It would be no news to business owners who are actively using Facebook that making sure your followers actually see your posts is getting more difficult as Facebook reduces the organic reach of most content, and it’s about to get tougher.
Facebook recently issued a strong warning to brands, advertisers and marketers to steer clear of promotional posts if they don’t want to disappear from users’ news feeds.
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In a blog post published last month, Facebook announced that beginning January 2015 they are launching a crackdown on posts deemed too promotional such as:
- 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
Businesses that continue to bombard users with posts lacking relevance and value, and just sell all day long, will be pushed out of users’ news feeds regardless if these people have previously liked your page.
Here are examples of posts that could spell doom for your page’s organic distribution:
Facebook explained the latest tweak in their algorithm is a result of users’ desire to see less promotional content and more stories “from friends and Pages they care about”.
Not surprisingly, ads are safe from this crackdown. Why? According to Facebook, “News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts.”
What does this change mean for your business?
Content is more important than promotion
If you want organic content to be seen then you need to make sure it’s genuinely engaging. Think infographics, blog posts, how-to videos, etc.
Encourage “liking” and sharing of posts from your team members
Posts that are “liked” and shared have higher engagement scores and Facebook is more likely to show these organically to a broader audience. Including photos of team members and staff celebrations in “behind the scenes” posts are a great way of enrolling and engaging your team in sharing social activity.
Be prepared to spend
If you want your posts to be seen you must dedicate budget to sponsoring your posts, plain and simple. The days of high reach on Facebook without sponsoring are over, plain and simple.
Get your video on
Native Facebook videos are still performing well organically in the social network’s news feed algorithm so investing in some video content is a worthwhile exercise.
So rethink and develop a new content marketing strategy now, and don’t wait for January to come. There are already reports of brands experiencing significant drops in their organic reach prior to this announcement – so don’t risk it.
Facebook delivers substantial traffic to businesses and this is something you can’t afford to lose. Just play by the rules and develop a smart marketing strategy for your brand.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.
This article originally appeared on SmartCompany.