s FB page (legit, by Facebook standards).

Click image to view larger version

For Fans: How to keep receiving posts from FB pages you’ve “Liked”

1. Find a page you’ve “liked.”

2. Hover you mouse over the “Liked” button. Which may or may not work.

3. Try clicking the “Liked” button. That also may or may not work.

4. After clicking “Liked,” try hovering over it again. This may or may not work.

(Sensing a theme? Access isn’t consistent…nor intended to be easy, I have a feeling. Please keep trying.)

5. Once you (finally) get a drop down menu, confirm “Show in News Feed” is selected.

In theory, this should put all more posts from the page back in your newsfeed.

Or not.

Hard to know, since the only way to test it is to keep visiting every page you’ve “liked” to compare their posts to your newsfeed.

(Which no one has time to do. We understand.)

Facebook’s new pay-to-post format is obviously intended to increase revenue, now that shareholders are involved. Sadly, it’s also a killer for their most fervent users—non-profits and grass roots movements who have built a significant following. Pages with deep pockets and corporate backing will be able to buy their way into newsfeeds, but those of us without endless cash reserves are already invisible, thanks to this new twist.

And by “new” I mean [fill in your favorite expletive].

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If you feel Facebook needs to roll back this pay-to-post change, please click the Facebook share button below. If enough users push back, there’s at least a slim chance they’ll reconsider, having done so on similar initiatives in the past.


Lala June 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I’ll add to the conspiracy. Shared this on Facebook vía Twitter and then started a discussion with a friend about it. A minute into it, all our discussion comments are gone. Just wiped out. A minute after that, the notifications of said comments are gone as well. WTH?

Andrea Baumann June 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for the posting about this! Although we were aware how to try and tweak our pages viewed in personal profile, we were not aware of much of the rest.

We are are also curious about the lists; had believed if folks placed certain pages into that list, that would ensure they could see more posts…perhaps all. Thought that would be a good workaround for those viewing the page in profile mode. Or is it still that only a small amount of posts would show up in the list?

Life-of-spice June 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I checked two of the “likes” I have, and both of them had already been checked to “Show in news feed” (as did all of those I looked at). Then, I looked to see what they have posted lately. I haven’t been getting their posts! So, I don’t now how I can feel confident I’ll receive notices from any of the pages I like. I also have a page to notify neighbors about a bi-weekly food truck party. I guess they’re not all getting them. And, I just shared the link on my page – I wonder if I’m going to get punished now?!

KB June 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Unfortunately the Show in Newsfeed doesn’t work, I’ve been putting that to the test for a while.

Editor’s Note: In theory, it should increase the number of posts you see, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has claimed all posts would begin to appear. Crud.

DEBBIE June 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm


Kirstie Bennett June 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Hi Cinda,
Thank you for raising this issue once again. There seem to be workarounds for the reader to recieve content that she wants to see, but it is impossible for me to make sure that my readers, those who have liked my page, to see all of my posts. Unless, of course, I want to pay. I have shared your post on my personal and business pages, and will hope that someone actually sees this valuable information. This really needs to go viral. Thanks for starting the seed…

Michael June 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I don’t see a promote button anywhere on any of my artist or business pages. I’d like to know where you’re getting this info, as nothing is cited at all. How do you know how Facebook is publishing my updates? Before you go getting people all upset, explain how you came to these conclusions as this article seems like yet another attempt to get people worked up about “Facebook is going to start making you pay! I know I say that all the time, but this time it’s TRUE!!!”

Editor’s Note: If you look at a post you placed on your page at least 5-10 minutes ago, you’ll see the Promote button, to the right of the percentage of fans reached. It doesn’t appear until a post is “live” and in process.

Tara F June 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm

While we love all of these suggestions, and we sympathize with all of the requests from all of our favorite Small Businesses on FB for their followers to change their newsfeed post settings.

As marketing people, we all know that buyers are going to put forth very little effort to follow our marketing requests. Clicking “Like” is all we can expect at the very least. Asking them to change their settings to watch our sales jargon day after day is asking alot. It is sad that we have to pay per post after corralling our fans to click “Like” on our fan page….

Candice Cummins June 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Dear Facebook,

We are a small business that always tries to do the right thing. We pay for Facebook advertising. We ask our customers to use Facebook to stay in touch with us. We include a Facebook link and icon on our website (free of charge to you.) We, like thousands of small businesses using your site, bring eyeballs to your paid advertising every day. We participate in a system that has worked well for you. Please allow our fans to see our updates without asking for us to pay for it or asking them to expend more effort.


