I admit it. I suffer from some degree of “entitlement syndrome” where my business Facebook page is concerned.
“How dare they not share all of my posts with my page fans?”
“How dare they decide what posts are important to me and which are not?”
“How dare they expect me to pay if I want my posts to get more exposure?”
Like a lot of other business page owners that I know, I’m frustrated. Whenever Facebook announces a new change, we see our reach take a nose dive and that leads to a lower level of engagement. It makes me aggravated, particularly because I’m posting the type of content that I know my audience enjoys and that has always lead to healthy interaction and conversation on my page.
It’s not fair. Or is it?
Facebook is free.
OK, not free in terms of time and energy, but free monetarily unless you opt to pay for ads, sponsored stories or to promote posts (that last one is what’s grating on most of us!).
Do I…do you…have the right to complain about a platform that isn’t charging us a nickel to use it for the benefit of our businesses? Yes, it sucks that we’re not getting as much bang for our theoretical buck than before, but we’re still getting that watered-down bang for free. After all, Facebook isn’t a not-for-profit human services organization. It’s a business. As a business, shouldn’t we expect their folks to want to make some money off of their hard work, smarts and sweat?
Logically, I think, “Yes.” Still, I find myself illogically feeling cheated. And I think I know why.
It almost seems like Facebook is holding our posts for ransom. If we pay up, they’ll let our fans (who presumably want to engage with us) see our posts again.
As both a fan of other pages and as a page owner, I think the concept of “promoted posts” is ridiculous. As a fan, I want to see what the pages I follow are sharing. That’s why I liked their pages. If pages post far too frequently and clutter my news feed or if they don’t post anything worthwhile, I want to make the decision about whether or not to hide their updates or unlike them. I’d rather Facebook not be the gate-keeper. And as a page owner, I don’t anticipate ever doling out the dough to promote a post.
On the Other Hand
But that’s not to say I would completely deny Facebook its right to monetization. What if Facebook would do like LinkedIn, Evernote, Buffer and Hootsuite do? Give page owners two options: one free, one paid.
We could choose a free “Basic” membership that throttles post reach in the manner it does now, or select a paid “Premium” membership that presents all of our updates in our fans’ news feeds. I would be far more open to paying for a Premium Facebook membership than I am to promoting posts.
As for price point, Facebook could conceivably do quite well if just 5% (1,850,000) of its 37 million pages would pay $4.99 per month for a Premium membership. I’d think an annual take of $110,778,000 is worthy of consideration. And of course they’d still have the ads and sponsored stories revenue rolling in…and they could continue offering the option of promoted posts to Basic page owners.
I’d pay $4.99 per month (Don’t tell Facebook, but I’d pay even more.) to know that I have the capability of delivering consistent content to my fans on my terms and theirs. No more guesswork. The burden of engaging fans and keeping them interested would wholly be on me – not on an algorithm.
Simple. Think it could work?
Time for your thoughts! As a page owner, would you be receptive to a premium membership type of offering if Facebook would extend it to us?
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