Pay money to get screwed by Facebook
Roughly a week ago I decided to take advantage of Facebook’s new “promote” option for some posts on my Facebook Page in order to ensure a larger than usual number of people would see them. You may be aware that despite Facebook being constantly touted as a godsend to artists, small businesses, and the like, in order to connect with their fans or consumers the truth is in a galaxy far far away.
To give you an example, my page, as of this writing, has 1958 likes. On June 14th when I decided to promote my post that number was essentially the same (within 5 likes). Looking at some recent, non-promoted, posts prior to June 14th they would usually reach (i.e. get seen by) between 173 - 314 people depending on how many people commented on or liked the post. So that means a post usually only reaches between 8.8% - 16.0% of the people who like my page. This is dismal.
At this point it is worth going back and digging up the story regarding how I got those 1958 likes in the first place. A few years ago when my band (which the Facebook Page is for) was starting out I decided to invest some money in Facebook Ads in order to attract some likes and get our name out. I spent roughly $5/day for maybe a month or two or something. It doesn’t really matter how long the ads were shown for as much as the fact that a few hundred dollars were spent. In retrospect we got a lot of likes and some other benefits as a result however that is the subject of a different/future rant.
If an unnerving trend is not already evident let me explain. Facebook wants to charge you to get likes and then charge you again to reach those likes. Unfortunately my legal knowledge is limited however this “feels” borderline illegal.
Now you might be wondering how much they charge to screw you over. In my case I gambled $10 to promote one of my page’s posts. According to Facebook it reached 1658 people, 614 of which were organic, 705 were viral, and 1288 were paid. This implies only 1288 were the result of my $10. Whether you think that is a good deal or not is up to you however further data from Facebook indicates out of all of those only “37% of the 1958 people who like your page saw this post.” Math says that is 724.46 people. This went from dismal to depressing.
So I’m paying $10 for 1288 people who don’t even necessarily like my page to view my posts. On a separate post the next day I paid $5 and got the same 37% result. This means when I “promote” my post it isn’t being seen by the people I want it to but instead being (likely) ignored on the sidebar somewhere amidst all the other ads.
When I click the “promote” button for my Facebook post it specifically states “Get more people who like your Page to see this post.” According to actual data this is a blatant lie. As I write this I am getting more convinced of this being “actually” illegal instead of just “feeling” illegal. How is this anything but false advertisement? This is on top of the fact that I am paying to reach people I have already paid to like my page (via advertisements).
Despite all this Facebook still provides a “better than nothing” benefit however I would urge people to keep their distance and look for better alternatives. Fortunately Facebook has set the bar exceedingly low so this should not be too difficult.