Taken for Granted in Chicago

ps- It’s extra icky to make such a significant change without any forewarning or communication. It’s also icky that the “promote” link that is supposed to be next to the “people reached” statistic isn’t even there. If we could afford to pay to play, we couldn’t even get to the place where you could take our money.

ChRobot June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Pretty sure people don’t fully understand this. Anyone who has liked your page is fully able to go to your page and see anything you’ve posted.

If only 20% of your fans have seen it after 24 hours, one thing you have to take into account is the fact that many of those people were on Facebook for less than 1 hour during that 24 hours. Sure some are on longer, sometimes much longer. Then, people have facebook friends, real people, not just businesses, posting things. If I have 500 facebook friends, I want a majority of my feed to be about my friends because that was the point of Facebook, connecting with other people socially. If I saw 100% of the posts that all of my “liked” pages post, that would be the only thing on my Newsfeed. I don’t know many people who would keep coming to Facebook if, instead of it telling them about their friends, it was just a place that they could log into and get a listing of advertisements.

Like others have said, if many people aren’t seeing your posts it’s because they don’t go to your page often. Post interesting stuff and use advertising that encourages “sharing” so that people do the advertising for you.

Todd June 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Google+ is the way to go.

Lynn Gallimore June 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

That explains sooo much. I wonder – has anyone else noticed that the “Check In” numbers keep changing? I suppose there are going to be some big (probably expensive) changes going on with all aspects of FaceCrook now that it’s a publicly traded co.

Jennair Gerardot June 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm

THe work around you provided dis not work for me because the “Show in newsfeed settings” does not go anywhere when you click it. (Maybe because it is already chosen).
Anyway, I’ve tried something new by creating Lists on FB. There is an option for Pages, and everything you liked comes up and you can click to select them into your list, which you can name. I called mine,” Interests Newsfeed”. Now, I may have to click on this list to see the newsfeed on the left hand side (At the bottom), not sure yet if I get an auto news feed per page or not.

You can share this list with public, friends or just you, so check the privacy option of your choice. Others can then subscribe to your lists.

I’ll check back to let you know if I get more posts and if this is a possible workaround.

Alison Ray June 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm

This is not a work around as every page you like has Show in News Feed already selected.

Jennair Gerardot June 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I disagree with CHRobot. I want to receive news from my pages without having to go to their page. It has nothing to do with having something interesting to talk about. For example, I am an animal rescue person. I want to see posts of my local Non-For-Profit shelters of animals who are up for adoption or in need of volunteers, or fosters. I can then pass along the word or call them if I am interested. I shouldn’t have to remember to go to their page everyday. I want to hear from them when they have something.

I also want to hear from community pages, restaurants, clubs that I associate with when there is something to know, or a picture posted of what they are doing or events. I should not have to keep checking their sites. I clicked on FB to receive updates, or subscribed. I should receive all posts unless I check on another option to receive “some, or specific types” of posts.

Writing is on the wall now that FB is public. We all will have to pay a membership fee to keep it eventually.

rick logan June 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Facebook said that it would always be free and would never change… remember that! Looks like FB is turning into another Myspace! We gotta find the next big social networking site, and quick! Facebook… you have become something that everyone is going to eventually hate and walk away from… just like Myspace. Be careful what you’re doing.

T. Thorn Coyle June 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I posted this article on my public FB page and am thinking of paying to promote it!
a/ for the irony
b/ for broader circulation of the info.

It’s just the dreaded algorithm all over again – same as on people’s personal pages – except this time with monetization thrown in.

Question June 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I no longer see ANY Page posts in my News Feed and I’m really crabby about this. Most are small non-profits and other organizations that cannot pay to post. I was just about to turn a Community Group into a Page. I’m sure happy I didn’t take that step.

Mark Welch June 5, 2012 at 1:56 am

I opted to use Facebook’s new “promote” option for one of my posts (for LessonIndex.com, with the post addressing the problem of people not seeing most of the Page’s posts). So far, Facebook says my post was seen by 281 more people (than would have seen it if I didn’t pay), at a cost of $4.45. The post has now been seen by a total 737 people, or 29% of the page’s followers (compared to a more typical 10% reach for this page, and a maximum reach of 17% for other recent posts). So even when I PAID, Facebook only showed my post to 29% of the people who’ve indicated that they “Like” my Page.

Fiona Jackson June 5, 2012 at 2:21 am

I’m glad Lori asked about ‘pinning’ because I wasn’t sure what that meant either. in fact, I’m still not entirely sure. I get that you’re not meant to put ‘instructions’ in the banner, but how does one ‘pin’ something, and what does it do?
It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been using Pinterist and have that ‘pinning’ in my head…

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