FB fans aren’t seeing your posts (solution #2)

by Cinda Baxter on June 5, 2012

in Facebook, internet, Marketing

Okay. So yesterday’s suggestion about re-acquiring missing page posts wasn’t enough. Fans quickly found that (a) they were already set to receive posts, and (b) still weren’t seeing any.

Today’s suggestion should work (or at least greatly increase what you see, albeit with a little more effort than usual).

This must be done by the fan—there’s nothing a page admin can do, other than share this blog post if they like, since that qualifies as a “legal” call to action in Facebook Land (as shared third party content).

1. Go to a page you want to receive posts from (hopefully, The 3/50 Project’s)

2. Hover your mouse over the “Liked” button to get the drop down menu to appear (which doesn’t always work). If the drop down doesn’t show up, try clicking “Liked.” If that doesn’t work, take your mouse off “Liked,” then try again. (Yup. It’s really that ridiculous.)

3. Click “New List”

Click image to see larger version

4. In the next screen, click “Pages”

5. Select the pages you want to receive posts from

6. Click “Next”

7. In this screen, name your list, and determine who sees it
HINT: If you’re someone who likes sharing the love, select “public,” helping all of us little guys to gain more visibility.

8. Click “Done”

9. Now, go to your newsfeed page. Scroll to the bottom left.

There it is. Your new list.

The catch, of course, is that  you’ll now need to intentionally go to that list to see posts.

Will page posts also begin appearing in your newsfeed? Doubtful. In fact, my fear is that if this takes hold, Facebook might decide none of our posts should appear in your feed—only in your list (that’s pure speculation on my part, so no blasting me in comments, please).

What gets my goat about all of this is:

1. Back in March, Facebook forced pages into Timeline, providing a big, flashy billboard (Cover Photo), then telling us we can’t use it to advertise or for calls to action (ex: Please like us).

2. Facebook also provided pinned posts for admins, but again, disallowed advertising or calls to action.  (The pinned post policy has been changed; thanks to JDavidbeatty for the heads up. You still can’t put calls to action in the cover photo—that hasn’t changed.)

3. And…they reduced fan posts to one line, in the right hand column, literally killing off on-page fan interaction. (That, I miss most of all.)

4. Over Memorial Day weekend, Facebook began showing admins just how frightfully few of our fans were seeing our posts, in spite of the fact they believed clicking “like” meant seeing us in their newsfeed.

5. A few days later, FB pushed the Promote button, literally telling us that if we wanted to reach our fans, we’d have to pay to play.

The popular argument is that if a page provides consistent, valuable content, more fans will interact, thus more will see page posts in their newsfeeds. Unfortunately, that theory doesn’t fly. If a page admin is good at crafting informative, interesting posts, fans don’t have to visit the page—they get the full impact from reading the post in their newsfeed.

Which suggests writing incomplete posts that require readers to visit the FB page will increase interaction, and thus newsfeed visibility (gee, how long will it take folks to un-like pages that make them do more work?). Sadly, pages whose content focuses on negative topics will do best, since ramping up the vitriol will inspire more fans to comment.

Or, of course, page posts can be replaced with nothing but outbound links to third party sites for videos and articles, which takes the viewer off of Facebook entirely…and pretty much assures page admins won’t need to provide original content in their posts at all. So much for the “rich content” idea.

There are those who challenge my frustration, reminding me it’s all about algorithms and EdgeRank (the technology used to determine which paltry 8% of your fans actually receive your posts).

True—but it’s not EdgeRank’s fault. Humans determined the goals and desired outcome, then programmed the software to act accordingly (saying otherwise is the equivalent of claiming it’s your car’s fault you took a wrong turn at the stop light two blocks back). The decision to make those of us least able to afford costly paid postings sit on the sidelines ignores the very thing that made Facebook great. It’s no longer about freedom and interaction and inspiration. It’s about money and market share and stockholders.

Which is the saddest part of all.

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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.


