What appears in your Facebook feed? The average person would say every post from my friends and all the pages I follow.
Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice. The truth is, Facebook controls what shows up with algorithms designed to keep you engaged for a longer period of time. This means filtering out what they consider to be excessive promotional posts from brands and featuring updates from the people you engage with most often. They do this for your own good.
Confused? How about this explanation from TechCrunch:
STAR WARS SPOILER ALERT
Let’s say Darth Vader posts that he and Luke Skywalker have confirmed that they are father and son. To determine if Yoda saw this post in his news feed, Facebook would look at: whether Yoda had Liked or interacted with posts by Vader in the past, if Leia and Han Solo Liked the relationship post by Vader when Facebook showed it to them, whether Yoda tended to interact with relationship change posts in the past, and whether anyone else had complained about Vader or this particular post by the Sith Lord.
Okay, so that doesn’t clear things up, but it’s fun. So let’s run with it.
If you’re Darth Vader and you want to make sure more people see your post about being Luke’s father you can pay to promote the post — meaning, your post is given a prominent spot on your friends’ news feed, so they’re more likely to see it.
Now Facebook is testing another option. Pay to Promote someone else’s post. Now, you’re Princess Leia and you think everyone needs to know about Darth and Luke, so you click the share button on Darth’s post in your feed, then choose “Promote this Post.” Leia pays the fee and Darth’s post rises to the top of her friends’ newsfeeds.
Facebook says it’s an excellent way to help a friend promote a charity event, find a roommate or sell an old couch. But there’s another way to go.
Promoting your own posts can make you appear egotistical and spammy. But when you promote someone else’s post, you look like a nice guy spreading the good word. What you need is a coordinated strike. Your friend posts your promo message, then you promote his post to everyone on your list and you look like a humanitarian.
Too sneaky? Hey, you’ve got to be creative if you want to beat Facebook at its own game.
Do you ever pay to promote your posts? Is there ever a circumstance where you would pay to promote someone else’s post? Let us know in the comments below.