Facebook has steadily been making changes to their algorithm – the way people see your posts. Especially if you own a business page. We decided to put it to the test and see exactly what the difference is. The results are astounding.
The Facebook Posts Test
We recently started our own page here – http://www.facebook.com/mheroestx as we’ve just started Marketing Heroes (a branch of Web Unlimited). And we’ve been reading how Facebook has been changing their rules lately.
So we ran a simple test. We added two posts that are closely related and measure a few things like reach and interactions.
Here are the results:
In the above picture, you’ll see that we simply promoted the third post – “Your online reputation matters.”
We then posted another one above it that we did not pay for – the second post – “Here’s an interesting read about Yelp.”
(Please note – Ignore the posts above and below those two as the top one was just posted at the time of this writing and the two posts below the third one were simple posts just like the second post above.)
The difference? 21,264%
That number is astounding to say the least
Ok – reach is cool, but I think that’s only good for brand awareness. So how many people actually clicked on the post links?
Another really big number. See the Engagement column? The paid ad got 24 clicks and one like. It’s not huge but better than the non-paid with zero views and zero likes.
So we ended up paying $20 to boost the post. It’s not a lot, but if we wanted to do the same for all of our posts to increase engagement, it would cost us $1,200 per month as we post twice per day to the Marketing Heroes Facebook page.
The math is pretty simple if we want to gauge of what it will cost in the future per click – 24 clicks divided by $20. That comes to $1.20 per click. Obviously in the future we would want to beat that number (I like to pay sub $1.00), but it gives us a good starting point.
So, this test on the surface seems like it’s doesn’t make a huge difference, we only received 24 visitors to our site. However, that’s 24 times the amount of visitors versus the non-paid posts. If we multiply that over a month’s time, we would receive 720 visitors to our site.
If we convert those visitors into buying customers at a 1% conversion rate, we would create 7 new customers per month (720 times 1%) by promoting one post per day. Would that be worth it to us? Definitely.
Is Free Reach and Clicks Gone from Facebook?
Is the time of reaching our customers and their friends for free gone? I think so. Facebook is a business like any other and needs to start making money. This is just one way it’s doing it – and it’s a good way.
If businesses embrace it and create great content that converts, the traffic part is easy. You just have to buy it now instead of it being ‘free’.
And by the way, this isn’t just on our pages. We manage lots of Facebook pages and have seen a huge decline in non-paid traffic in the past year. As soon as the posts are promoted, engagement goes almost off the charts and conversions come right back.
I think Facebook is done with the free model for businesses. If you want to play – you gotta pay. 😉
In the next month, we’ll be promoting more of our posts to measure the amount of likes we get to our page. We’ve seen lots of our customers increase likes to their page very quickly by simply promoting their posts. So we’ll do the same thing strategically to measure success.
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