Facebook's Flawed Promotion

Facebook's Flawed Promotion

For many non-profits and other agents of social good, Facebook is a key channel, allowing many organizations to build their communities, foster online communication, and tap into other networks….with a minimum of cost. In fact, both Hubspot and Tech Soup pointed to great guides that can inform non-profits about how to use Facebook more effectively.

However, Facebook also tends to change its policy and “add” features which – especially in light of going public – may not be necessary, and could be hurtful to them in the long run.  The first was switching users’ e-mail addresses over to a Facebook.com address, resulting in many articles (like this one) encouraging people to adjust their settings.

But ultimately, Facebook’s most recent gaffe has been the idea of “promoted posts”, or charging fan pages for the opportunity for their posts to be seen by a wider range of people.  Most posts are only shown to 15% of a page’s members, and so Facebook will – for a small fee of $7 per post – promote it.

Of course, for many non-profits and organizations, this can be a budget killer. But like my colleague Scott Kleinburg of the Chicago Tribune points out, it’s not only a waste of money….but there are some great strategies for giving posts more exposure.  Including photos, knowing your network, and staying brief are all great ideas.

And one final idea – ask your network to engage with Facebook posts. It’s relatively simple, and you can even cut-and-paste this example (which I’ve used on some of the pages I run):

You may not be aware of this, but Facebook has changed the way people interact with Pages so that they no longer appear in feeds but are dependent upon whether you like/comment/share updates. This applies to *all* pages, be they unofficial pages (like us) or official pages. When you see updates, be sure to like/comment/share them….and also be sure to visit our page more frequently. The more you do this, the more likely our posts will show up in your feeds. (You can also create interest groups and add pages to this, but you would need to click on your group list regularly….but either way, be sure you get the latest when we update).

Right now, this seems to be  a massive misstep on Facebook’s part….but one which non-profits and agents of social good can easily avoid, getting the same impact with different emphasis.

Have comments – then please leave them below. If you would like to contact me, please feel free to send a note (with a mention of  Chicago Now) via Linked In or my web site contact page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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