As we move into a new year, it’s no surprise Facebook has released another BIG announcement. Keeping up with Facebook marketing changes is like keeping up with the Kardashians! It never ends!
Over the years, changes such as the removal of Fan gates on Facebook applications or not allowing more than 20% text in cover graphics have been frustrating for administrators of business Pages. The updates are frequent and sometimes seem to hinder our ability to use Facebook as a marketing channel. When it comes down to it, all of these updates relate to one common goal, keeping Facebook social.
The update this time relates to self-promotional or “salesy” posts from business Pages. Facebook says, “Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place… All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
What does this mean to you? It means you should no longer be sharing posts that ask people to buy a product or enter a sweepstakes that doesn’t have any integrated strategy to your brand, or posts that reuse the same context you’re using in an ad.
I talked about the declining organic reach earlier this year and how Facebook is surely turning into a pay-to-play platform. We’ve already seen this happening across our Pages when we share social content vs. self-promotional content.
Social content – Reached 418 people
Self-promotional content – Reached 52 people
OK, Facebook, we get it! When everything is said and done, I can appreciate what Facebook is doing here. As a frequent Facebook user, I sign on to see the latest from my friends and family, not to be slammed with salesy posts. Unfortunately, plenty of brands will still use Facebook to sell their products, but they will just have to pay to be seen. This update in no way effects the reach of promoted posts or ads.
My advice is to use Facebook to build a relationship with your customers. You can see that the first post is what gets the attention of Fans and encourages engagement (32 likes and $0 spent to promote it!). You shouldn’t have to pay to boost every post. Post consistently (2 to 3 times per week), share engaging content (photos of staff, inspirational quotes, or timely articles), and use your other marketing efforts to push the sell. You will still have to dedicate a small budget to advertising, such as $100 per month, but that’s nothing to break the bank or to abandon Facebook all together over, just a part of your marketing mix for 2015.
So what is the 1 thing to remember as you plan your Facebook strategy for the New Year? Keep it social! That’s why Facebook was started, and that will always be its No. 1 goal.