Friday, June 13, 2014

"Boosting" Facebook posts: NOT!

Yikes! Today I noticed something new on Facebook that has far reaching impact on genealogy society publicity chairs and family reunion organizers. Here's the problem:

Facebook is rolling out the new "Boost Post" button, and big bucks are required to boost each post. We are not talking the old "$7 to promote" option we've had around for years. We are talking $5-$100 to reach people who originally "liked" a Facebook page.

So why even have a Facebook page for your genealogy society or family association if the people who liked it cannot automatically see each post?

This morning, Geoff Rasmussen published a post on blog about an upcoming webinar on German Internet Research. The post automatically cross-posts to the GeneaWebinars Facebook page here.

IMAGE: Screen capture circa 12pm, 13 June 2014 by author.
  1. Ol' Myrt here noticed this Facebook entry reached 18 people (point A above.)
  2. I panicked, thinking a lot of people had left the page, but the number remained at 384 (point B above.) My thought is that when 384 people "like a page" they will receive notification of each post in their News Feed, but Facebook tells me otherwise. (Note: It IS possible for users to turn off notifications manually.)
  3. Clicking the "Boost Button" reveals "Boost Your Post" (point D below) where we note the boosted audience will be "People who like your Page and their friends" (left side point E below) and I must pay $30 for the "Est. People Reached of 2,900-7,600."  I clicked to find more options and discovered I could set my own amount, and that PayPal is accepted in addition to the usual credit cards.

YIKES! IF you look at the right side of this screen shot, (point E above) you'll see a summary of activity on this page during the last week:
  • 2 page likes
  • 23 - post reach
  • 1 - unread notification
  • 1 - unread message
These are mighty grim statistics for a page with 384 people who have "liked" the page and by default expect to receive notifications (posts) in their main news feed. 

There is no such "Boost Post" option on my DearMYRTLE Facebook Group. Maybe this is a roll out issue, or maybe "Boost Post" is a "Page" option, not a Group option?

The bottom line: Genealogy societies and family history organizations are sadly out of luck if they are relying on Facebook Page to "get the word out" about an upcoming event. What about an emergency change of venue due to burst pipes? How is that message going to get out? Certainly not by Facebook. It's back to the old telephone chain I guess. (sigh)

Here's a short video Cousin Russ and I created on this very topic:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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1 comment:

  1. We have the " Boost Post" on our Facebook page .
    As we are a not for profit organisation it goes without saying that we shall not be using the "Boost Post"