The Importance of Facebook Advertising

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There are 1,441 million users on Facebook – half of whom have over 200 friends, and each person on average is connected to 80 groups/pages and events.

Think about how many friends you have and how many pages you like.
Now think about how many of their updates you actually see in your newsfeed – we’re willing to bet that you only see things from about 10% of your connections.


You have EdgeRank to thank for that, aka Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm.

It takes all of the updates from your connections – status updates, likes, comments, shares, photo tags, event RSVPs – and then sorts them based on what it thinks is important to you.

Each day there are around 1,500 updates that are eligible to appear in your Newsfeed.

How does it decide what is important to you?

  1. Firstly, it looks at how connected you are to the update. For instance, your friend had a BBQ at the weekend and they’ve put up all the pictures. You regularly converse through Facebook, and you have lots of friends in common – so Facebook assumes you want to see these pictures and will place them in your timeline.
  2. Next it will look at the weight of the update (how many shares, likes and comments it has). Some of your friends – who you also talk to frequently – have liked and commented on the pictures and they may even be tagged in them, so Facebook decides this post is particularly newsworthy and will place it higher in your feed.
  3. Finally, it looks at how old the post is. You’ve been on holiday and haven’t been able to log on for a week – but the post is still in your newsfeed because Facebook thinks it’s something you won’t want to miss. BUT, if you can’t go more than a day without logging on, the older the post gets, the lower it gets on your newsfeed until it disappears.

The reason for all of this? To show you content that matters to you.

Facebook cares about people – not pages.

So much so that in 2012 Facebook restricted the reach of page posts to around 16% and then again last year to around 6%.

What does that mean? A post from a page with 10,000 fans will only be shown to 600 of them.

That’s on a good day – usually it hovers around 1% (or 100 people).

Because Facebook wants to show you the updates that matter to you, if you have lots of connections, it’s very unlikely that you will see page updates at all.

What can we, as social media marketers, do about it?

Facebook as an advertising platform

The good news is that Facebook has a great advertising platform! Funny that.

You can buy reach via boosted posts – but it’s swings and roundabouts. In many cases, you’re reminding people that they have liked your page in the first place, so make sure your post is interesting enough that they don’t hit the unlike button.

You‘re taking up prime space on someone’s newsfeed, replacing the picture of their friend’s lunch or super interesting story about what their cat just did – so make sure it’s something they want to see, talk about and share.

Some tips: Use an image – but make sure it has less than 20% text (Facebook really doesn’t like to make it easy) – and include a call to action.

Facebook thinks about what its users want, make sure you do too!

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