Ever wanted to tell everybody in your social circle about an important event or communicate a notable update? Facebook has now launched Status highlight,  a paid service that allows consumers to advertise their status updates for a fee.

I paid! Hear me roar!

 

In return, Facebook removes the algorithmic calculation from your status & then positions it at the top of your friends feed for about 24 hours.

Highlight an Important Post:
Make sure friends see this. On average, highlighted posts get 40% more likes and are seen by twice as many friends.
If you want visibility & awareness in Facebook you need to be above the page fold, this is where the majority of users “first-look”.

Cost. An closed auction model?

Initially, it was thought the new service was at flat rate. After comparing the cost I was shown vs other friends it is obvious this isn’t the case.
My cost was $3.80AU, I tried the following to see if it would affect the price but there was no change. I believed Facebook might have an auction type model based on the relevancy of your status VS your audience.
  • Short status (2 words)
  • Long status 50 words.
  • Link
  • Photograph
  • Swear words / negative post.
I then thought the cost could be based your current influence score. I.e  (Friends x Engagement) / Reach = $. This could be the case although it is currently difficult to test. Then I noted that one friends had almost half the followers as myself and yet was quoted twice the cost as I to reach her audience. Is this because her “rep” score is lower?
Facebook is still clearly testing the waters here, I believe an auction model or possibly a CPM model is likely to rise from this change.

Oragnic vs paid:

The key point for me here is the note around highlighted posts achieving 40% more likes & 100% more impressions. It is not often that Facebook releases statistics around visibility / impression data about the organic feed from a consumer profile perspective.
This leads me on to my next thought, being top in your feed is difficult unless you are ticking the right boxes. If your not, you can pay which is cool I guess. but do you really have to?
The study of Facebook SEO, or rather Edge-rank SEO,  has been a thought of mine for some time now. But being in number one organically in Facebook is incredibly difficult when compared to normal search engine optimsiation given the key metric’s in Facebook are time & freshness. In my opinion, being number one for even just a couple of hours is possible so long as your a relevant to your audience, verified by influences & most importantly attracting engagement.
This feature reminds me of Google’s AdWords platform in it’s early days. In my view, Facebook has realised that the position of their current ad platform is not as engaging as this organic feed. The “highlight” status & featured post services are their initial attempt to monetize the Facebook feed.

What about brands?

I would be almost certain that brands will not be able leverage this highlight feature given the above-the-fold area would be cluttered very quickly. This service is clearly only suited to Facebook consumers. Not brands.  Cnet wrote a great article on a “promote” button, time to by FB Stock? I think it might be.