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When I heard that Facebook would be holding the first ever Facebook Small Business Boost event in Canada – right here in Coquitlam – I didn’t hesitate to put my name down for a space. It sounded like a prime opportunity to hear more about how Facebook Pages can be used to their full potential, while listening to people who actually work for the company and invited guests from the BC business community.

If you are the administrator of a Facebook page, you will appreciate how it has been a struggle for some time to make Pages function well on Facebook.  The visibility of pages on the Facebook homepage has been dramatically reduced in recent months. As an example, I follow a mom blogger’s page, based out of Kuwait, that has more than 14,000 followers.  The page owner updates this page daily with her own content and curated content from other sources on Facebook and from the Internet.  I “liked” her content, shared it, hovered over it and commented on the updates.  When we started to hear that Facebook pages would be increasingly less visible due to a change in the way the Facebook algorithm worked, that’s when I started to see her posts less often.  It has now reached the point where I don’t see her content at all.  In fact it’s been like this for some time.

As someone who follows over 600 pages and wants my own Facebook page content to be seen, these changes to page visibility are cause for concern.

If you follow enough Social Media Tips authors, you’ll read ideas about how to improve your page every day.  People are hungry for this content because there is a lot of buzz about what has happened and questions about what can be done.

Be authentic!

Share high quality content!

Post daily!

Share photos. Readers like images!

Don’t share photos with links!

Post frequently!

Don’t post frequently!

Post at the right time of day!

Engage with your followers and be real! (Oh wait – we already covered the need to be authentic. I hope you haven’t been acting fake up until now.)

Share photos!

Run contests and giveaways!

Are you starting to feel a touch exhausted?

Imagine that a commercial landlord in the city where you live told you that you could have retail space for free, complete with a street facing window.  There would only be one hitch.  For every 200 people who walk by your store, only 5 people will be able to actually see your store.  Star Trek style, it will be “cloaked” when the other 195 walk by.  However, if someone comes by with the exact address on a piece of paper, in their mind or listed in their GPS, the store will always be visible to them.

In a nutshell that’s what it’s like to administer a Facebook page.

This business plan doesn’t sound very promising, does it?  If this is the reality you face, you have three choices.

  • You can accept this situation and hope that the “cloaking” ratio improves in your favour if  those 5 people start “liking” what’s happening in your store and sharing their enthusiasm with their friends.
  • You can abandon the store and go elsewhere – Google+ street for example.
  • Or you can pay the landlord money to make your store more visible.

Facebook has to make money somehow and one way they are doing this is by changing how visible pages are and asking administrators to pay for posts and pages to be more visible.

This, essentially, was the focus of the Facebook boost meeting.  If you administer a page you will need to get your head around how Facebook is inviting you to improve your page’s visibility, along with other tips to help make your page shine as much as possible.

In part two of this piece (link coming soon :) ), I will share tips that the Facebook presenters discussed, feedback three local business people gave about how they use Facebook pages and my own conclusions.  The information that was offered is no magic bullet but it could help give each of us a hand up to make changes to the success of our pages; however, large or modest they might turn out to be.

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