So much for Facebook leveling the playing field for small business and non-profits (and literally any other business out there without deep pockets).

So much for the illusion that they would become more transparent and actually support their billion users once they went public and made more money than the national debt.

What exactly are we talking about?

In short, the fact that most business Facebook pages have seen a significant drop in the number of fans that actually see their posts. The last numbers we’ve seen is that for most, only 6% of their audience actually sees their posts (up to 12% for some lucky ones). This leaves us scratching our heads and from all we have read, other page admins are feeling pretty hopeless as well.

So what to do? Give up on Facebook all together? Not recommended. There are still a lot of people out there, they are still talking, sharing their experience, asking opinions and the like. What to do is understand two things; learn to administer your pages in a different way and wait for Facebook to change the game again (which they will).

First off, meet EdgeRank. EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that now decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. If your story doesn’t “score” well, it will be considered a “boring” story and therefore not seen.

Let’s break this down. When you log into Facebook, the first thing you see is the newsfeed – a summary of what your friends have been up to recently. Every action your friends take is potentially a newsfeed story. Now we have a new term called “Edge” meaning whenever your friends post a status update, tag a photo, join a fan page or RSVP to an event – those all generate an Edge. The result is that a story about that Edge might show up in a user’s personal newsfeed.

When you think about this, it could be extremely overwhelming for your newsfeed to show literally every Edge about all your friends and pages you follow. This is where EdgeRank comes in. Facebook created an algorithm to predict how interesting each story will be to each user. This algorithm filters each user’s newsfeed to only show the top-ranked stories for that particular user.

This now becomes a multi-faceted issue. The people who “like” your page most likely won’t get to see your posts. Who loses? Some would say the business that own’s the page and other’s would say the fans who follow a page with the expectation they will get updates (and none come).

Over the course of the next couple days, we will take a stab at addressing both sides of this issue – what the owners of a personal profile can do to ensure they see what they have asked to see and what administrators can potentially do to overcome some of this obstacle.