Do you own a Facebook page? If not, do you enjoy seeing posts from Facebook pages? If so, you need to listen up.
As of January 2015, Facebook has declared open war on promotional page content. Whether you realize it or not, the Facebook pages that you interact with on a daily basis are able to create all of their content because up until now, Facebook made it easy to grow your business using their platform.
In a December policy update, Facebook declared that the age of Facebook for business is seemingly over. In their official release, Facebook detailed their plans to cut promotional posts organic reach. What this means is that they are effectively draining the life blood from Facebook business pages. Here’s why – to produce content for social media, businesses must commit resources and hire employees. In previous years, these expenses were offset by Facebook’s ability to drive traffic and create business. These changes have spurred much debate and contention, but before we continue – let’s review what Facebook said.
“According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
“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 – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”
It is quite apparent that they will do everything they can to discourage Pages from creating promotional posts. To do this, Facebook uses what are known as Algorithms – coding that determines how many people see any give Facebook post. Facebook will automatically limit posts deemed “promotional” resulting in less than five percent of views that a “normal” post would have.
So – what can we do?
1. Post higher quality content and less frequently. Make Facebook work for you by understanding their algorithms. If you only post GOOD content, Facebook will recognize this and your overall reach per post will improve.
2. ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’. Facebook was a e-marketer’s wet-dream in years past. Sorry folks, things change.
3. The Obvious. Facebook doesn’t want promotional content – so stop posting it. Instead, focus on driving traffic via other means – videos, articles etc. Give people a reason to visit your website where your promotional content is located.
4. Recognize your role in Facebook’s game. Facebook needs your business. Unlike Google (youtube), Facebook has built their business around charging content creators to build their fan base. If the number of creators drops off, expect their methods to be dialed back significantly.
So I can’t post promotional content on Facebook anymore…Great…
Not so fast. There is still hope for you yet. Here are a few ideas to grow your online presence despite setbacks on social media.
- Invest! Facebook may no longer wish to provide an environment that is conducive to free advertising. Invest in Facebook ads. Facebook posts may no longer create sales for your business via the News Feed. However, their ads are inexpensive and allow you to target your largest sales demographics. Simply put, Facebook is a waste of time if you refuse to invest in ads.
- Build your digital portfolio. Facebook is no longer the end all, be all in the realm of social media. Expand your online profile to include other Social Media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google+.
- Email marketing. Email marketing?! What year is this – 2002?! Bear with me for a moment before you lose your cool. To grow your online presence, stop worrying about Social Media and instead encourage your followers to sign up for your email list. Email marketing is notorious for it’s low conversion rates, that is true. So, why email marketing? No one is going to change the rules mid-game. Conversions are conversions.
Facebook organic reach is not dead and it is not going away.
Facebook is driven by its users. If Facebook finds that reducing the organic reach of Business Pages results in a decline in overall User activity they will change their practices and organic reach will rebound. With that said, Organic Reach will NEVER die as long as GOOD CONTENT abounds on the inter-webs. Viral content makes Facebook more money; it is just that simple.