Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm has been in place for quite some time and gives priority visibility to posts and pages that have more likes, comments, shares, etc. We address this with our members often, including in many of our webinars (see the “Power of Like” for one example).
The ability to promote a post is simply the ability to pay to override the algorithm and ensure all followers of a page see a given post. Not promoting it does not mean no one sees it; it simply means less than 100% of the page’s followers will see it — which has always been the case anyway.
As we tell our members, the best way to ensure more followers see more posts is to have a lot of interactivity on the page: lots of likes, encourage comments, etc. Good content is one way to do this and sweepstakes and contests are another, so we offer good solutions for this issue to our members.
Although paid solutions can definitely work as part of a social networking strategy for your practice or your business, it can be more useful to first focus on gaining an engaged following. Remember your main goal of having a presence on social networks—to connect and engage with current and prospective patients. You can pay for these users to see your content, but if it’s not content that’s engaging or interesting, or you don’t have a following, what does it get you? Focus on building your following and sharing content and information that entices these patients and potential patients to interact and share your information, and essentially your brand. Social networking is all about sharing information and building a relationship. Think of it as your online referral network. Give your followers a reason to refer and connect with you, and they will.