Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reaching Your Readers Through Facebook Will Now Co$t You

Diego, Canadian Lynx
It's not surprising that Facebook is looking for ways to make money.  After going public in mid-May, I've been expecting to see changes in the way Facebook allows people to find/access one another.

Well, they've put one such change into place and if you have a Fan Page that you use to reach people who have intentionally signed up to get your messages, you need to pay attention.

Things have just gotten expensive. Very expensive.

Ryan Holiday, writing for the New York Observer,published one of the first stories on Facebook's new "Promote" feature in an Article called "Broken on Purpose: Why Getting it Wrong Pays More Than Getting it Right." The quick take on this is that when you posted to your Facebook Fan page in May, your posting went out to ALL of the people who had signed up to receive it.  Now, that same posting will only reach 15% of your audience.  Want to reach more?  Facebook will allow you do that... incrementally... and for a cost, of course.

Richard Metzger, writing for, followed up on Holiday's article by breaking out the dollars and cents for his business Facebook postings.  It appears Facebook is now charging $200 per Facebook Fanpage posting to reach your full audience.  Want to send out something once a week to your full audience?  That will be over $10k per year now, thankyouverymuch.

I have no problem with Facebook making money, but this seems both arbitrary and unfair.  As a commenter to the NY Observer article (and quoted in the posting) said, big companies like Coke & McDonalds won't have a problem with the cost.  Smaller businesses, say like Jason Sadler's, yeah, not so much.  (Jason writes about his dilema in a Wall Street Journal article titled, "It's Not Cool to Pay for Facebook Posts." 

Like most writers, I had been counting on using Facebook as an intergal part of my author platform to reach fans and promote my books.  Now, however, I'm not sure how that's going to happen.  There's no way I can afford $200 to send Facebook Fanpage posts out to everyone who signs up.

So, Facebook, you want to make money off of business/fan page posts.  Fine.  How about doing it in such a way that levels the playing field and makes it both fair and affordable for everyone?  Going for the big bucks immediately only assures pushback from smaller companies/groups.  And in an era of innovation, you may be laying the groundwork for your best competition.

What's your take on Facebook charging for business and fanpage posts?  Does this change any of your plans for how you use/will use Facebook?

-- Tom