How Can Facebook Monetize While Expanding Pages’ Reach?

By Justin Lafferty 

Ever since studies showed that the average Facebook page’s posts reach an average of 16 percent of fans, many marketers (as well as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and actor George Takei) have been quite unhappy with the social network, feeling that they’re being pinched for advertising. But what if there was a way for Facebook to let pages reach most of their fans, yet still make money? A writer for The Next Web came up with some ideas that Facebook could use to gain some revenue while getting back into the good graces of those who manage pages.

Facebook’s news feed algorithm (which many people call EdgeRank) tries to make it so that fans mainly see the posts with which they’d be more likely to engage.

However, as pages’ reaches sometimes dipped below 15 percent, page managers became quite angry at Facebook, feeling that they had built up solid fan bases but could only reach a handful of people. They feel that their pages’ reaches have been diminished so that Facebook can get them to buy ads, which would help their posts get into the news feeds of more of their fans.

Ayelet Noff, founder and CEO of public-relations agency Blonde 2.0, wrote in The Next Web that there are ways Facebook can make money without placing restrictions on pages’ reaches.

She suggested that Facebook charge business pages subscription fees for operating on the social network. In return,pages that have paid the fees could reach and connect with most of their fans.

Other ideas Noff raised were to have users pay to increase their friendship limit beyond 5,000 friends, and to charge for phone calls through Facebook (made possible through voice over Internet protocol technology, or VoIP). She also noted that Facebook offers can be redone to work more like other online coupons, increasing conversion rates.

Noff wrote that Facebook could also do what some third-party platforms have been doing for a little while — add deeper real-time page insights, and charge for that functionality:

Currently, one annoying aspect in regard to managing Facebook pages is that page insights take two days to update. For a small fee, Facebook could create “premium pages” that receive insights in real-time — an invaluable tool for any big brand, specifically in times of campaigns (either on or off Facebook).

Readers: What do you think of these ideas?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.