RW June 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Some tricks I have seen other orgs do to make sure their posts get seen (GA Voice, The Root, and Colorlines are good examples):

- Post the same story every twelve hours, 2-3 times all together
- Use an overarching organization or group to also refer to the post or link

Both of these make a post come up in a person’s feed, “XYZ and 2 others shared a link” (and, I am assuming, more likely to show up). The second trick especially could be useful for any Chamber of Commerce or other similar groups that have done a good job creating an online presence, or all the more reason to get admin for the “I Heart [My City]” page to be more active.

Also: give more credit to consumers. I have steadily been purging my news feed of people and organizations whose updates I don’t want to see. I also have ad blocking on, and get rid of the paid “junk” that shows up in my news feed. Perhaps I am in the minority, but I would much rather find out about enticing new beers and specials or special events at my local bookstore than HuffPo news stories or FB game wins. One news feed is also much easier to manage than several lists for sure.

Unfortunately, what this really takes more than anything, is time and a steady dedication to cultivating an online relationship with your customers.

Jennifer WIlson June 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I did this about 2 months ago when I got tired of missing posts/updates from all the pages I “liked”. It works. I never miss posts. Now I have several tabs for different categories of my pages, but I am getting them. I suggested this to my customers a few days ago for them to keep up with my posts. I hope it works for them. It did for me.

Lisa June 6, 2012 at 10:37 am

I have relatively small fan count page, with 344 fans. My question is about the “promote” button. Are you referring to the “promote your page” button? I haven’t seen any other “promote” button on my page. When I click on “promote your page”, it takes me to the setup for advertising. Nowhere have I seen anything specific from Facebook about paying for our fans to see our posts. I have noticed with great disappointment that the average count of my fans that see my posts is around 10%. Am I missing something? Must I pay to run an Ad on Facebook so they will let more of my fans see my posts? Any clarification for this would be greatly appreciated.

Editor’s Note: The percentage reached and Promote button apply to pages with 400 fans or more. Once you hit 400, you’ll see them appear below your admin posts, a few minutes after they publish (visible to the admin only).

Anklejive June 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

The Bean Counters always f*ck things up for everybody.

Britt June 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

You do not need to pay to reach your current fans….from Facebook’s help page:

“Sponsored Stories can help you reach people on Facebook who are part of your target audience. If you have a Page on Facebook, Sponsored Stories help you share word-of-mouth recommendations more effectively.

When a person interacts with a Facebook Page by liking it or liking content that has been posted on it, their friends may see stories about it in their news feeds. However, because there is a lot of activity on Facebook that is shown in news feeds, there’s a chance that not all of that person’s friends will see these stories.Use Sponsored Stories to increase the likelihood that the person’s friends will see stories about your Page.”

Editor’s Note: Directly from the Facebook website (https://www.facebook.com/help?page=154500071282557):

“Sponsored Stories are posts from your friends or Pages on Facebook that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight so there’s a better chance you’ll see them. They are regular stories that a friend or Page you’re connected to has shared with you.”

Just another form of pay-to-play.

Vivian Bedoya June 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

The more involved I get with Facebook, both on my profile and on my page, the more I wonder what I’m wasting my time on! I think we’ve all gotten caught up in believing that you “have to” be on Facebook, as if it’s some magic wand or indispensable tool. First, they hooked us with the social networking, then with the pages which those of us with everything from causes to artistic pursuits immediately jumped on and now… they want us to pay for the privilege. It was only a matter of time and to be fair, Facebook is a business and it is in the game to make money.

Garrett Gibbons June 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Just FYI, many of us have been seeing these reach statistics and the accompanying “promote” link for 6 months or more.

Suz June 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Just so’s ya know…I delete friends and folks who spam me with product advertisements. I don’t want sponsored stories and people that send them to me will be removed from my lists. I go to great lengths to minimize the advertising content in my life, I don’t want more of it.

I’ll give your list suggestion a shot. Thanks for taking the time to write this out!

