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Like buttonReach. This was a black hole for me. In spite of consulting FB Help, their explanation was still not clear. So much for helping. 

On the Literary Selfies page, which I manage (see earlier blog on Literary Selfies website), there is a shared post on “writing is good for your health” that reached over 19,900 FBers, with 133 Likes and 153 shares! Not bad. The post is below, but unfortunately it doesn’t show the reach but does mention the Likes and shares. 

Other posts which I thought would really be more interesting to our followers (authors and readers) barely reached 150. I really don’t get it. Another phenomenon, the linked posts from Twitter to FB also had smaller reaches. Figure that one out! So I stopped doing that. 

Then yesterday I found on FB, yes believe it or not, through comments from other FBers in a group I follow that others were asking the same questions about reach, likes and spending money on FB ads. Someone with more experience posted a link to a YouTube video that answered my questions. I highly recommend it. Plain and simple and clear, and exposes Reach and Likes. I don’t pretend to understand everything but the video helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag

I was completely unaware that the FB staff diffuse the reach of a post on the initial reactions when it hits the newsfeed. If there’s a lot of reaction (engagement, etc.) then the post shows up more often in followers’ news feeds. Naive me, who thought it showed up automatically in all the followers’s news feeds and stayed there.

Which leads me to the second subject – Likes – those “wonderful” FB things that we would like to get a lot of and that sometimes we even pay for. The video has a lot to say about this, too! The real Likes and the fake Likes. That’s enough to already alert you to the potential problem.

Let me tell you about my eye-opening and expensive experience with Likes. By the way the Insights feature on a FB page is extremely helpful; I recommend it. For my Il Molo FB page I spent $133 for 450 Likes (out of 1,010). Some wasted money – but not completely. I started with a promo and then switched to an ad when I realized that the majority of the promo Likes were coming from India and Greece. So I quickly shut off the promo and left those two places out of the demographics. Subsequently I learned that some of these were genuine Likes because I continued to see the names in the Reach stats of the posts. Thank you my Greek followers. I felt much better.

I can’t deny the social reach of Facebook. But is it worth it to pay for Reaches and Likes? FB ads, promotions, and post boosts are among the many ways of enhancing the exposure of your product. It’s easy to Like a page but it’s another thing to buy the product. And if some of these are fake Likes, of course there will be no sales at all.  If you decide to advertise on FB, set a budget and stick to it. But be aware that you may get fake Likes. If you can live with it then that is your choice.

I’ve learned that posting interesting and eye-catching content is what makes your FB page attractive and entices FBer’s to Like the page and its posts. I try to ensure that the photos used are attention-getters and I always add a note before the web link to target the followers. Literary Selfies stopped advertising on FB at the end of July; the page had 3,506 likes. As of today we have 3,748 likes – 242 increase free of charge. A modest increase but noteworthy for me and the site co-founder. 

I wanted to share with you my FB experiences. I’ve learned a lot. There will probably be more FB mysteries but each one enhances the learning curve. That is most likely the best I can hope for.

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