Facebook’s announcement regarding how updates from pages will appear in the news feed has some businesses wondering if they should change their social media marketing strategy. Changes to Facebook’s algorithm are nothing new, but when these changes could affect how often a business’ posts appear, you should take note.
What Page Owners Should Know
According to Facebook’s announcement, starting in January 2015, promotional posts from pages will appear less in peoples’ news feeds. In other words, if you post highly promotional content, expect less people to see it next year.
As Facebook states: “All of this means that pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.” The announcement stresses that this new change “will not increase the number of ads people see in their news feeds.”
Why the Change?
In its announcement, Facebook says that it is working to make sure its users see what they want to see in their news feeds. This new change is a result of feedback from an ongoing survey that solicits feedback from hundreds of thousands of Facebook users.
According to Facebook’s research, people say they want to see less promotional content on their news feeds. The survey showed that regular posts from pages are often seen as too promotional in the eyes of users.
Facebook disclosed what characteristics make a post “too promotional:”
+ Posts that are meant specifically to push people to buy a product or install an app.
+ Posts that push people to enter sweepstakes or promotions without real context.
+ Posts that contain the exact same content as ads.
It’s not hard to understand why people are annoyed by these kinds of posts in their news feeds. They want to get helpful information from their favourite brands and content from their friends, not sales content when they log in to Facebook.
Your Social Media Strategy
If your business posts purely promotional content to Facebook, you need to change your strategy. Not only was it unlikely that those posts were benefiting your business, they will soon be less likely to appear in your followers’ news feeds.
But, as one of Facebook’s blog posts points out, pages are still an important part of internet marketing and this change doesn’t mean your page is less valuable. In fact, by making sure your posts are relevant and helpful, you could actually get more out of Facebook.
According to Facebook’s research, people are unhappy with overly promotional posts, so if you use that kind of content you won’t be doing your business any favours. But, if you can use your page to keep your market updated, share helpful content and interact with your followers, it will remain a beneficial part of your marketing strategy.
Start preparing for this change now by assessing the kinds of posts you publish to Facebook. Do they match the description, listed above, of promotional content? If the answer is “yes,” start developing new plans and finding new ways to use your page so that next year, your page won’t be affected by the change and you’ll see more Facebook benefits.