George June 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Facebook started moving their commercial feeds to a more monetized format about a year ago, and have noticed it trending lower and lower ever since. I therefore no longer promote Facebook as a low cost solution for my small business clients. Pinterest has taken this position for my clients as an open resource for sharing new products.

Justin Germino June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

They should make it easier, but honestly I have been using Twitter lists to follow categorized people for a while so this is no different for fanpages for me. The one thing though is I never used to post more than 1x per day on Facebook for the same post, but I did post 1x every 8 hours or so on Twitter, this was to account for time zones and I posted more frequently on Twitter than Facebook, maybe time to update that policy?

Stephanie Smith June 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm

wow, thank you for this post. I’m going to share it with my 456 fans on Facebook.

oh wait, no, that’d be the 39-78 people who are actually seeing my posts!

Andra Watkins June 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I share your frustration and have done all of these workarounds to try to continue to see content I want to see and/or try to support. Ultimately, I believe (like you, I suspect) that the only thing that is going to be seen on FB is what is bought and paid for. The rest of us, no matter WHAT we do, will be SOL.

In the short-term, I disconnected my personal profile from my FB page. I do not hold any administrative role on it, and when I share things, it will thus count in my EdgeRank. Luckily, I have someone I trust as the admin, and all will be fine until my prediction in the first paragraph comes true.

What is the most frustrating for me now is that I had a small group of folks who consistently shared my posts on FB. Now, even when they share them, I don’t get share credit on my page, which should, in theory, improve my number of impressions. I wonder whether anyone else is have this problem?

Lisa June 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Thanks very much for your reply to my comment. Just a curiosity though, this morning I was able to see the percentage of my fans reached. Now, this evening, I can’t. I find that even more frustrating because now I have absolutely no clue how many people are seeing my posts.

Frances June 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Thanks for writing this intriguing post. For some reason, I didn’t know that I could subscribe to blogs via Facebook using the List feature. That’s really cool! I’m not sure how I feel about Promoted Posts yet. I assume it’s just a way for Facebook to increase revenue but it’s a bummer that ads (aka promoted posts) now are a part of the news feed.

Dawn Rae Miller June 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I don’t think sponsored stories are pay-for-play because I never paid for one & several people I know have commented on my posts showing up as “sponsored”.

Editor’s Note: Please see the link posted in comments, above, from Facebook. They clearly state that Sponsored Stories are paid items. Bummer……

Remmie June 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

There is a petition running about this on Change.org. From what i have seen, Change.org is a very powerful motivator for companies to do what their customers want.

Here is the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-stop-forcing-business-page-owners-to-pay-in-order-to-reach-their-fans

I’m a really tiny one person handmade jewelry and vintage business. I can barely afford to pay my student loan debt, cell phone, other bills, AND pay for a cat and rabbit let alone have to worry about paying Facebook tons of money for my posts to reach them. It is bad enough that the Timeline format makes pages look completely unprofessional, now we have to pay to reach people that liked us in the first place so they could see our posts? This is so crazy. I honestly feel the more people who know about the Change.org petition the better.

In regards to fan reach, I went from maybe 2% up to 18% within a few days. I’m hoping it continues to grow. I only have 312 fans but for my small business that is a lot of people and for me to only reach maybe 30 of them at any given time is truly disheartening.

PCMcGee June 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Facebook will destroy itself for want of profit. I’m so glad they went public, best news ever.

Dave Lock June 7, 2012 at 3:30 am

Maybe it’s time for a new ….book, one that actually does what it says it will & doesn’t sell out to the shareholders (I mean, to me it makes no sense at all!!!).
Anyone up for a challenge???

Katherine Erlikh June 7, 2012 at 3:31 am

Go to Diaspora. I keep telling everyone that. FB is a dead no man’s land.

Hannah June 7, 2012 at 6:47 am

I have less than 300 fans but I still see the percentage of people reached, so it does at least partially apply to pages with less than 400 fans. I will be spreading the word amongst my fellow page owners!

Editor’s Note: Hmmmm…so now this has extended to some pages under 400 fans? Doesn’t appear to be consistent—thanks for letting us know.

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