Facebook is hoping page administrators will begin to pay a few bucks to get their posts displayed more prominently in user news feeds. Beneath each post, Facebook now displays the number of people reached, along with the option to pay $5, $10, or $20 to reach even more people.
I don’t have a problem with Facebook’s strategy, but we need to know what our true reach is before we decide whether paying for additional exposure is a good idea.
It turns out we can overcome Facebook’s arbitrary limits on our status views, if we put some effort into creating interesting stuff for readers.
Check out the screen capture from two posts on the same page. One post reached 356 people, and one reached 230 people. But they both appear to have reached 10% of fans. So what’s going on?
Turns out the two numbers aren’t measuring the same thing. The percentage displayed does NOT include non-fans who have seen the post through sharing. These are what Facebook calls “viral” views.
You can see what’s happening by checking out the second screen capture, taken a few minutes later. The more viral post has now reached 404 people. But only 237 of them are fans of my page. So even though Facebook may limit the percentage of fans who see my content, it’s possible to blow past that limit by offering especially sharable content.
In addition, offering sharable (“viral”) content may boost the number of fans who see your post, because every time anyone likes or comments on a post, that activity appears in the news feed of other users (fans and non-fans alike) who are currently logged in.